Orcina news

Here you will find the latest news on the development of OrcaFlex. Alongside our LinkedIn page, it is a valuable source of information about what we are up to!

OrcaFlex Development plans for 10.2 and beyond

In the past we have not been very expansive about our development plans for OrcaFlex – usually nothing more than a short bullet list on our website. We’d like to engage more with our users about upcoming OrcaFlex developments. This post is intended to kick-start us in that direction.

But before we get into the details, here are some points that might be useful background:

  • For roughly the last 10 years OrcaFlex has been released annually, usually around September or October.
  • The latest release of OrcaFlex is 10.1c. Version 10.1a was released in October 2016.
  • The version number denotes the major release – 10.1 is the current major release, 10.2 will be the next major release.
  • Each version number has a minor revision letter with a marking the first minor revision, b indicating the second minor revision, etc.
  • Minor revisions are intended to fix bugs rather than introduce major new functionality.
  • Our website details OrcaFlex releases since version 9.5 in 2011.
  • We also occasionally remove functionality – usually when we believe this is not being used.

In terms of individual functionality changes (both additions and removals), our software team plan to blog more about these on other occasions. This post summarises our planning process and states where we are currently with our plans for version 10.2 and beyond.

Software Planning Process

After the annual release of OrcaFlex (late Q3 / early Q4) and completion of the UGMs, December is review time. Here we more formally set priorities for the next development cycle and consider (a) those items on the list for the last release but which didn’t make it, (b) feedback from discussions with users throughout out the year, and (c) feedback from the UGMs.

Essentially we keep a long list of potential OrcaFlex developments. There are many more items on this list than we can hope to include each release, so items at the top receive more attention than those further down. In theory the list is fluid and can change throughout the year, but in practice the priorities set each December tend to remain fairly stable through to the next release.

Whilst we can’t commit to put all requests into OrcaFlex, we are strongly guided by the needs of those who show their faith in OrcaFlex by continuing with maintenance contracts (MUS).

2016 UGM Feedback

We’re constantly delighted at the numbers attending our annual UGMs, and indeed at the number of completed UGM feedback forms. We thought we should start sharing this feedback. On the forms we suggest a number of candidate features and ask for your top three, but also encourage ideas that are not on that list. In 2016 our suggested list was:

  • Marine growth modelling
  • Results at nodes as well as mid-segments
  • Parametric study tool using Python
  • Software-based licensing rather than dongles
  • Group CoG for collections of objects
  • Restarts
  • Colour contoured results plotting on lines
  • Enhancements targeting mooring analysis
  • Diffraction analysis
  • Better lateral seabed modelling
  • Direct thermal & pressure effects on lines
  • Better suction pile trapped water handling
  • T-z modelling (suction piles, conductors)
  • Features for analysis of drilling risers

We also noted that Line Payout was subject of an ongoing development, and we’re actively working on this at the moment. The outcome of the feedback on the list is, in rank order:

  1. Better lateral seabed modelling
  2. Parametric study tool using Python
  3. Enhancements targeting mooring analysis
  4. Diffraction analysis
  5. Restarts
  6. Software-based licensing rather than dongles
  7. Direct thermal & pressure effects on lines
  8. Reporting of line results at nodes, in addition to mid-segments
  9. Marine growth modelling
  10. Features for analysis of drilling risers
  11. Group CoG for collections of objects

And yes, moorings and diffraction really did come joint 3rd!

Current Priority List

So the outcome of the December review process is the following list:

  • Restoration, as an option, of 9.8 calculated vessels
  • Features related to mooring analysis (workflow tailored to mooring analysis, better extremes results, etc.)
  • Reporting of line results at nodes, in addition to mid-segments
  • Line payout
  • Restarts
  • Better lateral seabed modelling
  • Vertical and horizontal clearance results
  • Spatial variation and spatial coherence for wind
  • Histogram collation for multiple simulations
  • Better handling of point loads for DNV pipelay code
  • Large machine / NUMA support for Distributed OrcaFlex
  • Software licensing rather than dongles

As noted above, this list reflects not just the UGM feedback, but also takes account of other feedback we receive outside of the UGM meetings.

Many of these are now underway. Colleagues in the software development group plan to blog more about these in future posts. But in the meantime if you want any more information on any of the above, then please get in touch through the usual channels.