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CEED Project Abstracts 2003-2004

School of Civil & Resource Engineering

School of Computer Science & Software Engineering

School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering

School of Mechanical Engineering

Graduate School of Management

Abstracts

Influence of reaction pile proximity on the performance of piles in static load tests
Emmanuel Deligeorges
School of Civil & Resource Engineering
Arup

Many static pile load tests involve the use of reaction piles to resist the compression or tension load applied to the test pile. However, a systematic experimental study into the influence of these reaction piles on the performance of a test pile has yet to be performed. This project will therefore examine the effect of the proximity of the reaction piles to test piles in a series of carefully designed load tests in the UWA drum centrifuge. The experiments will focus on examining effects associated with the use of driven reaction piles in clay on the performance of driven test piles. Case history data, theoretical understanding and computer analysis with PIGLET and OASYS SAFE will be used to substantiate and refine the findings.

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Understanding the Relationship between Field Penetrometers and Laboratory Test Results for Carbonate Silty SandsDarren Goodison
School of Civil Engineering
Woodside Energy Limited

There have been a number of offshore sites around Australia where difficulties have arisen in resolving differences between laboratory strengths, such as those measured in the simple shear apparatus, and shear strengths deduced from field penetration tests, in particular using the T-bar penetrometer. The common factors appear to be (a) a high carbonate content, and (b) silty (even sandy) nature of the soils. Almost all previous experience, both offshore and onshore, has indicated a reasonable end bearing factor of around 10 to 12 relating the T-bar penetration resistance and the laboratory simple shear strength. However in some calcareous silt, for example at a recently investigated calcareous silt site in the north west shelf of Australia, this factor appears to vary quite widely, but mostly fell in the range 5 to 8. This paper investigates the geotechnical properties of the calcareous silt sediment through a series of laboratory tests, ultimately providing possible reasons for such a low end bearing factor.

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Human Factors in Applying a “Realise the Limit” Philosophy to Platform Well Maintenance & Well Services Activities
Olivia Newstead
School of Civil & Resource Engineering
Woodside Energy Ltd

As a fast growing company in the oil and gas industry it is essential for Woodside to achieve continuous performance improvement. For this reason new procedures must be trialled and factors affecting performance understood. Some of the factors often forgotten are the human factors. This study attempts to implement the Shell “Realise the Limit” philosophy in the Well Services area and identify and understand those human factors which aided and hindered implementation.


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Drag Force Reduction Device for Subsea Pipelines
Vinh Nguyen
School of Civil and Resource Engineering
Woodside Energy Limited/JP Kenny

One of the main factors influencing the stability of subsea pipelines is the hydrodynamic loading due to offshore waves and currents. The aim of this paper is to investigate the effects of attaching external streamline devices to a pipeline resting on the seabed with the intention of reducing the drag force and improving the overall stability. Analyses have been carried out using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) packages Fluent and Gambit to model regular wave and current environmental conditions on the seabed. The results of the analyses showed that the proposed fairing shaped device did reduce the drag force but it did not improve the overall stability of a submarine pipeline and hence different shaped devices would have to be further investigated.


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Evaluation of Scour Around Shallow Seabed Obstructions
Jason Price
School of Civil and Resource Engineering
Woodside Energy Ltd.

This paper attempts to derive improved guidelines for estimating the extent of local scour around a structure founded on a non-cohesive material (sand or gravel).

Laboratory tests were conducted in a wave tank in an attempt to simulate sea floor conditions. There were two series of tests. The first series attempted to gain an understanding of the effect of pile height on the resulting scour depth. The next series used a model of an offshore structure, and compared the scour experienced for varying transparencies.

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Reducing The Cognitive Complexity of Performing a Complex Task Through the Explicit Presentation of Abstract DimensionsAngel Kennedy
Schools of Computer Science
School of Psychology
Raytheon Australia

High cognitive complexity in task performance requirements can result in poor performance on the part of domain practitioners. Reduction of complexity can be achieved by providing external representations of information that support the performance of tasks required. Well established methods of analysing the problem space can be used to determine what information is required for task performance. A method of organisation that has been used previously is to represent information directly in terms of the options and how they relate to relevant dimensions. There can be a trade off among types of representations between the amount of detail provided and how easy it is to elicit relevant information and use it. This paper presents representations of several possible levels of abstraction, information augmentation and integration in a sub-task of performing Track Motion Analysis and provides a brief comparison of their likely impact on task performance.

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Game Engine Modelling of Torpedo Track Simulations
Raymond Ong
School of Computer Science and Software Engineering
Raytheon Australia

Outdated torpedo track visualisation technology is only able to show torpedo tracks in two dimensions. It is proposed that a better system of visualisation can be developed using a more intuitive three dimensional representation of track movement. This is to be done through modification of a consumer grade video game engine. In doing so, the application of software development processes to game engine modification can be assessed. An Agile software process called Scrum was employed in the development. In the course of adhering to this process, a set of six system requirements was extracted from the client company. Of these six requirements, four were successfully implemented into the prototype system. As a result of the implementation, it is possible to conclude that it is viable to use computer game engines to visualise torpedo tracks. It is inferred that three dimensional representations of torpedo tracks have a benefit over existing two dimensional representations. From this project it can be concluded that a less restrictive nature of the Scrum process compared to traditional processes has two benefits – casual developers are more likely to subscribe to the process, and structured development results in more correct, better quality software systems.

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Torpedoes on Target: Evolutionary Algorithms on Track
Nicole Patterson
School of Computer Science and Software Engineering
Raytheon Australia

Planning a torpedo track is a challenging task for deployers. Tracks must be designed in a high pressure environment with multiple constraints in mind. This paper presents an application of Evolutionary Algorithms (EAs) to torpedo track planning. The algorithm seeks to find a good track for a torpedo to follow in a scenario it is given with different priorities and constraints. The EA also considers the environment the engagement takes place in. Three scenarios are presented for single torpedo, single target engagements which show the EA is producing promising results.

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ASE-3000 Control System: Design of “Backward Compatible” Electronics and SoftwareAndre Arianto Umbul
School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer EngineeringWoodside Energy Limited

To produce oil and gas from Subsea Electronic Module (SEM) are used to measure, monitor and operate equipment located on the seabed. Starting late 2003, the SEM currently used by Woodside for the Cossack/Wanaea field, the ASE-3000, can no longer be supported by the suppliers as they are unable to source suitable components which are no longer being manufactured The proposed replacement SEM are the much more modern and faster iCon SEM. To save cost of installing separate umbilical for the different communication protocols from ASE-3000 and iCon, Woodside is considering utilising Frequency Division Multiplexing that would allow the new iCon SEM and the old ASE-3000 SEM to run simultaneously on the same existing umbilical. After an overview of the system and various simulations in MATLAB and SIMULINK, it was shown that a reliable data transmission can be achieved when we multiplex two different communication protocols, FSK 1200bps and FSK 9600bps, on the same pair of wires.


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Determine the optimal process for relay spares management for Network Business Unit (South West Interconnected System)
Adele Wong
School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
Western Power Corporation

Purchasing and storing spares for large numbers of expensive equipment like relays can be costly and uneconomical if the appropriate level is not maintained. The purpose of this project is to aid Western Power in developing a spares policy for the protection relays on its transmission system. Concerns on the current spares policy with regard to the level of spare relays to hold are addressed. The approach taken will be to model failure rates in order to develop spare holding levels that account for future failure rates.

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Evaluation and Validation of Start-up Costs for
Generation Units

Matthew Thomson
School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
Western Power Corporation

With competition in any industry comes greater analysis of costs. The energy market is no different and one cost that has been ignored until recently is start-up costs of generation units. The importance of this cost depends on the mode of operation of the unit. Start-up costs are most relevant for peaking units but also a huge consideration for mid-merit units. Getting the costs right for these plants will make the decision on what machines to start each morning a more informed economic decision and could save thousands of dollars each day. Most companies are underestimating their start-up costs, but by how much and what the correct value should be is not known. No formulae can be given to calculate these costs because they are specific to each generation unit depending on its design and operating history. However, methodologies have been developed that can guide an operator to obtain a better understand of their real costs.


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Investigation into the Cause of Damage to Electronic Appliances
Gemma Hirst
School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
Western Power Corporation

Western Power Corporation has received many complaints about appliance damage following switch off and restoration of power situations. This cumulated in October last year when 50 customers filed complaints after losing power in the Collie Power Station outage. Since the situation did not result in a known power surge, Western Power is at a loss to explain this damage. This project is required to study the possible mechanisms that could cause this damage, aided by the claims from this particular outage. Since the circuitry of appliances continues to become more complex and therefore more sensitive, it is likely the problem will continue to worsen until a solution can be found

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Torpedo Spoofing
Nicholas J. Pelly
School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Raytheon Australia

The principle challenge of low-cost torpedo spoofing is to create the appearance of a moving sound source from a stationary device. This effect is achieved by exploiting the inability of passive sonar to accurately range on a target. The major effects of range and velocity on an underwater sound source are summarised as spreading loss, absorption loss and the Doppler shift. Efficient methods of applying these effects to a signal reproduced using the Yule-Walker method of signal modelling are proposed. A commercially available alternate noise source is used throughout for testing as an alternative to classified torpedo noise.

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Optimising Gas Export Compressor Uptime
Pawel Bilski
School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering
Woodside Energy Ltd

Gas export compression is an important part of the Cossack Pioneer FPSO’s oil production system. Gas export has a direct impact on the ability to produce oil at the nominated rate. An online condition and performance monitoring system, Compass, was consequently proposed to improve early fault detection and diagnosis. This paper discusses the implementation of Compass for the gas compressors and analyses its potential in optimising the gas export system’s uptime. Compressor performance and operation are examined and some improvements are proposed for more efficient and reliable operation.

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Development of a Design Guideline for Mineral Sand Slurry Pumping
Christian Halkjaer
School of Mechanical Engineering
Iluka Resources Ltd.

The aim of this project is to develop a technical guideline for the design and operation of mineral sand slurry pumping systems based on empirical data gathered from Iluka’s existing operations. Important criteria for the design of slurry systems are the prediction of flow regimes and friction factors. Several hundred thousand pressure readings were taken from slurry feed lines at Iluka’s Midwest Site. This data shows strong empirical evidence relating the slurry flow regimes and friction losses to the both the operating conditions and physical properties of the mixture. Establishing these relationships will assist in developing the design criteria and operating conditions for future slurry systems.

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Design of a Dual Purpose Plaster and Offspec Fertiliser Feed SystemZaheer Hansia
School of Mechanical Engineering
CSBP Limited

Plaster is an ingredient of various compound fertilisers produced at CSBP in the granulation plant. Plaster is currently introduced into the process in a premix, a costly and labour intensive process. This project investigates the handling characteristics and parameters of plaster to design a dedicated plaster feed system. For further justification the feed system will be designed as dual purpose and capable of recycling off-specification fertilisers. A dedicated feed system will assist in increasing production of certain granulated compound fertilisers and will improve profits on offspec fertilisers. The project work is split into two complementary parts; materials testing and project engineering to design and construct a plaster/offspec feed system.

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Load Sharing in Triaxle GroupsGraham Jacoby
School of Mechanical Engineering
Main Roads Western Australia

Many heavy vehicles in Western Australia make use of triaxle groups to gain concessions that permit them to carry heavier loads. Main Roads Western Australia has acquired evidence suggesting many triaxle suspensions in WA are functioning incorrectly, causing road damage. This paper will explain the problem, provide a brief literature review and outline the analytical procedures used to assess the situation. Analysis confirmed that West Australian triaxle groups were indeed malfunctioning, causing up to 2-3 times more road damage than anticipated.

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Premature Failure Analysis of Shovel Hydraulic Cylinders
Kelvin Mak
School of Mechanical Engineering
Hamersley Iron (Pilbara Iron) Pty Ltd

This paper is aimed at elucidating the root cause(s) of frequent failures of hydraulic cylinders on Hamersley Iron hydraulic mining shovel fleet. Preliminary investigation confirmed that many failure cases were premature, it was revealed that the dynamic reciprocating seals are the critical component in most breakdown incidences. The reliability and service life of hydraulic cylinder depends on many parameters including design, material, operating condition and maintenance practices , this investigation employed a range of modern condition monitoring techniques including FTIR, Pensky Martin Test, ICP, TAN Test, Thermography, Wear Debris Filtergram and ESEM-EDX to help identify the dominant root cause. Test results indicated that the premature failures were likely to be the result of a phenomenon known as Micro-Dieseling or Pressure-Induced Dieseling (PID). Micro-dieseling generally occurs in hydraulic systems when micro-bubbles suspended in the oil are compressed or heated to an extent that it creates localized spontaneous ignition of the air/gas mixture.

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Flow Optimisation of Odour Control Duct System
Daniel Maloney
School of Mechanical Engineering
Water Corporation of Western Australia

The Beenyup Waste treatment plant is located 25 kilometres north of Perth. A recently installed odour control system, consisting of two separate duct networks, removes odorous air from covered treatment tanks. Concerns with the flow from the first duct network arose, due to continuing odour complaints after completion. The investigation of the performance and capabilities of this stage would determine if further modifications were necessary. A mathematical model has been developed to simulate flow throughout the network and changes the damper positions and fan speed to reach predetermined criteria. It was found that the current system settings remove insufficient air from particularly odorous areas; this could be rectified by adjusting the damper positions (the improved positions being an output of the model). The inclusion of fan performance curves into the model enabled the maximum flow from the system (at optimum damper settings) to be determined. This flow, although only a preliminary result, is an improvement of approximately 44% on the current flow. If the prediction of the overall flow and pressure are confirmed, it is unlikely that any further modifications would be necessary.

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Modelling Ore Breakage in an Ore-pass
Rick Mavrick
School of Mechanical Engineering
Rio Tinto Technical Services

This article details a methodology that has been developed in order to model the comminution of bulk ore that occurs in P.T. Freeport, Indonesia’s Grasberg ore-passes. The model takes advantage of recent developments in modelling rock breakage and incorporates them into an iterative framework, representative of the ore breakage processes inside an ore-pass. The advantage of using Banini’s models of ore breakage within a structured iterative framework is that it allows the calculations to be tailored to the particle bed breakage environment and allows the model to be sensitive to a wide range of pre-existing material and bulk ore parameters without the significant computational expense of a full simulation. In the specific case of the Grasberg ore-passes the ore falls over 550 metres. This creates a significant size-reduction in the ore before milling begins. Ultimately, by better understanding the sensitivities of the ore-pass to a variety of blends of material types, optimisations can be made to the processes around the ore-pass that could lead to increased throughput or energy savings throughout the larger mineral processing system at the mine.

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Strategic Review of Alcoa’s Kwinana Alumina Refinery Milling Circuit
Ben Percy
School of Mechanical Engineering
Alcoa World Alumina Australia

This study provides a strategic review of the Milling Building within Alcoa’s Kwinana Alumina Refinery. The aim is to examine the individual components of the milling circuit, with a focus on the failure characteristics and the mean times to repair (MTTR). Using this information, and the relevant cost data, a financial model will be created with a view to determining the dollar benefit of possible changes to the milling circuit. The financial model demonstrated that altering the rerod schedule should create opportunities worth in excess of $200,000 annually. Also, increasing the rod charge or decreasing the feed size by 10% is expected to increase annual profits by $1 million and $1.6 million respectively.

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The Economic impact of the Noongar people on the Western Australian Economy
Duncan Ord
Graduate School of Management
South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council

The Noongar people are the original inhabitants of the South West of Western Australia, the nature and value of their contribution to the economy of Western Australia has never previously been quantified. The study examines the economic flow of income and expenditure within the Noongar community and details the high level of welfare dependence experienced by the majority of the Noongar population. It also confirms the potential of Native title and the resulting right to negotiate to leverage future economic and social development.

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