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NewsTechManchester UK tech firm delivers major IT system upgrade to Stena Drilling’s...

Manchester UK tech firm delivers major IT system upgrade to Stena Drilling’s fleet with IBM’s Maximo software

MANCHESTER UK headquartered tech firm SRO Solutions has completed a 14-month high value contract to replace the asset management software system on six vessels operated by Stena Drilling.

SRO won the deal with Stena Drilling to replace its existing asset management system with IBM’s Maximo software (see notes to editors 1). The highly specialised upgrade was delivered on time and to budget by a team of six engineers from SRO who also delivered training on the fleet in the Canary Islands, Israel, Guyana and Scapa Flow in Scotland.

SRO operations director Andrew Carrie led the project which is the 20th major asset management system upgrade SRO has undertaken, using IBM’s Maximo software in the maritime sector in the last 10 years. He said the project took place on four drill ships and two semi-submersible vessels and involved consolidating vast amounts of data from Stena Drilling’s onshore headquarters in Aberdeen and its fleet into one single platform. This included 7500 unique pieces of equipment on each vessel and 1.2million historical work orders.

“This was a very demanding, sensitive project which drew on all SRO’s expertise to ensure a smooth transition of data systems, from each ship and the headquarters, to the single Maximo platform,” he said. “This was important as under the old asset management system the HQ and the ships were not fully integrated or tied into each other. We worked hand in hand with the highly professional and knowledgeable Stena team as all parties knew the importance of the project and this partnership approach was key to the success of the project. We based our 14 month project on the Agile principles set by the Association of Project Managers which gave a very clear and consistent timeline and cost roadmap. This approach gave reassurance to Stena as it recognised it had to undergo a full IT infrastructure upgrade but was aware that the process was high risk with the danger of cost and time overruns as well as disruption to data. We were able to prevent all this with the Agile approach drawn from SRO’s wide experience of upgrades. Stena recognised the switch to IBM’s Maximo was absolutely necessary for all the operational and cost benefits it could offer.”

Andrew said Maximo now acts as one of the core pieces of software underpinning Stena Drilling’s IT operations.

“It is really exciting, after all the effort over the last year, to see Maximo now in place working its magic for Stena after it took a leap of faith to invest in SRO and IBM,” he said. “All the equipment and spares across the six vessels are now properly documented and monitored with the same codes, whereas before each ship had different codes for the same equipment which made maintenance and purchasing decisions very inefficient. Now Maximo enables proactive equipment maintenance preventing expensive and disruptive breakdowns while procurement can plan with greater efficiency, understanding what spares can be shared between ships saving unnecessary purchases. The purchasing process is now massively streamlined so when equipment does need to be bought it can be done in bulk from a single vendor for all the ships bringing down costs. When you consider that ships like those in the Stena fleet spend millions every year on equipment it is vital to ensure costs are controlled which Maximo does. In addition, Maximo provides live foreign exchange rates ensuring Stena has the option to use the currency with the strongest buying power.”

Andrew said a big benefit of Maximo is its ease of use compared with other asset management systems which can be cumbersome and rigid and it automatically roots out data conflicts.

“The beauty of Maximo is that it is the most advanced and heavily invested in enterprise asset management software in the world which makes it highly sophisticated as it is constantly updated,” he said. “This means it can work and talk to new IT systems and software very easily where a lot of older computer maintenance management systems (CMMS) struggle with digital integration as their functionality is too rigid causing a massive headache. This is very important for the likes of the classification society surveys which expect increasing levels of IT system functionality to ensure ships are fully compliant with standards.”

“Another key benefit for Stena is that by using SRO we have our own data replication engine. This is designed specifically for the maritime and offshore industry and automatically syncs all the Maximo data when Maximo is offline such as when it is at sea. Maximo itself only works online but through our system we can sync data on a planned schedule offline reducing overload on bandwidth when Maximo gets back online. As a result of having this unique data replication engine SRO is the leading provider of IBM’s Maximo software in the maritime and offshore sectors. No other Maximo provider can offer this service.”

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