“If the present growth trends in world population, industrialization, pollution, food production, and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth on this planet will be reached sometime within the next one hundred years. The most probable result will be a rather sudden and uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity”, concluded in 1972 the report The Limits to Growth, published by the Club of Rome.
This global think tank was the first to use computer simulation analyzing exponential economic and population growth versus finite resource supplies. The original version presented a model based on five variables: world population, industrialization, pollution, food production and resources depletion. These variables are considered to grow exponentially, while the ability of technology to increase resources availability is only linear. So the 1970’s would know the environmental movement.
Since corrosion has a direct impact in pollution, it was about the same time that the first evaluation of the cost of corrosion was conducted. The Hoar Report revealed that 3% to 4% of the GDP of industrialized countries is lost annually to corrosion. All similar evaluations performed later by different organizations basically came to the same conclusion. But the Hoar Report already emphasized that 25% of the annual cost of corrosion could be saved just by applying existing knowledge on corrosion control.
R&D efforts
The World Corrosion Organization published a whitepaper in 2009 (Dissemination, Research, and Development in Materials Deterioration and Corrosion Control) that concludes:
“To satisfy the basic needs of the 6.3 billion people on this globe, including proper nutrition, clean water, good health, safe housing, dependable energy, effective communication, and mobility, many technological changes with global dimensions must be accomplished. While this concept is widely appreciated as such, there is often only a limited awareness of how critical it is to solve corrosion problems and what the real implications are to society”.
The intention of the study was to demonstrate with several examples that future technological challenges can only be met by “immense R&D efforts worldwide in the fields of materials, surface protection, corrosion control, and condition-based monitoring”.
“It appears that in literally all cases, key problems related to materials degradation and corrosion must be solved. This involves materials stability under new environmental conditions or functional adjustment of environments and materials surface properties by appropriate surface modification methods. This work must include efficient management of corrosion mitigation and service integrity. Condition-based monitoring will be one of the key factors to ensure service integrity. However, this can only be accomplished with innovative sensor devices that have yet to be developed. Global standards should be established to foster condition-based monitoring as a standard procedure”, stated the document.
Maintenance and corrosion management systems
Duperron Marangon office at the beginning of the 1990sDespite the Digital Revolution and its growing popularity from the 1970’s, it was only in the beginning of the 1990’s that computers starter to be used to maintenance and corrosion management. Until that time, all the information of critical facilities, like ships or offshore platforms, was kept in papers that used to be spread in lots of piles when any repair must have been done.
“Then we were forced to follow blindly the price of shipyards without any control”, remember Duperron Marangon, naval engineer and consultant for Brazilian mining company Vale at that time, for the maintenance of its ships (the picture shows his office at the beginning of the 1990’s). It was a huge and non-intelligent work, so, he decided to develop a finite element calculator associated to digital spreadsheets that showed up to be much more efficient.
Ships are the largest steel structures produced by man. They go through a continuous process of maintaining their structures and equipment and, every five years, on average, need to stop in shipyards for structural repairs. Due to the aging fleet and the increasing environmental concerns, it has become essential to exercise better control over the maintenance of ships. Thus, they were natural candidates for carrying out validation tests of a maintenance management software.
CMMS
Today, a software like this is known as Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS). It is supposed to streamline the maintenance management of great responsibility structures, where failure may cause major damage, pollution and deaths, such as ships, oil platforms, bridges, aircrafts, industrial parks, minimizing the risk of accidents. The most advanced ones reproduces the 3D structures to simulate degradation over time, which results in a 4D perspective.
A software capable of performing intelligent maintenance management needs to have a graphical interface, because structures do not have identification numbers, as do the equipments, with each piece being recognized by a unique code. Even if each part of a structure is numbered in the construction project, the repair will occur in order to produce new regions, which can be inserted into the original or extend for many of them. The lack of this part number also prevents the use of the internet for the execution of quotations, since the shape of the repair and the region where it is located has a direct influence on the cost of implementation. The location, especially in large structures, has implications for the number of scaffoldings needed to perform the work.
The capability of knowledge management should be emphasized as well, because gathering information in a single database allows faster access, data security and consequent increased productivity. If you are interested in integrating the results with your ERP or other existing system, it must is also be possible. Otherwise, you will remain at Stone Age and information will just be dispersed in a very large number of plans, sketches and paper reports. Humanity is still not sure about the limits to growth in a planetary scale, but at least for corrosion management, as the music says, “the future has arrived”.

World’s foremost authority on corrosion, Nace International has just published the study “International Measurements of Prevention, Application and Economics of corrosion Technology”, Impact. In it, the association estimated at $ 2.5 trillion per year the overall cost of corrosion today, equivalent to 3.4% of world GDP. Prepared for two years and presented in Canada, the study calculated that the implementation of better corrosion prevention practices could result in an overall saving of 15% to 35% of the cost of the damage, ie between $ 375 billion and $ 875 billion.
Take a look at this 8 minute video.

“As the chief executive of Nace stated at the time, the study reinforces the need for a change in how the corrosion decisions are taken. Whether we are talking about oil rigs, ships, pipelines, airplanes or bridges, control and prevention are essential to avoid the disasters that are repeated from time to time”, says Duperron Marangon, CEO of PhDsoft and a specialist in maintenance management.
The only conclusion is: you’re loosing money by not using corrosion prevention on your company.
Impact includes a case study of corrosion management in the automobile industry that saved $ 9.6 billion in 1999, compared with 1975, to demonstrate the importance of adopting corrosion management systems throughout the life cycle of large structures such as those mentioned by Marangon. It states that the best practices in this area include: corrosion management systems that are integrated with the general policy of the organization; corrosion management information available to everyone in the organization, as well as linked to its overall objectives; and organizational leadership actively involved with the corrosion management decisions.
The problem is so critical, that NASA has a Corrosion Technology Laboratory that provides technical innovations and engineering services in all areas of corrosion.
As a university professor and CEO of PhDsoft, Duperron Marangon has been developing, in the last 20 years, softwares capable of increasing the efficiency of the process of maintaining large structures, while reducing costs. If you want to know more on corrosion or about projects in which the specialist is working nowadays, contact PhDsoft at +1 (713) 340-9958 or by the e-mail phdsoft@phdsoft.com.

This is a Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) integrated with PhDC4D. It was a project financed by a private company, like the oil ones obliged to invest part of its revenue in R&D, in Brazil. Last year, this obligation resulted in more than R$ 1 billion invested in projects like this. PhDsoft is looking for new partnerships.
There are no limits for what can be done with PhDC4D. The software operates in a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) category, which is like the known businesses managements ERP (Enterprise Resource Plannning), but focused on maintenance. In terms of business intelligence and knowledge management, PhDC4D is a CMMS. Its differential is that both CMMS end ERP can be resumed as an amount of tables.
In other hand, PhDC4D begins with the modeling of a structure in three dimensions, at a specific date. Somebody could think about defining it as a sophisticated CAD, but what about this fourth dimension that allows to simulate the evolution of structure along time? It results in a 4D software that can help to solve any kind of problem.
 
R&D obliged investments in Brazil
In order to expand technology to meet the integrated needs of customers, PhDsoft has traditionally built partnerships with big players of the oil sector, like Petrobras. These partnerships has resulted in a sort of new features such as the ROV integration.
This project used PhDC4D’s technology to manage the hulls and keep track of the maintenance of an offshore platform´s operation integrity by using the exact location of the data obtained by robots in real time.
The best news is that, although it has international headquarters in Houston, PhDsoft’s development teams continue to be coordinated by its unit In Brazil. This means PhDsoft is still a Brazilian company an so can be considered eligible to the demand for national content for the R&D investments oil companies are obliged to make in the country.
 
Internet of things
Last year, the Brazilian National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) has changed the rules for these investments. From now on, 10% of the revenues must be invested in Brazilian companies other than the one that originated the revenue, like PhDsoft.
In the first three months of 2016, almost R$ 150 million were generated for obliged investments in R&D by oil companies operating in Brazil. In 2015, the amount reached more than R$ 1 billion. The deadline for the investments related to 2016 ends at June 30th 2017.
The next generation of projects PhDsoft is preparing intends to enroll everything related to maintenance in one only solution: static and submarine equipments, pipes, risers, structures and secondary structures, cranes, among others. One goal is to make it all ready to the internet of things. The objective is to integrate PhDC4D with sensors like the ones inserted in pipes to measure corrosion taxes or the ultrasonic thickness and strain gauges.

PhDsoft’s founder and CEO, Duperron Marangon spent last April 7th in a workshop with one of the company’s clients to explain the most recent developments of PhDC4D®, like piping integrity management. He also announced rapid piping modeling – reading data from Navisworks – as one of the ongoing developments.
PhDC4D® is a comprehensive system resulting from the synergistic integration of a 4D-space-time visualization software with a predictive corrosion algorithm, a regulatory code compliance engine and automation of engineering activities and best practices that consolidates a safer and cost-effective maintenance process for structures, piping and static equipment.

During the preparation of the painting repair specification for the next dry dock of one container ship, an experienced engineer from a PhDsoft client realized the painting areas might had been underestimated. They were using figures from the design information booklet approved by the internal supervision team and classification society, and thus were supposed to be correct. The complex shapes of the tanks would make it unfeasible to recalculate manually.
The painting areas were recalculated in a few hours using the painting tools of PhDC4D®. Errors ranging from 20% to 260% were fixed. The fore tanks had the largest errors due to more developed forms.
As a result, an accurate painting repair specification was prepared and thus avoiding large unforeseen expenditures on repair execution; accurate amounts defined previously allowed a better base for price negotiation with shipyard; and the repair budget became accurate.
“We would never reach a conclusion without the help of C4D® since a lot man hours should be used for recalculating. It would be impracticable. It makes sense now why we always spent much more paint than initially planned. We thought it was due to inefficiency during the painting work. Why no one else detected this error previously during the plan approval process?”, stated the company.

A container ship suffered bottom damage due to grounding. Two shipyards were contacted to evaluate the damage and provide repair estimates. But the estimates of the amount of steel required for repairs varied by 40%. An accurate assessment of the actual extent of damage extent and required repair material was urgently needed.
The case is real and happened to a PhDsoft client, a major company that operates ships in Brazil. In a few hours, using the repair tools of C4D Software®, the steel requirements were recalculated, showing that actual repair needs were 61 tons of steel, 60% less than the high estimate. It was clear that the shipyards significantly overestimated the amount of steel to be replaced.
Considering the cost of steel renewal in local shipyards of $11K/ton, the result was a saving of $400k. With the actual figure at hand, the client could safely and confidently select the shipyard with lower price and avoid the risk of the scope of materials increasing during repair execution.
“Without C4D Software we would have been forced to blindly follow the quotation of the shipyards with no control over the situation. Without C4D we never would have received the accurate numbers in time to make the right decision. The calculation of steel renewal done by C4D Software is more accurate than the shipyard because it takes into account all the original thicknesses”, stated the company.