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Maritime Digitalisation & Communications

Class societies push digitisation

Thu 11 Jan 2018

Class societies push digitisation
Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen (DNV GL): The pilot project has also been a “valuable test bed"

The digitisation trend has strengthened with a raft of new software launched by class societies that helps box ship operators to increase operational efficiency and meet new environmental legislation

Class societies have increasingly focused on digitisation and there is now a range of new digital solutions that will benefit container ship operators. Among the technologies they cover are the EU’s MRV regulation, streamlining hulls and monitoring vessel performance.

First up, NYK and DNV GL have unveiled the first results of an ongoing maritime data centre pilot project.

Their collaboration, which is supported by engine manufacturer MAN Diesel & Turbo, started in November 2015. Since then, four NYK container vessels have been uploading operational data to DNV GL’s Veracity platform, which was created to track vessel performance and support condition-based monitoring. An extensive amount of engine data has been collected for use in vessel performance analysis and in a condition-based maintenance and survey scheme.

This pilot project was run in several phases. The first phase was to build the required components, such as those needed for data collection and data management. The second phase focuses on testing data quality, security, access rights and collection of data for applications such as predictive maintenance and vessel performance. And the third phase is piloting new digital business models.

DNV GL maritime chief executive Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen said that the pilot project has also been a “valuable test bed” for data standardisation and data quality, including collection of the data for further use.”

As part of the pilot project, a hierarchical data model was developed, creating a digital twin – a cloud-based virtual image of a physical asset – which links sensor signals from equipment on board the vessels to support both simple queries and advanced analytics. Machine-learning algorithms evaluate the data quality in terms of its uniqueness, completeness and a variety of other parameters. By drilling down into the data, a ship manager can see if all sensors on board are working properly and easily identify non-performing sensors which may lead to low data quality or missing data during a voyage.

NYK Group technology division senior general manager Hideyuki Ando told Marine Propulsion “We believe that our data will drive innovative research and with DNV GL’s platform we hope to work with universities and maritime institutes [on the data].” He expects it will reveal that some ships are more efficient than others and help NYK bring them into line.

Mr Ando added: “The data will also help NYK optimise fleet operations, including looking at [fleet] scheduling and at which vessels to put in which services.”

Elsewhere, ClassNK has released a new version of PrimeShip-Hull for container carriers. As a design support tool, this greatly benefits shipyards and designers by streamlining their design process and ensuring that designs are structurally sound.

It was launched to support shipyards and designers as they are burdened with ever more complex designs and calculations due to advances in container ship structures.

The PrimeShip-Hull consists of two kinds of software: prescriptive calculation software and direct strength assessment software. The former enables designers to assess structural strength requirements such as yield and fatigue strength, along with longitudinal strength requirements. These enable yield strength and buckling strength assessments to be made, based on a finite-element (FE) model of a hold, and for the torsional strength on an entire ship to be discovered, based on its FE model. It makes the design process more efficient, contributes to reductions in design hours and minimises human error, ClassNK believes.

As the shipping industry gears up for the start of the European Union’s MRV regulation, ABS is supporting compliance with the launch of ABS Nautical Systems Voyage Manager. It forms part of NS Enterprise, a comprehensive fleet management solution that covers assets, compliance, performance and workforce management.

Voyage Manager is configured to suit a client’s EU MRV monitoring plan so that date can be submitted to a third-party verifier and automatically report verified compliance data directly to flag state and EU authorities.

This cloud-based subscription module also supports compliance with other environmental regulations, including ballast water exchange, US Vessel General Permit requirements, ECA fuel switching and garbage and oil records. It will also help owners to comply with IMO’s Data Collection Service, intended to create a global database of vessel CO2 emissions starting next year.

Chief operating officer and vice president of ABS Nautical Systems Stephen Schwarz told Container Shipping & Trade: “Client feedback has consistently indicated a mismatch between the desire to improve data quality from the ship and the availability of a single platform that can be used to analyse and deliver information for practical decision support.” He said that many owners and operators are collecting data but not all have the tools or in-house knowledge needed to analyse it or make informed decisions.

Voyage Manager includes a module called NS Vessel Performance, which ABS’ literature says will enable owners and operators to use their compliance data to understand “critical performance areas to improve fuel efficiency and reduce costs”.

Vessel Performance produces KPIs, based on a ship-specific model for hull, propeller and main engine performance. This data can be further analysed by ABS Vessel Performance specialists to create benchmarks that can be monitored to improve performance over time. Information on the performance of the hull, propeller and engines is compared to sea trials data to provide a comparison with current vessel performance, which can cover such parameters as fuel consumption by main or auxiliary engines, consumption of different types of fuel and consumption of lube oil and fresh water. These can be compared between vessels across the fleet.

Mr Schwarz said that by combining dedicated service delivery with a robust software platform, the Vessel Performance service simplifies data entry, enabling the ship to report performance and environmental data only once to operations and technical management staff. Capturing data directly from sensors and ship systems can improve the accuracy of logged data and reduces the reporting burden on the crew, he suggested

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