The IFB News Pipe

Don’t just stick to your knitting

10 March 2017

IFB_Don't just stick to your knitting_Foxtail Marketing Image Foxtail Marketing


It might seem obvious to some that IFB is really great at Connecting, Protecting and Enabling business data – and normally in that order. What you might not know is that with these at our core we do a lot more to help our clients by being innovative in how we approach the use of digital technology in their space. This takes us well beyond the important leads and feeds – and in this case, has made an amazing difference.

“Working with IFB has helped us reduce our operating costs by an estimated £10m per annum across the lifetime of the platform.” – Freja

The Challenge

Firstly the downside of all this awesomeness is that we can’t actually name the client here BUT we can talk about the project. Our client – let’s call them Freja – have a new gas platform heading to the North Sea which is expected to meet 5% of the total UK demand at peak production in 2020/21 and estimated to support over 6,000 UK jobs, whilst creating around 400 new roles. This is a $4b investment and our part was to assist in moving it from being good – to being one of the most digitally advanced installations there is.

When we first set out the platform, of course, had the highest operational standards in a sector with lower than ever operating constraints. Also, it wasn’t going to be as well connected and joined up as it could be, not really embracing the benefits that IoT and Industry 4.0 could deliver – well above the industry in Oil & Gas terms but not as smart as it could be.

The Solution

Our first-hand experience – through research and real world use based on discovering and demonstrating the benefits of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Data – Analytics, Management and Enablement in business – means IFB’s experience in creating a relevant and innovative blended digital environment could make an impact within a range of industries and places.

We invited the team at Freja – who are experts in successfully running platforms on and offshore across all disciplines from critical IT infrastructure and services to Health and Safety operations, to a relevant demonstration of how the use of joined up, easy to use technology, given the opportunity, could improve business operations.

Basic stuff sometimes has the biggest impact – Using Google Glass (we still love Glass) and freely available applications we demonstrated the delivery of key data, instruction, information and intelligence in time to authorised personnel – faces, places, and spaces. We also demonstrated how 360 Virtual Reality and image capture could work in terms of familiarisation, training and fault finding in new and complex environments.

With the group we worked through how this technology combined with RFID, QR codes Visual Markers, asset and personnel tagging on the platform could provide unique data in terms of build, set-up, support, biometrics, performance reporting and asset location in real-time to the control room, on-site engineer or remote support and control.

IFB proved that well-connected technology – can deliver 4G and fibre connectivity to many of the platforms in the North and beyond – and real-time or in-time data analytics could be provided and in turn have a significant impact on how Freja would run and operate the new platform in the short, medium and long term.

The Result

The firm aim was always to increase and improve safety levels and working environments, efficiencies, reduce downtime and operating costs. The huge benefits of having a well-connected platform have resulted in Freja making a significant digital investment ($20m) in their new platform establishing it as one of the most digitally advanced in the world.

The result is a predicted operational saving of $10m per annum.

Some of the conditions here are unique but most are not and this demonstrates that with true collaboration and openness IFB can make a considerable, positive impact regardless of who you are without dropping a stitch.

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