Rowan newbuild first with ABS ISQM notation

MARCH 27, 2014 — Classification society ABS reports that Rowan Companies' newbuild Rowan Renaissance drillship is the first in the world to have earned ABS' Integrated Software Quality Management (ISQM) notation.

Capable of drilling wells to depths of 40,000 feet in waters of up to 12,000 feet, Rowan Renaissance is a GustoMSC P10,000 design drillship built at Hyundai Heavy Industries, South Korea.

"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. The 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.

ABS says that 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  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 the 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 Mr. 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," he said, noting, "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 an expert who assisted with integration quality, project management and document tracking.

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