The Japanese shipping group has begun developing and testing advanced condition-based maintenance (CBM) technologies on ships as a step towards realising its goal of operating manned autonomous vessels
NYK Group has concluded a joint research agreement with classification society ClassNK and technology suppliers MTI Co, Japan Engine Corp and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Marine Machinery & Equipment Co for developing advanced CBM with new maintenance and management processes for ship machinery.
Within this research project, engine conditions will be continuously monitored using sensors installed on large main engines and steam turbines and sensors for reporting vibration and temperature of bearings.
Data from ships will be streamed ashore and shared between partners, who will analyse this information to predict remaining useful life (RUL) of machinery and identify potential failure points.
NYK expects to improve the accuracy of failure and RUL predictions through CBM, while ClassNK will use the information to establish a new classification survey scheme based on CBM.
In the future, NYK plans to develop more advanced CBM by continuously monitoring system conditions and adopting artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. It would then combine CBM data and analysis with operational schedules to further optimise maintenance.
NYK sees these technologies as important steps towards developing more automated vessels to a point where it operates manned autonomous ships.
To achieve this, NYK needs cyber-secure connectivity, which is why it has developed Cepa Shield, a multi-layered cyber-risk management system.
NYK has partnered with Dualog and secured two years of funding from the Norwegian Government fund Innovation Norway to further develop and test this cyber-risk management system.
In the future, Cepa Shield will be applied to all NYK-operated vessels to provide multiple layers of risk management. This will enable NYK shore managers to identify the condition of each vessel’s security against cyber attacks.
Funding from Innovation Norway over the next two years will enable NYK to conduct trials on 50 operated vessels.
Maintenance strategies and digitalisation technologies will be discussed at Riviera Maritime Media’s Optimised Ship Forum in London on 10 December