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Maritime Digitalisation & Communications

ABB opens first Chinese Collaborative Operations Center

Mon 29 Jan 2018

ABB opens first Chinese Collaborative Operations Center
The new Shanghai center enforces ABB’s position as a leading digital solutions supplier to the maritime industry

ABB has added Shanghai to its global network of ABB Ability Collaborative Operations Centers, after formally opening a new facility to coincide with Marintec 2017. The center supports the shipping industry’s journey towards digitalisation, and ultimately safer and more efficient vessel operations.

The new Shanghai centre will monitor data gathered by sensors on board ships and sent ashore by satellite, allowing ABB experts to remotely analyse equipment performance, troubleshoot, diagnose, and work on maintenance planning and fleet benchmarking. It will work in conjunction with Collaborative Operations Centers in Norway (Billingstad), Finland (Helsinki), The Netherlands (Dalfsen), Italy (Genoa), the USA (Miami) and Singapore, to support vessels on a 24/7 basis.

This global setup means that ABB specialists are available during their daytime working hours, no matter what the location of the ship or when assistance is sought. The new Shanghai center is a crucial part of the assistance global map, offering real-time support in both Chinese and English.

“We are living through one of the most exciting periods in the history of the maritime industry, where digitalisation and connectivity are becoming predominant. I am delighted to launch our sector-leading solutions for Collaborative Operations in China,” said head of hub business unit marine and ports China Alf-Kåre Ådnanes. “ABB has provided integrated propulsion systems to a wide range of vessels built in China, with both domestic and global operations. The ABB Ability Collaborative Operations Center allows us to better serve these vessels and their operators with the latest digital services, driving further progress for efficient and reliable operations.”

The new Shanghai center reinforces ABB’s position as a leading digital solutions supplier to the maritime industry, offering Chinese customers access to solutions and information that can improve their operational performance. “ABB’s service capabilities reduce unexpected downtime and expensive missed port calls. Sometimes we can even identify onboard issues before the crew are aware of them and make predictive interventions. There are also clear benefits for customers of being able to speak to an engineer with ship data in front of them,” explained ABB Service Center Hub BU Marine and Ports China general manager Roger Xie.

In addition to enabling predictive maintenance, ABB’s ability to monitor the performance of ships or whole fleets is long-established. “The success of this is related to our strong support infrastructure, investment in shore-side analysis expertise, and capability to respond, plan and troubleshoot,” added Xie.

Remote monitoring undertaken through ABB’s Collaborative Operations allow owners to pre-survey marine equipment on board ships and collect data in advance of repairs. This can save up to 50% on drydocking ABB equipment.

“We believe the next generation of ships will be electric, digital and connected as the industry moves toward the use of new energy sources and automated ship operations,” said ABB Marine and Ports managing director Juha Koskela “The Shanghai ABB Ability Collaborative Operations Center demonstrates ABB’s commitment to invest in shipping’s new digital solutions, providing a common operating platform that will convert big data into smarter services locally in China as well as globally.”

ABB is remotely monitoring more than 700 ships, and aims to raise that number to 3,000 by 2020. 


KR launches new version of e-fleet

Classification society KR has launched the second edition of its one-stop fleet-management program KR e-fleet. The program is now fully operational and available to all KR's shipowning and operating customers (potentially 3,032 vessels).

Since e-fleet's first launch in March 2011, the program has delivered key information in real-time to shipowners and operators, covering all the necessary preparations for a ship survey and the details of international convention audits.

The new KR e-fleet v2 provides a wide range of online application functions, an increased selection of content options and a more user-friendly interface. In addition, KR has now completed the digitalisation of all previous paper documents submitted by shipowners. The result is a fully searchable database enabling shipowners to manage their ship survey and audit processes more efficiently. A new management function called Survey Planner now provides survey information covering the company's entire fleet.

KR also created a platform for each vessel's greenhouse gas monitoring plan, allowing verification from KR in accordance with the new EU MRV regulations, which came into force in January 2018.

A greenhouse gas monitoring plan is a mandatory report which ships of over 5,000 gt entering and departing from ports in the EU must present.  The report will contain all of the monitoring and reporting data relating to that vessel's CO2 emissions. Shipowners all over the world whose ships are affected by the EU MRV requirements must provide a report for the European Commission, once the data has been verified by an EU-authorised verification body such as KR.

KR chairman and CEO Lee Jeong-Kie commented: "The first edition of KR e-fleet was warmly welcomed by our customers, and we are pleased to launch this, the second edition, with enhanced and upgraded functionality that will assist our customers even more."

"Designed for their convenience and to support their efficient fleet management, we are now working to provide a cloud server for our clients in the US and Europe, which should be operational in the first half of 2018," he added.

Any of KR's customers whose ships are registered with KR can use KR e-fleet free of charge.


WinGD introduces new Integrated Digital Expert system

Winterthur Gas & Diesel (WinGD) has launched a new comprehensive, integrated system for creating value from engine and ship data, WiDE (WinGD Integrated Digital Expert).

 WiDE allows the collection and analysis of ship and machinery data to proactively predict engine component malfunctions and offer support through live troubleshooting and diagnostic advice to the crew. This is done without the need to instal additional sensors. 

WiDE is based on the data collection monitoring (DCM) unit for collecting and visualising the engine and ship data, as well as the engine diagnostic system (EDS) software. It analyses the data and creates value and insight. These capabilities are integrated into a user-friendly, onboard system comprising state-of-the-art hardware, expert software and efficient data-analytics techniques.

WinGD general manager for business development Carmelo Cartalemi said: “WiDE forms part of WinGD’s digital solutions that enhance customer benefits. With WiDE we are able to utilise the power of the machinery data in combination with our engine expertise and advanced data-analytics techniques. This allows us to support shipping companies during their day-to-day operations with valuable insight. We provide live troubleshooting support for engine performance, suggested maintenance and component replacement, reducing operational interruptions.”

WiDE collects data via DCM, which is installed as standard on all new engines contracted as of January 2018. DCM can also be retrofitted to older, electronically controlled engines already in operation.


Monitoring technology gains ground

Remote and condition monitoring are gaining ground with shipowners starting to take their first steps into these areas

Sirius Shipping has announced that it is deploying a condition-monitoring systems on its fleet of 10 tankers to prevent machinery failures and reduce maintenance costs. It has teamed up with SKF to install sensors on its oil and chemical carriers to remotely monitor machinery performance.

Sensors have been deployed on ships to detect machinery operating parameters and transmit signals to SKF’s certified remote diagnostic centre in Hamburg, Germany, where specialists can detect and report machinery deviations to the Sweden-headquartered tanker owner.

Sirius technical superintendent Stefan Johansson explained that information from these sensors and reports enable his company to prepare maintenance before there are machinery failures that would lead to an unscheduled stoppage and voyage delays.

“It is very costly if something happens, so we want to prevent the risks as much as we can,” he said. On average, a typical shipyard stoppage can take around 6-7 days for routine maintenance, but if there is a major breakdown, repairs can take several months, which Mr Johansson is keen to avoid.

A recurring challenge facing Sirius’ maintenance department is to increase the reliability of critical rotating equipment on board. Monitoring the reduction gearbox, which drives the propeller shaft, and the generator, which is also driven by the reduction gearbox, increases the safety and reliability of the system.

Sirius is installing online status monitoring with measurement sensors on selected machine components to increase control of rotating equipment. So far it has installed SKF’s IMx-8 system on tankers Nimbus and Marinus. It intends to install IMx-8 aboard Neptunus and Scorpius later this year.

The fleet of 10 tankers transports oil and chemicals to ports in northern Europe, particularly Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden. Sirius has ordered two chemical tanker newbuildings from AVIC Dingheng shipyard in China. It has also ordered automation systems that will link the power management systems and the cargo systems for these ships from Høglund.

Leading offshore vessel operator Bourbon has taken a first leap into fleet digitalisation through a strategic partnership with classification society Bureau Veritas. With the help of Kongsberg Maritime and Airbus subsidiary Apsys, Bourbon will test digital technology for remote monitoring of offshore support vessels.

Bureau Veritas and Bourbon will jointly develop and deploy automation, real-time monitoring applications and developing digital technologies, while mitigating cyber risks. But first, they will test some of these smart ship technologies for verification of dynamic positioning (DP) operations in real-time.

A pilot has been implemented on Bourbon Explorer 508, which is operating in Trinidad waters. This monitoring technology was developed by Kongsberg Maritime, which is already a strategic partner of Bourbon and is certified by Bureau Veritas.

It collects data from the DP system that can be used on board and by onshore support teams to improve DP operations. Bourbon expects this to improve safety and reduce fuel and DP maintenance costs.

Apsys is helping the partners to identify and mitigate cyber-security risks linked to data collection and communication between Bourbon’s vessels and onshore infrastructure. It will also help Bureau Veritas create certification and class notations covering cyber security.

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