Shipowners, operators and managers can make huge operational cost savings, reduce vessel downtime and raise profits by up to 50% through data analytics
Using unanalysed data from ship systems can save 20% in fuel costs and increase vessel utilisation by 20%, said TechBinder founding partner Bram van den Boom.
He forecast owners could decrease unplanned downtime by up to 40% through machinery condition monitoring, reduce a fleet’s environmental footprint by 20% and “profits could be upgraded by 50%” he said.
“Fuel savings can run up to 20% and the utilisation rate of vessels can be optimised by 20%,” he added. “This is looking at vessels already sailing. If you take your learnings to any newbuild vessel you are going to purchase, the upcoming year’s numbers will be much higher,” Mr van den Boom explained.
There would also be improvements in onboard safety if condition monitoring identifies anomalies and issues with machinery, which can then be amended before a failure occurs.
These financial, safety and environmental benefits can be achieved through benchmarking fleet performance. “By comparing the performance of similar vessels, assets or operations, the anomalies tell you exactly which of the vessels, assets or operations are performing in the best way and which are performing poorly,” Mr van den Boom explained.
Operators, managers and owners can identify key performance indicators (KPIs) from the top and bottom performers. “It is those two categories you want to focus your attention on because they can make the biggest impact on your overall fleet performance,” he said. “If you monitor 10 relatively similar vessels, assets or operations you can improve nine.”
Mr van den Boom said shipping companies should begin collating, processing and analysing available data that is not being used, what he terms “grey data”.
Information from this data could contribute to insights that can support managers’ decisions and enable vessel benchmarking.
“With minor changes on your vessels, you could start to collect important data sources and present that to any person that can act upon it,” he said.
Bram van den Boom recommended five steps for unlocking value from grey data and achieving financial benefits.
Step 1 is design: Think of an area that impacts your operation significantly and formulate a KPI.
Step 2: Connect data sources that give you the required information.
Step 3: Collect the minimum amount of data that makes your information reliable.
Step 4: Visualise performance of your KPI over time and use benchmarking to learn what is average, good and bad.
Step 5 is action: Take your best and worst performers, learn what makes them good or bad, and improve your underperformers.
Owners could benchmark daily vessel performance against their design profile. “If we monitor speed over time, we could get a good idea which vessels of our fleet are meeting their designed profile and which are not,” Mr van den Boom said. “You can use data that is already available to the captain every minute.”
Shipping companies need to host similar KPIs from multiple vessels and onboard equipment in a fleet on one platform to track anomalies including monitoring energy distribution, main engines, generators, ballast water management systems, pumps, cranes and cooling systems.
“It is vital to get a consistent, reliable source of data,” said Mr van den Boom, while highlighting a key industry challenge. “As assets are often communicating in different protocols, are not wired to the bridge or are too far away to establish an affordable connection, it could be a challenge to translate that into reliable information,” he said.
But if these challenges can be overcome, operators can gain the benefits.
“Improvements on efficiency, availability and safety could be significantly impacted simply by creating more information and empowering your personnel to act upon it,” said Mr van den Boom.
“Even a small optimisation would mean the system has paid for itself,” he said.
TechBinder introduced Smart Vessel Optimizer at the end of 2019 for collating and benchmarking performance data from ships and onboard systems. It uses industrial technology from Schneider Electric and AVEVA to unlock grey data.
It completed a pilot of this product with one of the largest Netherlands-headquartered shipbuilders in 2019.
Information on how owners, operators and managers can reduce operational costs, improve maintenance, increase fleet utilisation and raise profits is being presented during Riviera’s Vessel Optimisation Webinar Week. Use this link for more details and to catch up on previous webinars