MCS Lauches Pipelay Software

Subsea engineering consultancy MCS is launching new software to help engineers analyze the installation of pipelines. The revolutionary software, called PipeLay, allows engineers a degree of detail and accuracy never before available.

"With deeperwater and more complex installation of pipelines on the seabed, the installation contractor needs more sophisticated software to analyse the installation operation," explains David Gough of MCS. "Pipeline design is now increasingly governed by the installation process and the loading to which the pipeline is subjected on its journey from deck to seafloor, putting new demands on the engineering performed by the contractor.

"PipeLay is easy to use software, designed for engineers who need an efficient, robust analysis and the ability to model a whole range of scenarios from the simplest to the most complex.

PipeLay will be launched at OTC on May 3, 2006 by MCS, a recognized industry leader in subsea engineering and software.

The launch of PipeLay is the culmination of development work which began in 2001 when MCS was approached by major players in this arena - Allseas Engineering and Heerema Marine Contractors. The first stage was to develop the program's structure, user interface and analytical capabilities. After seeing how much could be achieved, the original sponsors were joined by pipelaying heavy-hitters – Saipem, Technip and Petrobras – to make PipeLay the state of the art software for pipelay installation operations. This involved equipping the software with the flexibility to model any possible configuration, to analyse any possible installation sequence and to significantly increase the speed of operation of the program.

MCS will demonstrate the unique, accurate and detailed capabilities of PipeLay in relation to its predecessor, Flexcom, to pipeline installation contractors and others in the industry at the event in the Reliant Center.

Gough adds: "Flexcom, MCS' flagship program, has been the industry standard for over 20 years for the analysis of rigid and flexible risers, pipelines and umbilicals. The finite element analysis engine at the core of PipeLay, that is the part used to simulate the response of the pipeline to the ambient environment and loading, is effectively Flexcom.

"But the design of PipeLay is totally different. It is a specialist engineering tool that combines Flexcom's powerful analytical capabilities with a highly intuitive user interface and automated procedures for running and reporting on analyses of all realistic configurations and scenarios. For example, the PipeLay user doesn't have to worry about defining the finite element model geometry, the program does the mesh generation automatically. It is therefore easy to use but automatic and comprehensive."