Digital transformation is front and center for pipeline operators, who are looking for innovative solutions to improve asset management and operational efficiency. That’s why Vallourec developed Smartengo Pipe Navigator. This digital database centralizes line pipe information, provides instantaneous insights and provides the inputs that feed representations of assets called “digital twins.”
Since 2019, Vallourec has worked with operators, manufacturers and EPCs to standardize the way pipeline data is exchanged. The framework, known as the Pipeline Data Exchange Format (PDEF), aims to ensure the uniformity of information shared among industry professionals. This is crucial, as each pipe represents more than 1,500 unique data points – a number that reaches into the tens of thousands for complete pipelines.
“It was clear from these meetings that pipe operators, suppliers and manufacturers wanted easy access to the same information,” says Gonzague Vollaire, Line Pipe Services Development Director. “This was unsurprising, as the industry norm was still for suppliers to send information via CD, with clients waiting weeks to receive key data. So, we asked ourselves, why not create a convenient platform that can centralize large amounts of pipeline data that’s relevant to everyone?”
Around the same time that Vallourec joined the PDEF, it was also working on organizing project data through various Smartengo platforms – and so the idea was born to build Smartengo Pipe Navigator.
Building the platform meant first tackling the basics. “We needed a digital hub that could collect two different types of data,” explains Vallourec’s Thibault Masse, Line Pipe Digital Services Business Owner. “The first type is project documentation related to either the execution or the product itself; this includes figures, line pipe reports and general product information. The second is the data we typically provided in inspection certificates, which includes actual test results for individual pipes.”
With Smartengo Pipe Navigator, Vallourec can now record all data related to each pipe. Once a pipe is approved by the Quality department, its information enters the Smartengo API database, where it becomes immediately available to clients. “While Vallourec pipes are automatically input, the platform is compatible with any pipe, even those not supplied by Vallourec,” Thibault says. “Clients have the ability to input data on their own pipes, taking advantage of Smartengo Pipe Navigator’s capabilities to better manage their projects.”
Previously, clients needed to read through all the different documents of the databook for each type of pipe to find the one that met their specifications, now a few clicks are all it takes to access Smartengo Pipe Navigator and filter down to the right results.Gonzague Vollaire Line Pipe Services Development Director
The key advantages of the Smartengo Pipe Navigator are efficiency and accuracy. By centralizing access to all technical documents and data on a single platform, users can find the information they need, quickly sorting through mountains of data. “Previously, clients needed to read through all the different documents of the databook for each type of pipe to find the one that met their specifications,” Gonzague says. “Now a few clicks are all it takes to access Smartengo Pipe Navigator and filter down to the right results.”
Smartengo Pipe Navigator also provides inputs for a user’s digital twin. When pipeline managers feed information about their pipes into Smartengo Pipe Navigator, or data is automatically collected from the asset, this is reflected in the digital twin. Project managers can visualize all pipelines’ details, making it easier to assess the condition and configuration of assets.
“One client used the term ‘single source of truth’ to define Smartengo Pipe Navigator,” Thibault says. “And that’s what we’re aiming for. The platform should be a one-stop shop for suppliers, manufacturers and operators, where they can find all data related to their pipes.”
Smartengo Pipe Navigator has already been used to support 15 projects, with a variety of features being deployed. The feedback Vallourec has received from first-adopters has been extremely positive, with many users praising the one-of-a-kind nature of the platform. One client found Smartengo Pipe Navigator so useful that they requested Vallourec develop a version for their business to use as an internal tool.
One client used the term ‘single source of truth’ to define Smartengo Pipe Navigator, and that’s what we’re aiming for. The platform should be a one-stop shop for suppliers, manufacturers and operators, where they can find all data related to their pipesThibault Masse Line Pipe Digital Services Business Owner
As a digital solution, Smartengo Pipe Navigator has enormous potential to evolve, with new applications being integrated into the existing platform. “We’ve only just scratched the surface of what Smartengo Pipe Navigator can do,” Thibault concludes. “Why not extend the platform to include the full range of project management activities? Or enable inspectors to assess pipelines via the platform?” The possibilities are many, and thanks to the ongoing feedback Vallourec receives from users, the team has a clear idea of which features to improve or develop next.
For more information on Smartengo Pipe Navigator visit its dedicated webpage.