AI planning is not just a buzzword, especially in the wind industry, as technology plays a vital role in driving digitalisation in a competitive landscape. Cost-reduction, precise-estimation, and optimisation are key drivers for any OEMs and project operators in the future since all are key elements in improving financial viability for construction and maintenance of wind farm projects. Schedule Optimisation is the next step in the evolution…
The challenge of using AI planning for onshore and offshore wind farm projects.
It is complex – no doubt… But wind farm technology has come a long way in its way of gathering an advanced and diverse trove of O&M data. However, for a long time, one of the biggest data challenges has been using different systems that do not interact with each other. When data input is stored in different individual tools, such as Excel spreadsheets, it becomes difficult to combine optimisation with intelligent software. Furthermore, new development and implementation of advanced digital infrastructure and artificial intelligence have been seen as “nice-to-have” as companies continue to rely on outdated in-house data management systems.
Besides that, there are many levels of data when planning onshore and offshore wind farm maintenance. Forecasting adverse weather, workforce availability, logistics, and many other factors are rapidly changing on a day-by-day basis. This creates an immense challenge for machine learning or other data-driven methods for generating precise forecasts that enable real-time changes between planners and operators. Since many financial business cases are heavily dependent on producing the most cost-effective planning schedules in terms of production, maintenance, and utilisation, solving, this issue can have massive benefits on profits.
These challenges form the core foundation of Shoreline Wind’s schedule optimisation engine.
Schedule optimisation and agent-based modelling for accurate day-to-day planning
So what is schedule optimisation, and how does it actually work?
Time is money – this phrase is highly applicable for wind projects as seconds of downtime can have large financial consequences. Therefore, Shoreline Wind has focused on developing an intelligent algorithm that reduces the time to produce short and long-term plans for maximum efficiency. Usually, scheduling – or re-scheduling – consumes hours for planning, analysing, and distributing, but this comprehensive process has been reduced to take merely a few minutes. This means that in a single click, you will be able to generate the most optimal plan based on resource availability and logistics, weather, and expected revenue.
What makes all of this possible is agent-based modelling coupled with powerful optimisation. We use agent-based modelling theory for both Design™ and Execution™. To dive more into simulation for Design, please check out the 4 reasons you should use agent-based simulations for wind projects. In short, agent-based theory treats all assets, logistics, technicians, bases, etc., as individual objects independent of each other and models their behavior. This enables much more accurate representation of the real world and detailed output per object. Our Design tool uses simulation for modelling complex scenarios for construction and maintenance operations. In contrast, Execution uses schedule optimisation for more accurate planning of day-to-day work for personnel and logistics.
The logic behind the schedule optimiser is that it always searches for optimum execution of tasks to minimise downtime, maximise revenue, or any other business value. The schedule optimiser will run numerous scenarios for the day, or days, to find what combination of drop off, pick up, and work will produce the most optimal outcome and propose that to the user.
Combine this theory and technology with an advanced software platform and wind industry knowledge, and then you will have Shoreline Wind Execution™. With our solution, you will be able to integrate all data from your systems and 3rd party integrations such as SAP, Salesforce, Tableau, Primavera, and more to create more comprehensive and accurate scenarios for your optimisation, including all assets and resources such as vessels, helicopter, ports, and weather data to bring all of these data together intelligently.
Today is manual – schedule optimisation is automated and integrated.
For project analysts/planners or resource managers in O&M and construction, this technology can really empower their capability as they can instantly do a higher value of work and do it much faster. All by having a close integration that seamlessly interacts with their resources and data.
Shoreline Schedule Optimisation’s power, in terms of resource management, is to spot and forecast resource availability quickly. Any project, site, or service manager would have the ability to request workforce and logistics resources with specific qualifications for a given time period and simulate the impact on performance. Then Shoreline Execution™ would automatically highlight available resources to pick from that fulfill these requirements – all without having the hassle of searching through Excel spreadsheets.
With a single click an AI planning engine such as schedule optimisation, allows you to instantly speed up routine tasks, reduce errors, meet more project deadlines and maximise the utilisation of all assets. Furthermore, site and project planners can start forecasting performance, both in terms of the next few days or long-term complex projects and contracts. A precise and accurate resource allocation, based on vessel availability and limitations, personnel skills and certifications, adverse weather conditions, has a major impact in optimising revenue and production. All in all, it is actually very little work but with significant benefits, as you start saving cost, fuel, and workforce, as well as lowering downtime, production, and loading time, which all are great savings in total.
That is a futuristic approach with strong financial and operational value – but digitalisation is already here, and it is key in bringing innovation to a growing landscape of complexity in onshore and offshore wind projects.
To learn more about our Execution tool and its capability to perform AI planning using schedule optimisation – Click to see the solution.