In June, five students from NTNU started a student project which involved building a digital twin of NTNU’s research vessel RV Gunnerus. Two of the students were deployed at DNV GL, three of them at Digitread.

The project started with a trip to RV Gunnerus on June 14th. The five students, three of them studying at the Department of Marine Engineering and two from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Production at NTNU, as well as representatives from DNV GL and Digitread took part in an initiation session getting to know the research vessel more closely.

Four days later, they began an introductory and training period lasting two weeks. Here, the students received training in relevant tools and an overview of relevant information sources that they might need to perform their tasks. Towards the end of the introductory period, the students presented their own work plans that showed how they were going to work and what they would perform during the project period.

“The three students who were deployed at Digitread were to build the digital model in 3D. The starting point for this work was Polarconsult, which was used to design RV Gunnerus, and Larsnes, the shipyard where the vessel was built. Most of the information base used by the students in this part of the work was 2D drawings”, says Ole Christian Astrup, Research Scientist at DNV GL.

The other two students, who were assigned to DNV GL, had a different role. They were to identify and describe important components found on the RV Gunnerus:
“Such components can be, for example, winches, engines and thrusters. All of these components have a description in our class-system, both in terms of function and the requirements that apply to them”, adds Steinar Låg, who is also a Research Scientist at DNV GL.
The components are linked both with DNV GL’s product model and to the digital twin. This makes it possible to extract relevant data about these components directly from the digital 3D model.

 The summer students Magnus Borgersen, Lars Oftedal Bjørum, Petter Rølvåg, Johan Fredrik Alvsaker and Katarina Stålesen (Photo: Steinar Låg, DNV GL)

The summer students Magnus Borgersen, Lars Oftedal Bjørum, Petter Rølvåg, Johan Fredrik Alvsaker and Katarina Stålesen (Photo: Steinar Låg, DNV GL)

The next step was to also link real sensor information from the components of RV Gunnerus to the digital twin in addition to the component descriptions themselves.
“Therefore, part of the tasks of the students who worked at DNV GL was to identify the sensor data and link them to the same model,” continues Låg.

Towards the end of the project, both sets of students from Digitread and DNV GL worked much closer together. The components and the digital 3D model were combined to create the digital twin. In addition, they prepared a presentation of their work. Among other things, the students showed how live data from RV Gunnerus could be retrieved via the digital twin and presented in a dashboard. This was implemented on DNV GL’s new data platform “Veracity”. Through such a dashboard, one can easily see where RV Gunnerus is at all times and study key data such as position, course and fuel consumption. One of the students also made a VR model of RV Gunnerus that makes it possible to take a virtual tour inside the ship and, for example, walk into the engine room.

“For us at Digitread, it was nice to see how quickly the students got to grips with 3D design. They used the PLM system Teamcenter with a cloud based solution based on Microsoft Azure. This solution made it possible for everyone involved in the project to continuously have access to updated information regardless of time and place. Although the work was carried out by students, they worked together with ship architects to ensure that the model became a strong 3D model that can withstand changes. This is particularly important as RV Gunnerus is due to be extended soon. It was exciting to see how well model data was integrated with DNV GL’s systems such as PMOD, Veracity and Structure Insight,” reports Helge Kjeilen from Digitread.

The summer student project was completed on 10th August. The students then presented what they had achieved during some hectic summer weeks:
“We are very pleased with the work that the students have done. In fact, they have far exceeded our expectations. The work is important and illustrates the usefulness of such a digital twin. NTNU will be able to use the results of this project in its learning and in addition, this will be a great contributor to our own further development of computer-driven services. Hence, this was very important to us,” Låg and Astrup conclude.

The students were also happy with the summer project and several of them thought they had had the best summer job ever:
“This was both cool and educational. We had to use many different mindsets, methods and tools to solve the tasks, and I don’t regret working with the digital twin project this summer. I hope to continue on this project in connection with my master’s thesis that I am due to start now,” says Lars Oftedal Bjørum, who worked at DNV GL this summer.

PUBLISHED: August 28th 2018