On June 26, 2022, China’s first “smart factory” for manufacturing offshore oil and gas equipment—COOEC Tianjin Intelligent Manufacturing Base was successfully put into operation, marking a major breakthrough in the intelligent transformation of China’s offshore oil and gas equipment industry.
The “smart factory” has a total area of about 575,000 m2. The core facilities include three intelligent production centers, seven auxiliary workshops, and eight final assembly bays with a total design annual capacity of 84,000 tons of structures. The “smart factory” has a quay with a total length of 1,631 meters that can accommodate offshore vessels and floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels. It focuses on providing high-end products, such as offshore oil and gas production platforms, topsides of these platforms and modules of FPSO units liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities, and building an intelligent manufacturing base with multiple functions including intelligent manufacturing of offshore oil and gas equipment, intelligent support for the operation and maintenance of oil and gas fields, and offshore technology innovation and R&D platform.
As a demonstration base for digital transformation of central enterprises, COOEC Tianjin Intelligent Manufacturing Base has employed a wide variety of advanced technologies such as 5G, industrial big data, and artificial intelligence technologies. By summarizing and analyzing the technologies and experiences accumulated over the years with respect to the planning, production organization and shop fabrication of large structures, the manufacturing base has implemented a complete intelligent manufacturing process covering project management and control, shop fabrication and plant management, provided a replicable and extendable mode of digital intelligence-based operation management for the offshore oil and gas equipment industry, and promoted the digital transformation of its operation management
The “smart factory” mainly consists of production systems represented by panel production lines, process piping production lines and automated three-dimensional warehouses, software-based management systems represented by digital intelligent manufacturing management system, production system and warehouse management system, supporting systems represented by data collection system, intelligent security system and monitoring system, and other systems such as workshop logistics and material distribution system. The objective is to promote the transition of the mode of offshore oil and gas equipment manufacturing from the traditional “manual factory’ to the modern “smart factory” through the application of intelligent manufacturing technologies and the refined integration of various systems.
With more than 400 sets of advanced intelligent manufacturing equipment for automatic welding, automatic grinding, intelligent fit-up, intelligent welding and intelligent warehousing, the “smart factory” has achieved intelligent prefabrication processes covering the delivery of materials, marking, fit-up, grinding, and welding. The automatic cutting rate for plates can reach up to 90%, and the automatic welding rate for deck panels can reach up to 70%. The overall production efficiency has been increased by more than 20% relative to the efficiency of the traditional production mode. Cost control and quality and safety management levels have been improved significantly.
The traditional offshore oil and gas equipment manufacturing industry is labor-intensive and typically characterized by multiple product types, long manufacturing processes, high degree of customization, and low level of standardization. The problem of data fragmentation is serious in various production links, making it very difficult to realize digital and intelligent transformation. It has become a prominent bottleneck restricting quality and efficiency improvement in the industry. COOEC has established a core technology team with over 200 members; cooperated with reputable universities and research institutions both at home and abroad; integrated high-quality domestic and foreign resources; overcome many key technical difficulties in intelligent manufacturing with respect to intelligent production scheduling, intelligent positioning and fit-up, automatic cutting and welding, and intelligent warehousing; innovatively applied ten advanced technologies that are “industrial firsts” in China, such as “large-scale robotic welding of offshore oil and gas equipment”; achieved digital management of offshore oil and gas equipment manufacturing processes, order-based management of production tasks, automation of production equipment, and visualization of production processes; and filled the gaps in many domestic technologies for digital intelligent manufacturing of offshore oil and gas equipment.
The innovative application of 10 advanced technologies such as "large-scale robotic welding of offshore oil and gas equipment" in China has realized the digitization of offshore oil and gas equipment manufacturing process management, production task work order, production equipment automation and production process visualization, filling my country's marine oil and gas equipment. There are many technical gaps in the field of digital and intelligent manufacturing of oil and gas equipment.
The startup of COOEC Tianjin Intelligent Manufacturing Base is an important milestone achieved in COOEC’s efforts in recent years to actively implement the new energy security strategy of “Four Revolutions and One Cooperation” and promote progress in digital transformation and green and low-carbon development. In the future, COOEC will continue to strengthen its efforts in the development of independent leading technologies, vigorously improve its capacity in offshore oil and gas equipment manufacturing, manufacture offshore oil and gas equipment independently, maximize the use of self-manufactured equipment in the development of oil and gas resources, and make greater contributions in promoting the development of offshore technologies, achieving independent R&D of advanced technologies, ensuring China’s national energy security, and building China into a great maritime power.