David Knezevic, Co-founder and CTO, AkselosDavid Knezevic, Co-founder and CTO
In the complex world of oil fields and related industries, the risk to cost ratio is higher than others. A solution that mars the ability to overcome this difficulty is the need of the hour—the digital twin, a solution that not only manages to simulate the intricate Swiss-clock like nature of an oil field/refinery but one that diminishes those stakes considerably. MIT bred Akselos is a pioneer in the digital twin market, with their thoroughbred software solutions, which provides predictive digital twins of critical oil and gas assets such as Floating production storage and offloading vessels (FPSOs), semi-submersibles, onshore machinery, and refineries, to deliver insights ahead of deployment, whilst keeping the stakes reasonably low.

Spun out of MIT, Akselos is a pioneer in the digital twin market. Its physics-based simulation technology provides predictive digital twins for critical oil and gas infrastructure, including pipelines, fixed and floating assets and onshore machinery, to deliver real-time, condition-based monitoring and predictive analytics.

The core tech is engineering simulation software, that when coupled with sensors, machine learning and data analytics creates a predictive digital twin–or what the company calls a Digital Guardian. Since the co-founders started the company and commercialized it, the tech has been applied in several different large asset-centric industries, where the company has a clear advantage against competing technologies. The solution’s algorithms can scale to assets of unlimited size and enable analysis that’s 1000 times faster than the industry standard technology. Traditional simulation technology, which is based on a numerical method called finite element analysis (FEA), is very computationally intensive and slow when applied to substantial assets, creating significant limitations.

The algorithm Akselos has commercialized, RB-FEA, results in a tremendous boost in speed, scaling, detail, and accuracy. This enables operators to obtain a full structural integrity report of their assets within hours. The report takes into account the current condition of the asset and is based on analyzing thousands of scenarios to give a complete picture of the asset. This level of insight isn't feasible with alternative simulation technologies.

The key we provide is a high fidelity computational replica of the asset, which provides deep insights, to understand its current state, and helps make predictions

RB-FEA is the only technology of its kind that’s compatible with the digital oilfield–conventional simulation technology isn’t powerful enough.

Sensor-connected digital twins are also configured to be automatically re-calibrated at appropriate intervals. The re-calibration process involves performing a sequence of analyses to match the digital twin to the measured response of the physical asset. In this manner, the sensor-connected digital twin provides 24/7 eyes on the asset, and hence Akselos refers to this sensor-enhanced digital twin as their Digital Guardian solution.

“The key we provide is a high fidelity computational replica of the asset, which provides deep insights to understand its current state, and helps make predictions,” states David Knezevic, Akselos co-founder and CTO. “The system can then suggest whether the asset needs inspection, maintenance, repair and become more targeted in the operations around maintaining those critical assets. Akselos is ultimately leveraging digital twin technology to obtain OPEX reduction and safer, smarter operations.”

In one live FPSO implementation, the challenge was to ensure that the risks associated with the FPSO’s operational condition and life extension were understood and effectively controlled without incurring additional costs. Akselos’ Digital Guardian technology was used to automate the framework for analyzing inspection data using a holistic, detailed digital twin model. By using the Digital Guardian, the super major hopes to achieve significant ROI for the engineering workflow, enabling structural analysis as frequently as new inspection data is available.

Akselos’ solutions can be used on a variety of large-scale assets across multiple industries. At the moment the company is focusing on oil and gas and offshore wind.