Electrosonic World 18 - page 8-9

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CORPORATE, COMMERCIAL & ACADEMIC
CORPORATE, COMMERCIAL & ACADEMIC
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production platforms, the running of “Technology Days”
in Aberdeen that bring the latest AV and collaboration
technologies right to the clients’ doorsteps, and the opening
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the area.
Most people would assume that the industry would already
be using the latest in communication equipment, video
conferencing and so on. However, they would be only
partially correct; the industry is now quite “old” and some of
the infrastructure introduces limitations. For example on a
production platform, the original cabling cannot be replaced
without enormous expense, and until recently, communication
channels to the platforms had limited bandwidth, and megabit
capacity for digital video was simply not available.
Electrosonic in the
A number of factors have led to a much greater use of AV and
collaboration technologies in recent years.
In summary:
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platforms. This can be achieved if both platform and shore-
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and images.
• A greater proportion of the platforms now have good
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with smooth motion presentation has transformed users’
attitudes to the use of video links. People who used to be
suspicious about what they perceived as a “big brother”
medium now wonder how they managed without it.
Electrosonic has been supporting the energy industry for
many years, particularly in the Aberdeen area of Scotland.
Recently it has invested in strengthening this support in a
number of ways.
performance, and the application is communication with
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However, systems used for actual operations are much
more likely to use a collaboration format, suitable for
“long hours” and for participants to be running multiple
applications on their computers.
While some companies take a “traditional” approach, in
that meeting room and collaboration spaces are clearly
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come about because of a realization that communication
can be both continuous and spontaneous. One manager
told Electrosonic that his company does not yet know what
the optimum arrangement is, and, because of the continual
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knows how many people may be in the operations space at
any time.
For this reason, the company’s initial installation allows
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of micro-meeting spaces where colleagues can set up
spontaneous meetings with groups of various sizes, and
with participants from any location. Large screens installed
throughout the area convey up-to-date supporting
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learns how, and by whom, the systems are used in practice.
With installations of this kind, Electrosonic has not only
installed the complex shore-based facility, but has also
delivered and installed the “far end” equipment on the
production platforms.
In practice the oil and gas companies use AV in many
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stages of updating their facilities, and sometimes because
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some have rigid corporate rules, possibly dictated from
Houston, Calgary, Stavanger, London or The Hague,
while others actively encourage their Aberdeen sites to
experiment with new approaches to collaboration.
In respect of the shore-based installations, many of the
applications are the same as those for “conventional”
corporate AV. Thus lobby and public area displays,
meeting room facilities, and corporate video conferencing
systems follow normal practice. It is those aspects which
are related to the operation of the remote platforms
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One example is the management of logistics related to
platform operation. Here, there is a 24/7 need to know
what is going on in respect of transport to and from the
rigs, to manage the related transport operations, and to
be fully aware of external conditions such as weather and
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in how they are presented, and as to whether they exist
in isolation or as part of a multi-discipline operations
space.
One company uses a four-screen array to display
information related to its helicopter movements. It shows
schedules, real time data and images and supporting
information. The array has another set of screens
mounted back-to-back, and these display information
related to boat movements. While the teams responsible
for air and sea movements operate independently, they
are co-located.
Video conferencing setups vary enormously. There is still
a place for conventional installations based on formal
meetings and the boardroom table, now invariably with
twin screens. Here, great attention is paid to audio
North Sea
Photographs clockwise from left:
• A video wall in the public area of an energy company is an example of a
“conventional” application of AV in the industry.
• A typical conference room style video conferencing installation in Aberdeen.
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with more information being displayed, and more image sources.
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provides a small control room from which the Electrosonic technician can
monitor all AV equipment in the building.
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