Trunkline Magazine 31 Mar 2021

Dollars and sensors

Woodside has commercialised a sophisticated digital innovation signing a pilot program with an oil and gas major that opens the doors to potentially more sales.

 

It starts with an orange sensor that monitors temperatures and vibrations at our assets and which plays a key role in Fuse. 

Fuse is what is known as a “digital twin” – a digital or virtual replica of a physical process, using real world data to create greater awareness and enable simulations to predict how a product or process will perform. 

It was created in-house by our Intelligent Assets team for Pluto and other assets. 

“Fuse is a sophisticated industrial digital twin solution that aims to provide improved asset awareness and digitise repetitive and unsafe work,” explains Intelligent Asset Manager Ben Wilkinson. 

“It solves problems that many heavy industries face and we have a few parties interested in using it.” 

When wireless sensors were first used at Woodside, they were expensive, lasted about two years on a battery and could only transmit about 50m. 

A variant designed by the Intelligent Assets team, including Technologists Tom Chaney and Ryan Tripodi, has a much longer lifespan and can transmit for kilometres, not metres. 

The cost of making the new sensor is also dramatically lower. 

“The user-centric, full-stack solution includes custom hardware and software that fulfils the goal: ‘Make things work harder, so we can work smarter’,” says Ben. 

Since July 2020 an opportunity team has been investigating and pursuing commercialisation opportunities. 

Alison Barnes assumed the role of Commercialisation Manager in July last year. 

“We really believed we could take Fuse to other operators of industrial assets, not just those in the oil and gas industry,” reports Alison, who received a Women in Resources Technological Innovation Award in March.

“In doing so, we aim to unlock opportunities to improve the product for everyone using it, gain valuable skills in commercialising technology and create a new revenue stream for Woodside.”

The team will work with an international oil and gas major on a 15-week pilot of Fuse.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to learn and potentially collaborate with another oil and gas operator to improve the way we operate and to support new ways of working,” Alison notes. 

She says Woodside has received solid interest from other companies, both in the oil and gas industry and outside, to make this commercially available. 

Ben says this year will see his team continuing to innovate to create value for Woodside while pursuing commercialisation of this exciting product.

 

Read the Q1 2021 edition of Trunkline here.