Björn Beckmann, Baker Hughes a GE Company
Drilling tools developed for the oil and gas market are often developed using a classical approach characterized by a certain separation of the disciplines and a late system level integration. System level verification is often not performed before running a prototype in a test well—a substantial timely and financial effort. Major design loops can be the outcome. At the same time, thorough verification of the tools is mandatory because failures in the commercial application are extremely costly and potentially dangerous. With time to market and reliability being major drivers, methods are required to integrate and test tools on the system level early, flexibly, and safely.
The application of Model-Based Design helps shift system level tests towards the early project phases. It enables more complete and automated testing at reduced cost. While a final demonstration in a test well may still be required, it can be conducted with an extensively tested tool, preventing major development loops. The executable model is further an effective tool for collaboration. It can be shared across disciplines to refine requirements and even train and collect feedback from the application engineers.
A practical development project of a drilling tool is discussed, which is one of the first in a series of developments at BHGE, utilizing Model-Based Design of the control functions including model-in-the-loop (MIL) and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) tests. Topics discussed include a plant and functional model, lessons learned, a successful field application, as well as a vision for the future.