In the following interview Jeppe Lützhøft, winner of the German Renewables Award 2020, working at Semco Maritime in Esbjerg, Denmark, as Senior Electric Engineer, explains the concept of Automatic Corrosion Management.
Renewable Energy Hamburg: How did the idea for this project evolve? How did the cooperation with Global Tech One develop?
Jeppe Lützhøft: "At Semco Maritime, we always seek inspiration. We want to inspire, and we want to be inspired. This goes for colleagues, our vendors, our partners, and especially our clients alike. Our Innovation Team calls for ideas twice per year where the focus is to find new manners, approaches, technologies, and processes to do just that. My idea came from the notion that I knew that there is a lot of research done, both in practice and in academia, on how to work with different technologies such as 3D, AI/Machine learning, etc., which I tried to combine with one of the biggest challenges that our clients are faced with – corrosion. Global Tech I is a highly valued client and partner for Semco Maritime. They have always showed openness, keenness and great interest in all of our innovation projects, both as testing partners as well as clients. It was a natural choice for us to approach them in this particular project, and we look forward to work even closer with them in future projects."
Renewable Energy Hamburg: How does the AI work you are using?
Jeppe Lützhøft: "To do an inspection, we send a 3D camera out to do a scan of the asset, which is combined with high resolution pictures. We feed the pictures into our machine learning algorithm, and the output is presented to the owner of the asset. This is combined with a software in which you can find all the areas of corrosion detected, follow, trace, and assign different features to the points."
Renewable Energy Hamburg: What is the main difference between matters of corrosion in the oil & gas industry and the offshore wind industry?
Jeppe Lützhøft: "A highly acknowledged client of ours in the Oil & Gas industry put it very well: ‘I don’t need your algorithm to detect where the corrosion is – I just need to open my eyes and it’s everywhere!’. With this single sentence, he actually told us many things: There are Oil & Gas platforms that are older than the entire offshore wind industry many times over, and as such, following or tracing the evolvement of corrosion is 1) more difficult 2) not necessarily as relevant as in the Offshore Wind Industry. What he also said, however, was that the Automatic Corrosion Management tool by far outwins the current players in the corrosion business by presenting a holistic, structured, and continuous approach. So whenever there are assets 10 years or younger, the Automatic Corrosion Management tool is by far the best to use."
Renewable Energy Hamburg: What are future fields for digitalisation projects in offshore wind according to your opinion?
Jeppe Lützhøft: "Well, the digital world is moving really fast. From what we can read in the statistics, combined with Semco Maritime’s more than 30 years of experience offshore, we find that the biggest values for now can be found within the fields of automation and digital workflows as well as being able to conduct advanced analytics (e.g. in terms of AI). But with that comes of course the additional very relevant and highly needed subjects of IoT, cyber security, VR/AR, Blockchains etc. All of which we are working on in Semco Maritime: because we see a need to, and, most importantly, because our clients do as well."