Dynamic Positioning Services

Pirie & Smith can provide clients with a range of complementary consultancy services to cover all aspects of a dynamically positioned vessel’s life cycle:

  • Newbuild Assessment
  • Upgrade Analysis / Feasibility Studies
  • Project Engineering
  • DP Assurance
  • Risk Assessment
  • Incident Investigation
Lifecycle Support: DP FMEA and Trials

A DP FMEA (Failure Mode and Effect Analysis) for A DP vessel is a study which uses the FMEA technique to demonstrate that a vessel will not lose DP control due to any single, technical, failure (in the case of DP2 class) or due to loss of a compartment by fire or flood (in the case of DP3 Class) – Traditional engineering FMEAs may also be performed on many other systems: one is often required for propulsion and steering controls in the case of unmanned engine rooms.

Pirie & Smith can develop DP FMEA for newbuild, conversions, upgrades, or mid-life review. Our expertise and system knowledge enable us to provide gap analyses and feasibility studies to develop engineering specifications for conversions and mid-life refurbishment.

FMEA Update

For DP vessels FMEAs should be updated from time to time as the vessel equipment changes or additional equipment is installed. According to the level of impact of the change the update may be in the form of a simple addendum or a revision of the original document. Pirie & Smith can advise which route is the most appropriate

Performance and FMEA Trials

Class Societies, clients, and Industry Organisations require or advise regular trials in order to verify the performance of a vessel and the maintenance of the level of redundancy established in the DP FMEA.

Five year Trials

Full FMEA Proving Trials are required every five years as part of the Class Renewal Survey – Some consultants maintain that this requires a full revision of the DP FMEA document: this may not be the case, often only the trials are required and a revision of the class approved DP FMEA document may only be required if significant changes are made to the equipment fitted.

Annual Trials

Most classification societies require some verification of a DP system’s operational condition annually. Industry guidelines, IMCA and The DP Committee of MTS, recommend more extensive verification than most classification societies.

The traditional method of providing annual verification is to perform a set of annual trials witnessed by a third party auditor – the trials programme consists of a set of performance verification and some FMEA trials.

Rolling Trials

Many Owners are adopting Rolling Trials where the crew perform sets of performance and FMEA trials over the year – the results of these trials are sent to a third party to verify that the results in accordance with the performance and FMEA redundancy requirements.

Risk Analysis and Incident Investigation

Pirie & Smith’s DP Team have extensive field experience in drilling, construction and general offshore operations. This specialist experience can be applied for our clients in performing special task risk analysis for the development of activity specific operating guidelines (ASOG) and incident investigations.

For more information contact us directly at: dynamic.positioning@piriesmith.co.uk
FMEA Life Cycle
FMEA Life Cycle
Dynamic Positioning Control System
DP Control System
The Wheelhouse,
Greenwell Road, East Tullos,
Aberdeen, AB12 3AX
+44 (0) 1224 586882,


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