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Johan Sverdrup
Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland

Digital twins in Equinor

Rumour has it the Google car was stopped at the gate. So, we had to build our own “street view” for plants onshore. And don’t forget about offshore, definitely no Google car there. With Echo, Equinor’s digital twin solution (a digital re-creation of a physical environment), our employees in the field can find their way around over 50 installations, locate countless pieces of equipment and collaborate in real-time across locations.

This visualisation tool is developed by Equinor to improve safety and efficiency in project development and operations across company. Echo can visualise the plant or show an augmented picture of what modifications would look like, or help find specific pieces of equipment.

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Echo works in the office and in the field

Echo gives users access to and visualises data gathered in Omnia, Equinor's data platform. Whether our staff are preparing for a maintenance task, or struggle to find a piece of equipment, Echo will help them. They do not need to remember the drawings they checked on the screen in the office. The office is with them, in their hand or even in front of their very eyes. Echo works on mobile phones, handheld tablets, PC screens and HoloLense (Microsoft’s eyewear, mixed reality solution, blending real-world images with computer generated illustrations).

Echo is already making facility data and 3D models easily available for 53 facilities onshore and offshore, and for the first time ever it will be used as a digital tool in subsea operations, on the Northern Lights project in Norway.

A versatile tool

With the implementation of Echo and other digital tools in our maintenance and modification portfolio, there are major benefits when it comes to Equinor’s capital expenditures and operating expenses, as the tools will give us the capability to:

  • Analyse production rates and identify system bottlenecks
  • Analyse equipment failure rates and optimise maintenance programs
  • Conduct root cause analysis of equipment failure
  • Optimise new designs based on historical data
  • Explore hypothetical “what if” scenarios to prepare for disruptive events
  • Reduce the number of hours for hook-up and commissioning
  • Utilize new collaboration and communication tools to work more efficiently in the field, reducing maintenance hours and increasing time on tools

Everything is interactive and tied together for everyone in Equinor to use, wherever they are. A technician at Johan Sverdrup and a colleague working onshore in Stavanger, Norway, can find the same information and see the same picture, in one place, and they can collaborate on the task with the same situational picture. Queen didn’t exactly sing about this, but their 1989 lyric seems fitting: “I want it all, and I want it now”. In Equinor terms, all you need, when you need it, to get the job done.

That kinda rocks, too.