Tug owners can use data from their vessels, environment and operations for condition monitoring, trouble shooting and performance evaluation
Collating, processing and analysing data can provide insights to support key operational decisions and analyse trends.
Schottel sales director for automation and digital products Jan Glas said these insights will create value to tug owners and provide ways to optimise operations, especially vessel maintenance.
He explained how and why data processing is important to tug owners and operators during Riviera Maritime Media’s Smart tugs: the industry’s Tesla, or still on the test bed? webinar on 1 September, part of the Tug Technology Webinar Week.
In addition to proactive maintenance, data could be used for alarm and condition monitoring, fleet and vessel benchmarking and analysis of issues and challenges.
Mr Glas said data could be sourced from vessel systems, engines, generators, thrusters and deck equipment and interpreted alongside data from the environment a tug is operating within.
Data could include “operating hours, fuel consumption, temperature, engine and generator revolutions, pressure, voltage, set-point and feedback,” said Mr Glas.
Information from the bridge systems should also be used, including the tug’s GPS position, heading, speed, turning rates and acceleration. Data could be sourced from radar, echo sounder and automatic identification system (AIS) information. Other vessel data includes tank levels, valve settings, flow rates and vibration sensors.
Once this data is collated, it can be transferred on the tug for onboard processing and then to a cloud storage facility, said Mr Glas.
“We need to send precise information to shore,” Mr Glas said. “There should be a buffer. If there is no internet connection, datasets could be sent later when there is connection.”
Data can be accessed from shore, analysed and checked against previous data for benchmarking and used for trending.
Mr Glas said data would be used by remote support teams and incident analysis. “We can use data for root-cause analysis of issues,” he said.
“The goal is closing the loop of information flow as an added value in optimising fleet operations and management,” said Mr Glas.
“All of the technology is about connecting knowledge from different domains and communicating with each other to get the value out,” he explained.
Alongside its rudderpropeller propulsion units, Schottel can provide advanced alarm monitoring (AlarMon), integrated automation (AutoControl) and power management (PowerControl) systems for tugs. It also supplies thruster controls and condition monitoring systems. Schottel is also developing intelligent systems for marine automation and digitalisation through its 50% stake in Blue CTRL.
Other panellists on the Smart tugs: the industry’s Tesla, or still on the test bed? webinar included Wilson Sons towage division regional manager Elisio Dourado, OptiPort general manager Patrick Everts and Navtek Naval Technologies general manager Ferhat Acuner.