Bridge navigation and communications devices can be remotely monitored using digital twins after a major manufacturer secured class certification
Lloyd’s Register (LR) has awarded Digital Twin Ready certification to Furuno Electric’s Greek subsidiary for its HermAce smart onboard system. This is the first time LR has issued this type of certificate for a digital health management system in the marine and offshore industry.
Furuno Hellas developed HermAce for collecting and monitoring data on bridge navigation and communications equipment to support remote troubleshooting and problem rectifications. Data is collated on board through a dedicated server and is transmitted ashore using the ship’s satellite communications systems.
HermAce uses a digital twin as a virtual replica of bridge systems, based on data streamed directly from a ship. Furuno can use this digital twin to remotely monitor, maintain and test their onboard equipment, reducing costs and engineer travelling requirements. This digital twin can be analysed to identify, diagnose and resolve problems remotely while the ships remains in operation.
During LR’s evaluations, it analysed the engineering lifecycle processes and the workflow involved in the HermAce model. LR also evaluated algorithm development, software conformity and practices concerning information security, to ensure they were in accordance with the Digital Twin Ready requirements.
It has previously awarded Digital Twin Ready approval in principles after completing lifecycle engineering reviews of the processes and software tools in developing digital twins to Hyundai Heavy Industries, GE and SERI.
LR said digital twins meeting all four stages of its assurance of digital requirements are “dependable, trusted digital tools sharing real-time information, predicting failures and providing technical input for improvement actions.”
LR director for innovation and co-creation Luis Benito highlighted the trust element in developing and using digital tools. “It is now more critical than ever to build trust in new technologies by applying practical, effective assurance techniques, which will help in operating vessels safely, reliably and remotely in the future,” he said.
“A new paradigm in shipping has started, towards remote operations, when digital health management technology starts enabling remote servicing, maintenance and testing of critical equipment for the safety of ships, with digital technology that can be trusted by ship managers, ship operators and end users,” Mr Benito explained.
Furuno senior managing director Muneyuki Koike expects HermAce will facilitate better service support to bridge systems. “We strongly envisage that we will be able to provide our clients with more peace of mind when using our products on board vessels,” he said.
There could be further digital developments in the pipeline.
“We are determined to continue to contribute to the safety of our clients by further enhancing our after-sales maintenance service provision with increased speed and precision,” said Mr Koike.
Classification societies are enhancing their remote inspection and support services to improve safety and reduce costs to shipowners by using remotely controlled units and ship data for inspections and surveys from shore centres.
This lead is driving the shipping industry to invest in internet-of-things (IoT) technology and artificial intelligence (AI) for inspection, monitoring, diagnostics and analysis.
These technologies are enabled through collaboration between technology providers.
One of these involves industrial IoT provider Advantech and AI specialists BrainCreators. They have combined Advantech’s edge computing technology with the BrainMatter platform for intelligent automation based on AI.
This enables BrainMatter to perform automated tasks using AI on IoT devices in an industrial environment for automatic inspection of systems, pattern recognition and observation of structures.
IoT devices can execute BrainMatter’s automation models with data processed closer to the device, reducing network latency.
Performance of equipment can be compared with a description of the situation as it should be, while reality can be checked against a given standard or objective.
Remote monitoring technologies and their applications will be discussed during Riviera Maritime Media’s webinars and virtual conferences in Q4 2020; use this link for more details and to register for events