SACS can now automate cutting plans for offshore structures

Bentley has announced that its SACS system, a design and analysis software for offshore structures in the oil and gas industry, now enables engineers to reduce heavy offshore structures into manageable pieces during decommissioning in complex working environments.

The new capability provides an integrated solution for the complete lifecycle of offshore structures including construction, transportation, in-place, and decommissioning.

Phil Christensen, SVP, analytical modeling, at Bentley Systems, said, “When the price of oil dropped by more than 50%, engineering companies in the oil and gas industry had to rapidly adapt to sustain their businesses. This disruption has created a very challenging market in which technology plays a key role in adjusting to the changed circumstances.”

This latest advancement in SACS reinforces Bentley’s commitment to adapt its offerings to meet the changing requirements of the offshore energy industry.

According to a recent report by IHS Markit, there has been a significant rise in the number of planned decommissioning projects, which is attributed to global economic conditions and assets in mature fields reaching their end of life. As decommissioning carries similar risks and challenges to marine construction, special consideration must be applied to the safety, environmental, economic, and social aspects of any project.

The SACS decommissioning capabilities automate the process and allow engineers to determine optimal cutting plans to meet decommissioning project requirements, such as structure weight for lift and transport. Users fully control the structural weight through change in elevation and can apply automatic cutting of the structure at user-defined elevations. The sum of forces for any elevation can be reviewed graphically or in tabular reports.

The new SACS release also includes improved intraoperability with AutoPIPE, an enhanced GUI for joint meshing, and other key advancements including:

  • Rectangular hollow section (RHS) joint design
  • Full-iterative solution for P-Delta analysis
  • Wind loading based on API 4F functionality
  • SACS-FAST non-integrated interface for wind turbine analysis
  • Enhanced collapse analysis

With integrated workflows spanning AutoPIPE and SACS, piping design for offshore structures can be completed in hours instead of weeks. Workflows to add pipe loads to offshore structures improve efficiency and provide accurate analysis results. Importing piping geometry from AutoPIPE into SACS enables the design of secondary steel and piping connection supports on the primary offshore structure.

Users can perform combined stress, and pipe and stress analysis after they have imported piping connections and the structure from SACS into AutoPIPE. Moreover, importing support reaction results from AutoPIPE to SACS for structural analysis can save hundreds of hours of manual data entry. Lastly, completing the design and analysis with realistic models results in potential costs savings and improved risk mitigation.

Engineers designing FPSO topsides have indicated they can spend 40% of their time developing detailed finite element models of the complex joints in these structures. SACS Precede drawing options enable easy creation of plate surfaces from any orientation, improving efficiency for meshed joint generation.

Additionally, the SACS methodology eliminates the requirement to model joints externally to determine SCFs or perform fatigue analysis or detailed strength analysis. A SACS finite element mesh, a model that captures complex connection behaviors, is fully integrated with SACS beam elements to enable simple and powerful workflows.

Engineers can easily create meshes within seconds, for any complex joint, all within a single interface, and save hundreds of resource hours in manual calculations. The simplified process enables completion without requiring specialist finite element expertise.

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