ABS has achieved an industry first with the completion of the Rowan Companies’ Rowan Renaissance drillship. This newbuild, which was built in the Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) yard in Ulsan, South Korea, is the first in the world to have earned ABS’ Integrated Software Quality Management (ISQM) notation.
“As reliance on computer controlled systems has increased, verifying software programs –including their integration – has become critical to safe and efficient operations,” says ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki. “ABS developed ISQM, a risk-informed software development and maintenance process, to verify software at the time of installation and monitor for consistency and reliability when software updates or hardware changes are made.”
Historically, Class rules have focused on steel and equipment. ISQM focuses on the software that controls the equipment. ABS’ ISQM notation provides a clear process of minimizing software related risk throughout the life of an asset. “No other class society has classed the drilling equipment and other essential marine equipment with a software notation that addresses software quality during construction, at delivery and beyond,” says Paul Walters, ABS Manager.
Rowan Companies recognized the ABS ISQM process as the best option for describing the operation of the equipment, identifying and mitigating risk and verifying the many safety critical components of its high-specification asset. In its first application on the high-specification ultra-deepwater drillship Rowan Renaissance, ISQM facilitated reliable integration of products from more than half a dozen major suppliers and more than 35 subsystems.
The ISQM process has a goal of reducing safety, environmental and productivity risks while increasing efficiency and productivity of the drillship.
“We are pleased to have worked with ABS to be the first in the Industry to accomplish the ISQM notation” says Greg Lanier, Rowan’s Software Quality Manager. “Rowan stepped forward to apply ISQM on this series of newbuilds because of the program’s value. We believe our customers will reap the benefits. By following the ISQM software quality development process during construction of its four newbuild drillships, Rowan provides more value to its customers.”
According to Walters, coordination among the owner, builder and class society was the keystone for success in this industry first. “Everyone wanted this project to be a success,” Walters said. “HHI’s willingness to move into new territory was critical to reaching that goal.”
“As the world’s largest shipbuilding company, HHI has a history of pushing technology forward,” says Sang-Sik Yoon, ISQM Team Leader, HHI. “By working with ABS and Rowan Companies on this project, we have built up a knowledge base that puts us in a unique position to offer experience with a new process that will benefit our other clients.”
ABS Group provided a knowledgeable person who assisted with integration quality, project management and document tracking.