PipelayView - 4D Nav

PipelayView is a sophisticated real-time application capable of connecting to a variety of ship’s sensors and displaying numerical and graphical views of pipe installation parameters compared against design metrics. The application tightly integrates Orcina’s OrcaFlex FEA (Finite Element Analysis) engine allowing pipe catenary, touchdown, tensions and fatigue to be modeled in real-time. In addition, a scanning laser mounted with a view of the pipe exit from the lay vessel may be used to precisely measure the pipe exit angle which is then displayed on a bull’s-eye chart incorporated into the PipelayView screen.


  • Laser tracking continuously monitors pipe exit angle
  • Exit angle warning zones update dynamically based on measured tension and customer-created limits tables
  • Heave amplitude and period are computed from measurements and displayed against engineering limits
  • OrcaFlex static analysis model is continuously updated using vessel position from the survey system and measured pipe payout
  • Pipe fatigue is computed using measured vessel motion data as input to the OrcaFlex dynamic calculation
  • All raw data is saved to a relational database enabling installation data products to be delivered to the customer
  • Meets key logging requirements of DNV-OS-F101

OrcaFlex Integration

Pipelay View - OrcaFlex Integration - 4D Nav

The application may be interfaced to many sensor types allowing it to continuously update the OrcaFlex solution with measured payout and tension from the SCADA system, as well as vessel position, heading, pitch, roll and heave. A detailed digital terrain model (DTM) of the project area may be loaded into PipelayView and used to correct the model depth at each OrcaFlex calculation cycle.

Pipelay View - Steps - 4D NavTypically, each critical stage of the lay operation is first modeled in OrcaFlex by the pipe engineering analysis team. The resulting model files may be loaded directly into PipelayView and configured as selectable steps representing operations such as Free Hanging, Initiation, Normal Lay, Holdback for Welding, or PLET Laydown. As operations proceed, the pipe engineer or lay supervisor advances the system by transitioning from one step to the next.

Pipelay View - Model Results - 4D NavIn addition to numerical views of the data, a true-to-scale 3D view of the vessel, catenary and seabed are also presented. This is especially valuable when the ROV position data is interfaced to the system, allowing a full 3D model of the ROV with respect to the pipe catenary and seabed to be displayed. In addition, the view may be toggled at any time to show ROV video, such as may be desired when landing a PLET.

Pipelay View - Fatigue - 4D NavDuring welding operations, pipe fatigue is calculated approximately once every minute by operating OrcaFlex in dynamic mode. PipelayView samples the vessel pitch, roll and heave over a period of time and sends this motion data to OrcaFlex, which returns the damage-per-hour computed using the analyst’s model designed for the specific welding operation. This takes the guesswork out of estimating the allowable time window for each weld.


Pipelay View - PEMS - 4D NavThe Pipelay Exit Monitor System (PEMS) module of PipelayView simplifies the task of ensuring the pipe exit angle is always kept within design parameters. By processing the scanning laser data, the pipe center is continuously tracked to millimeter precision and compared to an ideal center. The intuitive bull’s-eye display presents lay supervisors with instant feedback, allowing informed decisions regarding vessel speed or payout to be made. Warning zones are configurable and typically set by an analyst. Real-time pipe tension read by the PEMS is used to automatically switch warning zone limits as the tension passes through each zone threshold.

Vessel Heave

Pipelay View - Vessel Heave - 4D NavVessel heave is measured using a survey-grade heave sensor and read into PipelayView for processing. A Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) is used to convert the raw heave data to heave amplitude and period. This is plotted on a chart comparing the measured heave against a heave limits curve over the time period range. The chart provides a definitive means of determining when the measured sea state approaches the safe operational limits of the pipe. This removes the uncertainty associated with subjective estimates of sea state.

Time Series

Pipelay View - Timeseries - 4D Nav

Vessel pitch, roll, surge, sway, heave and payout rate are all displayable in time series graphs, making it easy to estimate sea state trending or compare ratios over time.

Data Logging

Pipelay View - Data Logging - 4D Nav

All raw data is logged to a relational database, meeting a key requirement of DNV-OS-F101. Built-in data query tools make it easy to recover all or any portion of an installation’s raw data and export it to a CSV file. This simplifies creation of downstream customer data products.

Click here to view the PipelayView datasheet.