Lean Marine products are generating ever-increasing interest from tanker owners and operators looking for a digital transformation to improve operational efficiency and reduce their environmental impact
To enhance operational efficiency, a tanker owner or operator should adopt two vital tools, said Lean Marine of Sweden: a propulsion automation solution and performance management software. By providing both tools, Lean Marine acts as a one-stop-shop for shipowners seeking measures to improve vessel efficiency.
The propulsion automation system FuelOpt and the smart performance management and reporting software Fleet Analytics were developed by Lean Marine to provide shipowners with knowledge and tools for continuous improvements to operational efficiency at both vessel and fleet level. When used together, these tools improve performance and will contribute towards a more competitive and environmentally sustainable business.
Laurin Maritime (acquired by Team Tankers in 2018), an owner and operator of 16, 45-50,000-dwt IMO II/III chemical tankers, was one of the first adopters of FuelOpt. The choice to adopt the tools was taken by then chief executive officer, Mikael Laurin, who since 2018, has been acting as chief executive of Lean Marine.
In making the case for investing in digitalisation for performance monitoring, he said “If you can measure it, you can manage it. To achieve operational excellence, shipowners need to monitor and analyse their vessels and fleets’ performance with higher accuracy than can be achieved using daily reports.”
“In the shipping industry, there are two key factors to consider for digitalisation and performance management. Firstly, you need to invest in an automated data collection system to get reliable data and large enough data sets to be able to draw detailed conclusions from it. Secondly, a performance management tool should turn this data into meaningful information that can be presented easily and transformed into useful reports. Having a lot of data is not useful unless it helps you show how your ships are doing, where performance can be improved, finding the best practices, and so on. In this way, shipowners and operators can take fact-based decisions to improve operational efficiency and thus lower operational costs,” he said.
“If an owner of medium range tankers could increase earnings by US$1,000 per day per ship by optimising performance, it would add up to US$365,000 per ship per year or US$3.65M for a fleet of 10 tankers,” he concluded.
Since its commercialisation in 2014, FuelOpt has been installed on 175 ships operated by more than 40 shipowners. More than half of these vessels are tankers including those owned by Stenersen, Team Tankers, Utkilen, Ektank, Älvtank, Veritas Tankers and Wisby Tankers.
FuelOpt achieves real-time fuel savings and emissions reduction by controlling vessel propulsion to ensure that propulsive power is constantly optimised based on the command set for power, fuel consumption and speed from the bridge and changing environmental conditions. This removes costly variations in speed and power caused by human operational factors, allowing the vessel to achieve optimal fuel consumption at every given point throughout a voyage.
For vessels with controllable pitch propellers, FuelOpt acts as a dynamic tuning system for the propulsion machinery to ensure that the engine and propeller operate at optimal conditions. The system achieves this by controlling the propeller’s pitch and rpm separately to produce the most propeller thrust with the least amount of power.
To operate as a propulsion control system, FuelOpt gathers vast volumes of vessel data in real-time from meters onboard (eg fuel flow meters, alarm systems, GPS, speed-log), particularly from the propulsion line and engine. Consequently, FuelOpt leverages the power of digitalisation for fleet performance management without any additional cost to the tanker owners.
Lean Marine’s cloud-based smart performance management software Fleet Analytics sits as the centrepiece for data collection and transmission. This system feeds data not only to its own features, but also into existing business intelligence solutions. As a data platform that communicates with other systems, Fleet Analytics removes the need for multi-data entry by allowing the use of data gathered/received from other systems.
FuelOpt-generated data and data gathered from multiple sources, including satellite, wind, and logbooks are integrated into Fleet Analytics which turns this big data into knowledge presented in an easy-to-understand way. This empowers shipping organisations to make fact-based decisions for optimised vessel operations.
Fleet Analytics can be used both for daily vessel follow-up and analysing long-term performance. The software provides insight on efficiency trends, aggregated fleet views and status information. These performance management features allow onshore personnel to gain insight about the operational performance at both vessel and fleet level.
Having a better understanding of how their vessel or fleet has been performing enables shipowners and operators to learn from the previous voyages and define how to operate in the most optimised way going forward, thus reducing operating costs and emissions.
Additionally, through the automatic generation of environmental and voyage reports, Fleet Analytics helps to reduce the reporting workload on board and ashore.
Depending on the type of propulsion, trade and existing system settings for the vessel, FuelOpt alone delivers up to 15% of direct fuel savings and reduced emissions. When used alongside FuelOpt, additional indirect savings of up to 10% are achievable.
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