Optimisation of temporary mobilisation

The text below is just a brief review of the topic. 

 The text provides few indications about the possibilities for optimizing the process of mobilisation of temporary equipment on board of Offshore Service Vessels (OSVs). 


This text represents only the author personal opinion about the engineering topics presented. This personal opinion is not comprehensive and definitive and it is rather an invitation for discussions, comments and feedback and shall be considered accordingly.

The author can’ take any responsibility for any type of use of this text.  


Why optimisation of temporary mobilisation of equipment?


The offshore operations are in general high cost projects and the cost of the mobilisation of temporary equipment on board of Offshore Service Vessels (OSVs) is a significant component of this cost. 

Considering the above, any possibility to optimise the mobilisation of temporary equipment on board of OSVs should not be ignored.

First possibility for optimisation – just papers


The first way for optimising this process is very simple – just re-use/re-cycle what it was done before.

An existing solution may look less optimal for a specific case, however may work fine if the parameters of the actual operation are just below the parameters of the reference operation or if same equipment is mobilized often on same positions on same vessel.

The re-cycling of former solutions requests a clear documentation of the initial solution (e.g. a crystal clear list of operational parameters and limitations), a proper management of documentation and, equally important, the access to a pool of equipment with very clear parameters.

More possibilities – equipment and interfaces


The access to a pool of equipment opens the next possibility for optimisation.

I’ve observed in numerous occasions that the lack of understanding of equipment could generate significant delays in the process of temporary mobilisation of equipment.

These delays could be avoided if equipment are provided with clear list of operational parameters and limitations, in special those defining the interface and the interaction of equipment with other systems, with ship and with the operation (mapping of equipment). 

I trust that this would be in general a good sense expectation but it may be easier to be achieved for a pool of equipment used for, say, 80% of the operations. 

For example, the estimation of loads transmitted by equipment at the interface with ship (footprint loads) may represent among 25-50% of the time spend for strength design.


However, these loads could be estimated once for key parameters and used as base for the estimation of the values for a specific operation by simple calculations. 

The mapping of equipment provides faster access during design phase to the information regarding equipment’s interface but doesn’t necessary improve the work and time consumed for the effective installation on board.

The time for the installation on board of equipment could be significantly improved if equipment has generic interfaces allowing a “plug and play” solution on board of as many as possible vessels.

For example, from structural perspective, the generic interface would be a grillage or pedestal allowing fast and easy seafastening to various deck structural configurations.

Modular deck – is this a dream?


Most probably the dream of any engineer working in this business is the “modular deck” allowing the real “plug and play” of a large variety of equipment in numerous configurations. 

From structural point of view the first condition for a “modular deck” is to be fully rated or with words the strength capacity of structure should be well defined for multiple loads not only the uniform load.

Nevertheless the deck arrangement shall provide the possibility to seafastening equipment by means of bolts, twislocks, shear stoppers, guiding pieces, clamps or other solutions (to come!). This condition will be achieved better if equipment have standardized footprint interfaces.

In order to achieve the best from the “modular deck”, the modularity should not stop at the structural aspect but should be applied to other aspects as power or safety aspects. 



The possibilities for optimizing the process could be considered separately or could be combined as found appropriate – probably only our imagination would be the limit.

I can imagine a temporary mobilisation of equipment designed one week in advance of ship’s port call and all equipment installed, say, just over the weekend!

It is said that if somebody could imagine something, at a certain moment, someone will build it… so I can’t wait that moment…