A trial of a diagnostics and predictive maintenance platform on crude oil tanker Energy Triumph and a demonstration of a remotely operated tug controlled from more than 1,000 km away were among the winners announced at Riviera Maritime Media’s Sulphur Cap 2020 Conference in Amsterdam.
A new category this year was the Intelligent Monitoring & Maintenance Award, intended to recognise the growing importance of data in optimising ship operations. The prize was secured by two-stroke engine developer WinGD’s trial of its diagnostics and predictive maintenance platform on crude oil tanker Energy Triumph, owned by Golden Energy Management. The trial involved collection and analysis of engine and machinery data to provide real-time knowledge of engine status and was welcomed by judges for providing proof of return on investment for WinGD's substantial project on remote engine diagnostics.
"We started to look into how we could benefit from digitalisation four years ago," said Winterthur Gas & Diesel sales and marketing vice president Rolf Stiefel. "The achievement is developing a state-of-the-art system to carry out remote diagnostics and predictive maintenance in an intelligent way. Thank you to our partner Golden Energy Management for helping us to launch this product."
The new Autonomous & Remote Operations Award also recognised the impact of digitalisation on shipping. The winner from a crowded field – including several projects in the tugboat sector – was Kotug’s remote control trial, as part of which it controlled Tug Training & Consultancy’s 15-m training Rotortug RT Borkum from more than 1,000 km away. The long range of the test, as well as its importance for the further development of remote control technology, was noted by the panel.
"We appreciate our efforts being recognised in this way," said Kotug innovation manager Koos Smoor. "We did this project together with Rotortug, Alphatron, Veth, OnBoard and M2M Blue. They worked on this with us to make it a success."
A panel of judges selected shortlists from more than 40 nominations across six categories, which were then opened for a public vote. The panel comprised former Rolls-Royce Commercial Marine president Mikael Makinen, Spliethoff vice president business development Sjaak Klap, AVL product manager system integration Dr Hinrich Mohr, South Shield Marine School head Kevin Lund and Marine Propulsion editor Gavin Lipsith.
While all of the awards recognised state-of-the-art technology, the Graduate Research Award looked for the technologies of tomorrow under development by emerging marine engineering stars. With entries from universities across Europe, this category showcased the breadth of talent training its focus on shipping’s considerable efficiency and environmental challenges. The winning submission, from UCL’s Dr Blanca Pena, studied the energy efficiency potential of an energy-saving device that replicates organic movements. The device was modelled and validated at full scale, showing significant savings potential for bulk carriers.
"The aim of the project was the same as the theme of this conference – making ships more efficient," said Dr Pena, "We are now in the process of filing for patents and the product is ready to be commercialised."
The awards capped the first day of the Sulphur Cap 2020 Conference, which continues on 9 May.