It is a solution created from an IDEPA request for proposals developed jointly with the company PixelHub, a technological spin-off of the Universidad de Oviedo focused on industrial simulation and enablers in Industry 4.0.
SDG-aligned R&D and innovation
WINDAR is committed to supporting innovation and research in its business and operations, promoting the creation of industrial processes in the development of its activities whose impact favours the expansion of resilient and sustainable infrastructures, through the use of new information technologies and thus aligning itself with SDG 9 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda as one of its Global Goals.
Following the indicated path, WINDAR is adopting solutions based on the application of new technologies aimed at optimising its industrial processes, so as to improve its productivity, while automating and digitalising its processes. To do so, it has relied on PixelHub, a technological spin-off focused on industrial simulation, which provides product and process analysis solutions.
Transition Pieces (TP) are one of the most common types of offshore foundations used in offshore wind farms. WINDAR will build a hundred of these parts in its factories in Avilés, which will be sent to the Port for final assembly before being shipped to offshore wind farms in Germany (Baltic Eagle) and the USA (Vineyard Wind I). The construction and assembly of this type of foundations includes a wide variety of industrial processes which must be controlled to ensure their correct operation at sea. These processes present a very high degree of complexity, are tedious and require a large number of necessary documents, in terms of handling and continuous consultation by the assembly operators, who must ensure the correct installation of all the elements.
WINDAR has collaborated with PixelHub in the development of an industrial simulation solution based on a 3D Transition Part model of the Baltic Eagle project.
The solution that has been developed aims to improve the efficiency and optimisation of the industrial processes used by WINDAR during construction, thus facilitating the assembly of the TP of offshore wind turbines and minimising the risks of failure and errors during the installation of the wiring and electrical components necessary for the proper functioning of the TP.
Industrial simulation using VR & AR
The industrial simulation solution implemented by WINDAR uses Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies and is integrated into mobiles, tablets and computers. It has involved the participation in its development of the R&D&I, process development and digitalisation areas, as well as logistics assembly operators.
The main principle of this simulation solution is to visualise the 3D models of the construction CAD using virtual reality. To do this, it has specific interfaces that show the information relating to each element of the TP, as well as the information of all the elements of the electrical installation. In this way, it allows and facilitates the operators who carry out the assembly of the TP, reducing the effort thanks to a complete and faithful graphic vision of the plans, as well as the instant consultation of the same, guaranteeing the correct installation of elements such as electrical panels, trays, points of passage and connectors.
In addition, it also has the possibility of using Augmented Reality to show the information of each cable in superimposition with reality, allowing by a simple glance to know the location of each component, as well as the connections and routing of the cables, all superimposed with the real world.
With both technologies, the operators who assemble the TP in the Port of Avilés can access all the information, plans or diagrams in digital format required during the assembly process using a Tablet.
Open lines for improvement
WINDAR considers that one of the main advantages of this implemented solution, in addition to the digitisation of the information used, is to always keep this information up to date. In this sense, WINDAR’s Technology and Innovation Centre is currently working with PixelHub on two lines of future improvements for this currently used solution.
On the one hand, a first line of work consists of the creation of a centralised and automated storage system for the information handled, which allows all the information to be kept up to date (latest revision of plans and CAD models), thus guaranteeing immediate and agile communication between the assembly operators and WINDAR’s engineering area in the event of changes in the information.
On the other hand, as a second line of action, we are working on the implementation of a system of annotations that will allow us to record the problems and/or incidents that may arise during the TP assembly processes, which will make it possible to document in a simple way all the changes that need to be made and updated.