Data analytics, lube oil monitoring, telematics and machine learning facilitate predictive maintenance, while networked engineroom systems need better cyber security
Telematics, machine learning, analytics and condition-based maintenance can help shipping companies to optimise their energy and fuel consumption if deployed correctly.
Output from these technologies helps drive maintenance decisions, increase fuel and energy efficiency, and reduces unplanned maintenance and risks, says Caterpillar marine digital general manager Jim Newman. But this depends on what shipowners need to get from the data.
“Business drivers are the keys to selecting the technology solutions,” he says. “The technologies already exist to achieving your goals. It is about picking the right one.”
Telematic solutions provide remote access to data, reports and diagnostics on a fleet, allowing vessel owners to interpret the information and decide on a course of action.
Analytics provide analysis and actionable condition-driven recommendations, based on transformed data.
Machine learning uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automate data analysis. Systems learn from data, identify patterns and make decisions with minimal human intervention.
Mr Newman says shipowners need to know what business outcomes they need from these technologies before investing. “Machine learning assumes owners have vast amounts of data, to do these super-advanced calculations,” he says, adding this would require sharing data with either competitors or original engine manufacturers (OEMs).
“The combined data sets from the two companies might allow you to take advantage of these super-predictive capabilities,” says Mr Newman.
“If you are not comfortable sharing information with a competitor, it might mean the application is not right for you,” he says. OEMs conduct data analytics to provide predictive maintenance and advise on fuel efficiency.
Caterpillar’s Cat Asset Intelligence gives shipowners advanced predictive analytics and expert advisory services for vessel fleets. It monitors engine performance and provides metrics, reports and dashboards. Its automated analytics identify potential issues before failure.
MAN Energy Solutions introduced a digital tool for its retrofit portfolio and a lube oil monitor in Q1 2020. MAN PrimeServ unveiled MAN EngineVault security to assist owners when revitalising existing engines, machinery, auxiliary systems, instrumentation and control systems.
MAN EngineVault combines software and hardware to provide cyber security for machinery, including firewalls, comprehensive whitelisting and application-layer protection. It protects engineroom systems and networks from online and physical cyber attacks. This includes network hardening via port protection, encryption of all data received and transmitted, and advanced network segment segregation.
MAN PrimeServ head and vice president Michael Petersen says EngineVault was developed as ship digitalisation increases risks from cyber threats. “Engine data is essential to help shipowners make smarter decisions and better predictions,” he explains.
“The increase in digitalisation and network-based systems also increases vulnerability for cyber attacks that can potentially paralyse entire businesses. Therefore, implementing defensive barriers for vessels’ main engines should be an essential element in proactive cyber security management,” says Mr Petersen.
MAN EngineVault was successfully trialled on board UltraShip’s semi-refrigerated carrier Adriatic Gas in 2019 and Q1 2020. It will come as standard in newbuild MAN engines from May 2020.
MAN Energy Solutions also introduced a fluid monitor enabling vessel operators to monitor the degradation and contamination of lube oil to protect their engines, turbomachinery and auxiliary equipment. This fluid monitor was certified by Bureau Veritas for marine applications. It detects even the tiniest anomalies in the lube-oil systems of four-stroke engines.
MAN Energy Solutions vice president Arnauld Filancia says monitoring lube oil reduces the risk of engine failures. “Lube oil is the life-blood of an engine and 70% of major damage reveals lube-oil contamination,” says Mr Filancia. This fluid monitor alerts operators with alarms and stop recommendations when it detects degradation in lube oil quality, thereby revealing minor wear of mechanical parts.
It detects anomalies, especially during sensitive engine phases such as restarts where 50% of damage occurs. Operators can anticipate maintenance needs, protect major components, identify part wear before breakdown and maximise machine availability.
Classification societies updated their maintenance guidance and LNG bunkering planning software in Q1 2020.
ClassNK released its condition-based maintenance (CBM) guidelines after it revised rules for using CBM technology in class surveys.
ClassNK reviewed the structure of its requirements for planned machinery surveys, including CBM for monitoring the operating condition and performance of onboard equipment. Its rules revision came into force in January 2020. These stipulate that maintenance methods based on the results of condition diagnosis can be used for class surveys.
DNV GL unveiled its FuelBoss online platform for LNG bunkering in February, as more ships are built and ordered with gas-fuelled engines. This enables ship operators and suppliers a hub for nomination, scheduling, spot enquiries and business intelligence for optimising LNG bunkering.
DNV GL Maritime senior vice president Trond Hodne says complex LNG bunkering and planning needs to adapt to changing business patterns. “FuelBoss will standardise and simplify daily work processes and enable the LNG fuel industry to reap the benefits of digitalisation,” he says. “The number of vessels using LNG is growing rapidly, but the bunkering picture is still fragmented. Delivery costs can be a significant part of the delivered LNG price, so optimising the supply chain is essential,” says Mr Hodne.
FuelBoss uses AIS data, includes messaging services and integrates with Teqplay’s software developed for port call optimisation. FuelBoss was used by Shell LNG and its customers for a year, to plan and execute LNG bunkering operations. LNG suppliers Gasum, Cryo Shipping and Nauticor are also confirmed pilot customers.
Automated hull cleaning
DNV GL provided risk management advice during the development of a remotely operated hull cleaning device, Jotun HullSkater, with partners Kongsberg, Semcon, Telenor, Wallenius Wilhelmsen, Berge Bulk and Maersk. This is part of Jotun’s Hull Skating solutions, which also include antifouling, condition monitoring, inspection and proactive cleaning, technical services and performance guarantees.
HullSkater is a machine-learning enabled robot for cleaning vessels’ hulls for bio-fouling control on ships. Its brush removes bacteria and biofilm before macro-fouling takes hold. It is held on the hull by magnetic wheels, each equipped with electric motors for propulsion and steering.
HullSkater has cameras and sensors, supporting an operator with data for navigation and documenting hull fouling. This vehicle is connected to an operator’s control station through an umbilical. It can be operated remotely from anywhere in the world with 4G coverage.
Kongsberg developed the secure remote control, cloud-based data storage, battery technology, acoustics and composite materials for HullSkater. It also provides communications, access to its Kognifai cloud ecosystem and is responsible for the industrialisation and manufacturing of HullSkater.
Telenor provided an IoT solution over its mobile 4G network for vessels using HullSkater and secure global telecommunications for data flow. Semcon provided design, analysis, software, robotics and hardware development for HullSkater.
FuelSave launched its fuel optimisation technology in Q1 2020 for two- and four-stroke engines. FS Marine+, an engine efficiency enhancement system, uses a hydrogen generator to inject a gas and liquid water/methanol solution into an engine’s combustion chamber to significantly improve efficiency. Pilot trials on a four-stroke engine on a 160-m heavy-lift crane vessel confirmed fuel consumption savings of 12% and NOx emission reductions of 36%. FS Marine+ led to reduced engine wear, cleaner cylinder heads, greater cylinder lubrication efficiency and fewer carbon deposits.
Bulugo introduced a digital platform to simplify marine fuels and lubricants procurement in February. It provides fast and transparent pricing globally and supplier information across several criteria, including fuel type, port, date of availability and compliance with IMO sulphur regulations.
Riviera will host a week of free 45-minute webinars centred on vessel optimisation commencing 12 May. Register your interest now