Research and development program – IRCRO

As part of the “Research and Development Program – IRCRO” HELB Ltd has implemented the project “Advanced Drilling Process Management Systems for Hydrocarbon Exploration Plants”, for which HAMAG-BICRO co-financing has been approved, under project code IR_2015_48.

Hydrocarbon exploration (drilling rig) automation systems have been developed as part of the project, which include an active damping system for torsional vibration, an automatic drilling system, and a mud pump co-ordination system to minimize pressure surges in the mud system. The active torsional vibration damping system can be based on a standard proportional-integral (PI) speed controller adjusted with respect to the resonance frequency of the tool vibration or on the PI controller adjusted to factory settings and extended with an external active damping system based on drill string torsion moment feedback. Both systems for active vibration dampening can be easily integrated with system for stuck-tool detection and safe release of the torsional tension from the drill string. An automatic drill system based on the PI weight-on-bit (WoB) controller combines the functionality of precision WoB control with rate of penetration (RoP) limitation, and is characterized by simplicity of implementation and the possibility of upgrading with a further developed system for limiting the torsional tension of the drill string by conditioning the WoB which is given by the operator. The developed mud pump co-ordination system easily synchronizes the operation of the pumps and achieves uniform phase shifts of the crankshafts, thus reducing the pressure surges in the mud system.

The project was carried out in collaboration with the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Shipbuilding, University of Zagreb, which developed models of advanced system modules that reduce hardware requirements and the final cost of products, which will contribute to the product’s competitiveness.


Project name: Advanced Drilling Process Management Systems for Hydrocarbon Exploration Plants,

Username: HELB d.o.o.

Total project amount: 737.479 kn

Total co-financing amount: 368.740 kn

Project duration: 24 months

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