J-Lay workstation automation, short lead time, no specifications and high requirements for quality and reliability



DCV Aegir
The Aegir is Heerema’s Swiss pocket knife. With this ship, Heerema is able to implement complex infrastructural and pipelay projects in ultra-deep water (> 2000 metres). The ship is also equipped with a crane that has a lifting capacity of 4000 mT, enabling platforms to be placed in shallow water.

The challenge
Heerema is always seeking to make improvements to its processes. As part of this, Heerema came up with a completely new concept for this workstation in the J-lay towers of the Aegir. The idea consisted of an improvement in the areas of safety, efficiency and quality. Within the workstation, the sections of pipe that are welded to each other on the deck (doubles, quads and hex) are made into a single pipeline. This involves the ends of the pipe sections undergoing various processes in order to finally achieve a high-quality connection.

Various pieces of equipment from a range of suppliers are used for these processes; they are very large and can weigh up to 6000 kg. The idea was to integrate these various pieces of equipment from different suppliers into a single control system and to have them perform the entire process automatically. Accurate positioning is every important in order to be able to guarantee the quality.

The project also had a very short lead time and many details were still unknown at the outset.

We implemented this order on behalf of and in close collaboration with Heerema. The project was implemented on the basis of an AGILE / SCRUM method because there were still a lot of unknown factors to begin with and we had to be able to adapt ourselves throughout the entire process to the changes that were still taking place. Within the process, we made use of simulations, functional and real-time 3D.

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Heerema Offshore Services


  • Concept design
  • Software design
  • Software specification
  • Software engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Winmod simulation
  • 3D-simulation
  • Panel construction
    • Junction boxes
    • MCC
    • Control desk
  • Electrical installation
  • Commissioning
  • Documentation


  • Siemens S7
  • Bosch Rexroth MLC-H (motion controller)
  • Citect SCADA