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AB

The International Marine


Contractors Association

Guidelines for

Auditing Vessels with


Dynamic Positioning Systems

www.imca-int.com

112 UKOOA Part 2, Issue 2


September 1993

AB

The International Marine Contractors Association


(IMCA) is the international trade association
representing offshore, marine and underwater
engineering companies.
IMCA promotes improvements in quality, health, safety,
environmental and technical standards through the publication
of information notes, codes of practice and by other
appropriate means.
Members are self-regulating through the adoption of IMCA
guidelines as appropriate. They commit to act as responsible
members by following relevant guidelines and being willing to be
audited against compliance with them by their clients.
There are two core committees that relate to all members:

Safety, Environment & Legislation

Training, Certification & Personnel Competence


The Association is organised through four distinct divisions,
each covering a specific area of members interests: Diving,
Marine, Offshore Survey, Remote Systems & ROV.
There are also four regional sections which facilitate work on
issues affecting members in their local geographic area
Americas Deepwater, Asia-Pacific, Europe & Africa and Middle
East & India.

112 UKOOA Part 2


This document was the product of a working group comprising
representatives of the UK Offshore Operators Association
(UKOOA), the Dynamic Positioning Vessel Owners Association
(DPVOA), the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and the UK
Department of Transport (DoT).
DPVOA merged with AODC to form IMCA in 1995.

www.imca-int.com/marine

The information contained herein is given for guidance only and endeavours to
reflect best industry practice. For the avoidance of doubt no legal liability shall
attach to any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained.

Auditing Vessels with Dynamic Positioning Systems

CONTENTS
CONTENTS .........................................................................................................1
PREFACE ............................................................................................................2
Definitions........................................................................................................................ 2

INTRODUCTION ...............................................................................................3
1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4

OBJECTIVES......................................................................................................2
2.1
2.2

Obtaining Early Basic Information ..................................................................... 6


Tests and Trials ................................................................................................... 6
Changing Clients................................................................................................. 6
Incident Data ....................................................................................................... 6
Logbooks............................................................................................................. 7

PERSONNEL.......................................................................................................8
5.1
5.2
5.3

Factory and Customer Acceptance...................................................................... 3


Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)........................................................ 3
Annual Trials....................................................................................................... 3
Mobilisation Trials .............................................................................................. 3
Location Check Lists........................................................................................... 4
Pre-operation and Watch Keeping Checklist ...................................................... 4
Repair, Replacement and Modifications ............................................................. 4

PROCEDURE......................................................................................................6
4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4
4.5

Primary Objectives.............................................................................................. 2
Secondary Objectives.......................................................................................... 2

VESSEL DOCUMENTATION SYSTEM ........................................................3


3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4
3.5
3.6
3.7

Scope................................................................................................................... 3
Limitations .......................................................................................................... 3
Purpose................................................................................................................ 3
Background ......................................................................................................... 3

Auditors for Annual Trials .................................................................................. 8


Auditors for Mobilisation Trials ......................................................................... 8
Marine Representatives....................................................................................... 8

EFFECTS ON VESSELS....................................................................................9
6.1
6.2

Availability.......................................................................................................... 9
Manning .............................................................................................................. 9

ANNEX 1 REFERENCES .........................................................................................10


ANNEX 2 DP DATA SHEET PROFORMA ...........................................................11
ANNEX 3 SPECIFICATION FOR FULL SCALE DP CAPABILITY PLOTS ..12
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Auditing Vessels with Dynamic Positioning Systems

PREFACE
This guideline arises from a working meeting between the UK Offshore Operators
Association (UKOOA), the Dynamic Positioning Vessel Owners Association
(DPVOA), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Department of Transport
(DoT) on 10 September 1991. This Working Group was formed following a
presentation by DPVOA to the UKOOA Diving Advisory Committee and Marine
Committee on the work being carried out to rationalise the auditing and testing of
dynamically positioned vessels. The initiative was taken to reduce testing which risked
damage to equipment without reducing the safety of operations.
This guideline applied to all DP vessels that have implemented the scheme. A list of
these vessels will be published from time to time and be available from DPVOA.
This guideline was implemented for the 1992 season of work.
These guidelines set out what is generally regarded in the industry as good practice.
They are not mandatory and operators may adopt different standards in a particular
situation where to do so would maintain an equivalent level of safety.
Definitions
Vessel Owner

Vessel Owner refers to the owner or managing company


who is responsible for the safe working of the vessel.

Client

Client refers to the company for whom the vessel is


working. In many cases this will be the UKOOA
member, but this is not necessarily so.

Clients Representative

This is the person deemed to be adequately experienced


and qualified by the client to witness DP trials.

Competent Auditor

A competent auditor will be a qualified engineer (Class 1


or relevant degree) or Mariner (Class 1) who has carried
out:
i)

at least one FMEA of a DP vessel;

ii)

at least three audits of DP vessels;

iii)

has a thorough knowledge of all published DP


vessel incidents.

The above experience can be obtained by being the


second man of a team of 2 when the other is suitably
qualified.

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Auditing Vessels with Dynamic Positioning Systems

INTRODUCTION

1.1
1.1.1

Scope
This procedure concerns dynamic positioning systems that are installed on
numerous vessels used by the clients of Dynamic Positioning Vessel Owners
Association members. In particular the following types of vessels are included:

Accommodation
Diving Support
Drilling
Survey and ROV
Pipelaying

Heavy Lifting
Production
Offshore Loading
Well Stimulation Vessels

Dynamic positioning includes all systems directly and indirectly involved with
keeping a vessel on station, track or heading by automatic computer control. It
therefore includes systems from fuel oil system that is used by the engines,
through to any remote position reference sensor used by the control computers.
1.2

Limitations

1.2.1

Dynamic positioning does not include auto pilot functions unless they are an
integral part of the same system that controls position.

1.2.2

The scope of this procedure does not include matters that are part of
classification societies normal continuous surveys, although some of the items
may involve class. It also does not cover more conventional marine safety
matters such as life saving appliances, ballasting and stability.

1.3
1.3.1

1.4

Purpose
The procedure is designed to standardise dynamic positioning system auditing
and acceptance without removing the responsibilities on UKOOA members to
ensure a vessel is suitable for the work they propose.
Background

1.4.1

Applicable references to dynamic positioning are included in Annex 1.

1.4.2

The DPVOA Guidelines for the Design and Operation of Dynamically


Positioned Vessels 1991 have been adopted by DPVOA members. These new
guidelines have been circulated for comment to all members, associate members
and regulatory bodies. They were submitted to the IMO Ship Design and
Equipment sub-committee by the UK and progress is being made toward a new
IMO code in 1994.

1.4.3

These guidelines embrace present good practice, the philosophy of self


regulation, the existing guidelines and the approach of NMD. They state
essentially how vessel owners will operate their vessel. An example of the
annual trials, failure modes and effect analysis capability and check lists that
each DPVOA member vessel will have forms Reference (x) of Annex 1. This
document has been issued to all DPVOA Members to assist them in organising
their own system.

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Auditing Vessels with Dynamic Positioning Systems

OBJECTIVES

2.1
2.1.1

Primary Objectives
To improve the safety of DP operations by:
encouraging vessel owners to carry out detailed, auditable tests and trials on
a regular basis.
preventing overtesting of systems so that their reliability is not reduced by
such testing.

2.2

Secondary Objectives

2.2.1

To provide a common standard procedure for the auditing and accepting of DP


vessels by client companies that adequately discharges their duty of care.

2.2.2

To make the DP testing and acceptance process more efficient and thus save the
industry time and unnecessary cost.

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Auditing Vessels with Dynamic Positioning Systems

VESSEL DOCUMENTATION SYSTEM

3.1
3.1.1

3.2
3.2.1

3.3

Factory and Customer Acceptance


When a vessel is new the factory acceptance tests and customer acceptance
documentation should be made available on board to assist any auditor in
checking that all items of the DP system have been tested. Once a vessel has
been in service for over one year and has successfully undergone her second set
of comprehensive trials such documentation does not have to be immediately
available on board.
Failure Modes and Effect Analysis (FMEA)
An independent failure modes and effect analysis of the DP System will be
available on board for every auditor. This analysis will be general to the vessel
in its normal operational mode. Where additions and/or modifications have been
made to the vessel, updates or addenda to the FMEA will also be provided on
board. This analysis will form the basis of the annual trials programme.
Annual Trials

3.3.1

The purpose of the annual trials is to test all fault and failure conditions
important to DP safety to prove that redundancy, protection and responses are
correct. New problems found during the year on any similar DP vessels will be
addressed by additional tests. Client representatives may request additional tests
in advance of the trials. Reference document (x) of Annex 1 provides an
example of an independently produced annual trials programme.

3.3.2

Documentation describing all tests, trials and expected results will be carried on
the DP vessel. The results of each test will be carried from previous years.
Blank sheets for completion on each new annual trials will be provided. Vessel
crew are expected to be fully conversant with this independently produced trials
programme and able to carry it out.

3.3.3

Owners will mobilise an independent auditor (witness) see Section 5 for


annual trials, and other specialists as are necessary for switchboards, thrusters
and DP control. Auditors will have comprehensive knowledge of the type of
vessel. Client companies for whom the vessel is expected to work during the
ensuing year will be invited to have a representative onboard subject to space
and logistics. The results of the annual trials will be written up, signed by the
auditor, witnessed and left on board, together with a summary sheet (actions and
recommendations).

3.3.4

Annual trials will be programmed by the owner to fit in with his operations.
They will be carried out within 15 months of the previous trials. However, the
anniversary date for retrial shall remain fixed.

3.3.5

Annual trials will be integral to each vessel's self regulation and quality system.

3.4
3.4.1

Mobilisation Trials
Mobilisation trials are the trials that clients should witness prior to full
acceptance of the vessel for DP operations. Mobilisation trials are to test that all

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Auditing Vessels with Dynamic Positioning Systems

equipment is working to its full or expected capacity, and that DP personnel are
suitably qualified/experienced (see Section 4.5).
3.4.2

3.5
3.5.1

Mobilisation trials are functional trials of systems. They can be carried out after
annual trials with little duplication. An example of such trials can be found in
Reference (x) of Annex 1. Such trials can be carried out prior to passage to the
work site or prior to entering a platform's 500 ms zone.
Location Checklists
Location checklists are an auditable system of checks carried out by bridge and
engine room staff and witnessed by the client representative to confirm that
equipment is correctly set up and working. They are repeated for each change of
location, e.g. from on side of a jacket to the other.

3.5.2 The checklists are designed for all situations and will have some blanks left for
equipment that is not being used. Although DP vessels have had these
checklists for many years they form part of an integrated scheme, (see Reference
(x) of Annex 1).
3.6

Pre-operation and Watch Keeping Checklist

3.6.1

All DP vessels will also have these checklists. They are a shorter version of the
location checklists and completion of the location checklists will be adequate if
the work is to commence immediately. Frequently there are several hours of
preparation before a dive or lift takes place. The pre-operation or watch keeping
checklists serve as a final check and typically form part of the permit to work
systems of the vessel and/or the nearby platform.

3.6.2

They should cover the present status of equipment and form the basis of a final
check before an operation. When complete these checks form part of the
permission to work document for diving, lifting or loading. Check lists for
specific tasks may also be used by some DP vessels, e.g. pre-dive, pre-lift, etc.

3.7

Repair, Replacement and Modifications

3.7.1

Documentation on the history of all equipment is to be kept in a planned


maintenance system and service engineers reports filed. This will be part of the
quality system on each vessel which will be moving towards an international
standard, e.g. BS 5750, and should be audited by an English speaking auditor.

3.7.2

This system will enable the auditor to determine repairs, replacements and
modifications that have taken place since the last annual trials. Documentation
will also include the latest test results for lubricating oil samples, thruster
hydraulic oil tests, etc.

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Figure 1: Logic Diagram showing the System Operation


Note:

Only the areas of the repair and modification need have the annual trials repeated after such
repair modification.

A
NO
Is System
Operational?

NO

YES

NO

Carry out
Annual
Trials

Mods
Required?
YES
NO
YES

Trials Okay?

Carry out
Mods/
Repairs

Repairs
Required?

All Mods/
Repairs
Tested?

Adjustments
Required?

NO

YES

NO

Carry out
Adjustments

Carry out
Mobilisation
Trials

Trials Okay?

YES
Same
Location?
NO
Carry out
Location
Trials
A

YES

Is it more than 12
months since last
ANNUAL TRIALS?

NO

B
Trials Okay?

NO

YES
Same
Location?

NO

YES
Carry out
Pre-Work
Checks

Checks Okay?
YES
Permit to
Work
Issued

YES

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PROCEDURE

4.1

Obtaining Early Basic Information

4.1.1

Vessel documentation of a general nature is available in industry publications.


More detailed information can be obtained from the owner prior to visiting the
vessel.

4.1.2

A standard format for DP data is appended in Annex 2. This data will include a
capability plot and show DP operational limitations. Alternatively, a full scale
DP capability plot, as specified in Annex 3, will be provided. This data will
enable a client to make an early comparison of vessels.

4.1.3

An early visit to the vessel should verify that the documentation and quality
systems are in place onboard.

4.2

Tests and Trials

4.2.1

It is likely that a future or potential client will be invited to be represented at the


vessel's annual trials; whether or not this invitation is taken up these trials will
be independently witnessed by competent auditors. Any client using the vessel
after these trials will be able to study the results of these and mobilisation trials.
The mobilisation trials will be carried out in full and systematic manner by the
crew. The client should have these trials witnessed. The client's representative
witnessing the trials should have a reasonable understanding of the vessel's
systems from reading the FMEA, the annual trials programme and earlier
mobilisation trials.

4.2.2

Additional tests can be requested and carried out if industry experience has
found new problems. DPVOA provides such an information service to all
vessels entered with DPVOA. At a minimum the mobilisation trials will be
counter signed by the master (OIM) and the client or client's representative.

4.3

Changing Clients

4.3.1

When a vessel changes client another set of mobilisation trials can and should be
requested if the new client cannot receive assurances on the performance of the
DP system from the previous client.

4.3.2

When satisfactory assurances are provided about previous mobilisation trials


results and when the new work is of a similar nature, further mobilisation checks
can be waived. The client will formally document such a waiver with the
reasons.

4.4

Incident Data

4.4.1

All DP vessels should receive details of DP incidents from DPVOA (reference


(ix) of Annex 1). They are also required to contribute to the compilation of
these incidents. Vessel owners will keep reports received from this procedure
on each vessel.

4.4.2

For vessel owners the objective is to have information on incidents on board


available to clients and/or clients representatives. Such data will show the
actions taken to address any problem(s) identified as causing such incidents.

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Auditing Vessels with Dynamic Positioning Systems

This objective can only be achieved if this practice is common to all vessel
owners and clients or clients representatives are sufficiently experienced with
DP problems.
4.5
4.5.1

Logbooks
DPVOA has published DP operator logbooks to be held by all personnel
onboard who have a responsibility for DP equipment and systems. They enable
experience to be recorded and have been developed as a continuation from the
qualification and training logbooks issued by the Nautical Institute and
Norwegian Maritime Directorate. The logbooks enable the experience of
Operators on board to be checked quickly by auditors.

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Auditing Vessels with Dynamic Positioning Systems

PERSONNEL

5.1

Auditors for Annual Trials

5.1.1

Vessel owners will select and employ independent auditors for annual trials.
An auditor, who may be drawn from a survey company or classification society,
must be familiar with the particular vessel or type of vessel involved and the
annual trials programme.

5.1.2

A client utilising the vessel immediately following annual trials may suggest a
preference on the auditor or send its own auditor to witness the DP trials. It is
preferred that two auditors attend and that normally these auditors will be of
different disciplines, i.e. one mariner and one engineer.

5.1.3

Vessel owners will conduct the complete annual trials programme without
exception. They will organise it in a systematic manner, so that it is efficiently
carried out at their convenience.

5.2
5.2.1

5.3

Auditors for Mobilisation Trials


Mobilisation trials will be carried out by the vessel's staff and demonstrated to
the client representative. Client representatives do not have to be DP system
experts but should possess a marine background and the knowledge of DP
systems to follow mobilisation trials.
Marine Representatives

5.3.1

The presence of a marine representative on board throughout DP operations is at


client discretion. In the absence of a marine representative, it is recommended
that clients arrange for another disciplined representative to verify that checklists
are properly completed. For longer term work, (more than one month without a
marine representative on board), it is recommended that the vessel is visited by a
marine representative able to assess quickly whether good DP procedures have
been maintained and that DP equipment is fully available.

5.3.2

The guidance in this section is considered to be a minimum; in view of the


nature of normal work, clients would expect higher requirements for many DP
operations.

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EFFECTS ON VESSELS

6.1
6.1.1

6.2

Availability
During mobilisation trials equipment may be found to be unavailable or not fully
available. The vessel must then be assessed as if that was the new intact
situation and new safe working limits determined.
Manning

6.2.1

Minimum manning levels are determined according to the class of vessel and
flag state. The manning of DP control systems and engine control room is
covered in References v, vi, vii and viii of Annex 1. Manning above these
requirements is a matter for resolution by the client and vessel owner prior to
mobilisation.

6.2.2

Training and experience requirements are also covered in References v, vi, vii
and viii of Annex 1.

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ANNEX 1 REFERENCES
i)

Mineral Workings (Offshore Installations) Act 1971.

ii)

SI 1989/840 Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

iii)

Offshore Installations: Guidance on Design Construction and Certification


4th Edition Sec. 32.4 Dynamic Positioning.

iv)

The following DSMs (Diving Safety Memoranda) 19/78, 2/79, 5/79, 7/79,
21/82, 6/83, 9/84.

v)

1983 Joint NPD/DOE Guidelines for the Specification and Operation of


Dynamically Positioned Diving Support Vessels.

vi)

NMD Guidelines on Dynamic Positioning Systems.

vii)

Guidelines for the Specification and Operation of Dynamically Positioned


Drilling Vessels 1982.

viii)

DPVOA Guidelines for the Design and Operation of Dynamically Positioned


Vessels 1991.

ix)

DPVOA Dynamic Positioning Systems Incidents.

x)

DPVOA Examples of a DP Vessels Annual Trials Programme and testing


documentation.

xi)

Diving Operations at Work Regulations 1981 as amended by the Diving


Operations at Work (Amended) Regulations 1990.

xii)

Management of Health and Safety at Work (Approved Code of Practice).

xiii)

SI 2051 (1992) Offshore Installation (Safety Case) Regulations 1992.

xiv)

Offshore Act 1992.

xv)

HSE consultation groups (NRTs).

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ANNEX 2 DP DATA SHEET

VESSEL ...................................... COMPANY ................................ DATE ...................


Date and type of DP control system(s) installation

Main

Back Up

Last DPVOA Annual Audit

Date

Witness

Generators?

Thrusters?

Fuel Oil

Fresh W System

Lub Oil

Sea W System

Number of:

Engine Rooms?

Are support systems normally separate to each


engine room?
Can the vessel operate with segregated main
electrical systems (Bus-Ties open)?
State manufacturer and type of power management
system, if fitted
Is PM system fully redundant if main switchboards
segregated?
Are the control supplies to the engines and
switchboards separate and redundant?

24V

State type of independent position references


installed, any limitation and if pseudo-Artemis inputs
are possible

Taut wire

Radio

Acoustic

Other

Does a control or feedback fault cause a thruster to


stop?

Auto

Manual

Does a hydraulic control fault cause a thruster to


stop?

Auto

Manual

What remains on line after the worst case failure,


which is defined as:
.................................................................................
............................................................................... ?
When was FMEA carried out?

Thrusters

Generators
1 3 5 7

IMCA 112 UKOOA Part 2

Date

48V

110V

2
By

240V

9
8

10

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ANNEX 3 SPECIFICATION FOR FULL SCALE DP CAPABILITY PLOTS

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