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Reducing Time from Drawing board to Production Start-up

©Odda Technology
©Odda Technology

Odda Technology has initiated a project where they will digitize the process right through from design to production start-up for products with low production volume.

Innovation Norway supports the project, and the co-players are the large engineering companies that design equipment and components for the oil and gas industry. They will also benefit from cooperation with the 3D and PLM-partner Digitread.

The project originates from a pre-project funded by GCE Ocean Technology in 2018.

– The pre-project funding from GCE Ocean Technology was given to our sister company Odda Digital System (ODS) and gave our start-up environment a lift in further developing the new Industry 4.0 products and marketing these into the global markets says Ingvald Torblå, CEO of Odda Technology and chairman of ODS.

These products has been further developed and given the basis for this new project, as is an important step towards real digitalization in the low volume, but many designs - system industry.

Working Smarter

– Low-cost countries usually beat us on hourly rates for personnel. That is an important reason why the Norwegian industry is not a big player in the series production field, Torblå continues.

– However, what we do lead the way in is producing parts and components in smaller series where very high demands are placed on quality, accuracy and precision.

Odda Technlogy’s coupling parts for the subsea industry are examples of such products. This also incorporates deliveries to the offshore industry.

These are deliveries that have made Norway a world leader in underwater technology according to Torblå who states that the oil and gas industry has contributed enormously to the development of the Norwegian mechanical industry and, in so doing, has furnished other assignments to many downstream suppliers throughout the country.

– But it is not a given that this will continue on its own. We compete with companies all over the world, while the oil and gas companies are continuously looking for ways to reduce their costs. Norway is one of the world’s largest welfare states, which, in turn, has led to us having a high cost base, says Torblå.

– Thus, we are not able to compete at wage level, but must instead find smarter ways to work to ensure our production remains competitive through increased efficiency. This is the core aspect of the project that we have just initiated, Torblå explains.

Digitization of the Input Phase

Odda Technology produces numerous products of roughly the same type, but unlike regular series production, each individual product is usually specially tailored to suit a specific facility on the seabed.

Thus, this production is often referred to as one-piece flow or continuous flow. Each individual product must be designed, calculated, described and documented in meticulous detail before it can be produced at Odda Technology, and this new endeavour now aims to streamline this process direct from the customer’s drawing board to commencement of production:

– In simple terms, our clients’ engineers design the products they need and send us extensive documentation in models with associated specifications such as pdfs that are really just pictures of sheets of paper, says Torblå.

After this process Odda Technology’s engineers process this data manually and “digitize” it. In addition, the product data received from the client are modeled in a slightly different way than the format the manufacturers need to be able to produce the parts.

– Thus, as a general rule, we must always supplement with our production technology and redraw them from scratch using our own technology. Together, all of these are time-consuming processes and, hence, there is great potential for improvement, explains Torblå.

According to Torblå, today’s method is extremely labor intensive and requires a lot of knowledge and expertise. A knowledge and expertise that is pivotal for this industry, but the fact remains that it needs to be further developed to ensure it contributes to efficiency improvements to a greater extent than it does today. Hence, Odda Technology is a driving force for the industry in developing its systems so that manufacturers can better automate the input part and thereby place their knowledge into a fully digitized process.

– This project will allow us to analyze what is needed for customers to deliver fully digital packages that we can import so that our setup procedure is fully automated. Then we can truly talk about developing a new standard for digital exchange of component information, from design to finished parts, Torblå concludes.

Contact Information

Jon O. Hellevang

R&D Manager

Jon O. Hellevang

Odda Technology is a global turnkey supplier of high accuracy industry metal products, on & offshore, mainly complex connection systems for subsea oil & gas.

The company environment has invested at lot in digitalizing to streamline small series engineering and production and is today running with a very high level of “Industry 4.0” matureness.

All this is done together with their sister company Odda Digital System, that have achieved a very high level of industrial digitalization and used the developed basis platform to enter other industries and businesses as well.

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Odda Digital System is a digital industry growth company developing process control systems and products to mirror all production activities and visualize complex processes.

These systems are sold and implemented to many other big industry companies, like Tizir Titanium & Iron, Fluorsid Noralf and OT.

These companies are based on agile and skilled young people combined with experienced and competent persons from the process and system industry, that over the last 40 years has produced, among many other products, rotary parts for gas turbines & jet engines and manufactured subsea connections components to world leading industry customers, nationally and globally.

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