Transforming LIM Data Into Intelligence

March 14, 2024

Improved safety, productivity and sustainability are just some of the benefits that the insights from electrical data can deliver to offshore operators. An effective line insulation monitoring (LIM) solution, for example, shows patterns in insulation resistance (IR) that, when correctly interpreted, enable early fault detection and proactive maintenance that extend asset life. The aim of gathering data is to predict what happens next and act before that happens.

What is Data as a Service?

There are two elements to what is widely accepted as Data as a Service (DaaS): collection and transformation. In a subsea context, the collection element is usually monitoring a system. A familiar scenario is a LIM solution monitors the IR of the umbilical linking a subsea electrical system with the topside control equipment and provides a stream of data to an end user, usually an operator. 

The value of DaaS is to take the data and filter it so it becomes valuable information to help with decision-making. IR monitored by a LIM is constantly changing and there are many environmental variables, such as voltage, temperature, salinity, the age and type of cable, and so on.  

That’s a lot of data, and what it all means is not intuitively obvious when the operator wants to know, for example, when to replace the umbilical cable. So, the next step after monitoring and gathering data is to draw correlations. If the voltage changes, does that affect the IR? If there is a sudden drop in IR, all other things being equal, what does that mean? Are there patterns in the data that can predict a drop in IR?

How to transform data into insight and decision-making

This is where ‘Insight as a Service’ could be coined. The operator wants the data turned into something meaningful that has a tangible outcome: improves safety, quality, saves money or stops something happening that could lose money. And not only information but insights that can be used for strategic planning. 

In tech, the term ‘extract, transform and load’, or ETL, is used. This means taking data feeds from multiple sources – like IR, temperature, salinity, voltage – and storing it in a single location called a data warehouse. The data is from multiple sources and recorded over time. 

All this raw data is then organised, tagged and analysed, increasingly using machine learning, to provide insights. Having the benefit of time series data means patterns in the data can be correlated to real events. Correlating data to events means that an operator gets insights like an IR pattern of ‘X’ type means collision damage, ‘Y’ type means seawater ingress, and so on. Crucially, using the right monitoring technology and with a big and full enough data warehouse that’s highly organised, the pattern associated with an event can be identified before the event happens. An operator has time to complete proactive maintenance, so the event does not happen. 

How does machine learning and AI improve IR analysis?

Viper’s new data-driven asset management tool, PlatformVi, has a large and unique set of domain-specific cable monitoring data. This offers huge potential for the insight element of DaaS. We apply user-centred design on an ongoing basis to identify valuable insights for our clients, like operators. This is essential, as there is no point doing data analysis if it’s not the right data or the platform is providing insights no one finds useful. 

But over time, as the data continues to grow and technologies improve, applying machine learning can unlock further insight – it can augment humans and ‘see’ patterns and trends that humans can’t. When humans and machine learning work together this allows properly collected historical data to be used to reconstruct events and for failure analysis, improving fault diagnosis.  

In time, the condition monitoring of subsea electrical systems will be so in-depth that operators will be able to predict events like catastrophic falls in IR and take action so the predicted event doesn’t happen. There will be no unforeseen subsea electrical failures due to IR issues, and no interruption in production that costs millions of dollars.   

That’s the plan.  

PlatformVi, coming soon in 2024, is a bespoke data visualisation and analytics application; bringing together system details and electrical integrity data into one easy to access platform. As experts in asset management, we have designed PlatformVi to help our customers maximise the operational life of their subsea controls and electrical distribution equipment. The application draws on the value derived from data to assist operators with proactive and predictive maintenance, enhanced safety, by predicting and indicating potential and developing issues, improving operational efficiency, and equipment service life. 

If you can’t contain your excitement and want to know more now, contact us using our contact form or email for more information on how you can almost predict the future using our advanced data and subsea products.