Scanjet managing director Niklas Falkmer explains how the latest smart tank management systems can help simplify industry requirements for hazardous cargo
Legislation requires that hazardous cargoes are tracked and monitored at every stage, both on land and at sea. In addition to the comprehensive data capture and recording requirements carriers face, stringent new laws and regulations have been introduced in the past 10 years aimed at offsetting incidents arising at sea and during loading and unloading. Continuous monitoring is essential to prevent and control leaks and spills and to avoid the build-up of toxic substances in holds and tanks which could affect the quality of the products and be potentially life-threatening.
For owners and carriers, the synergies among the related products are key to achieving operating economies and maintaining vessel compliance with new regulations as they emerge. The growing move towards ship autonomy, although still some way off, has placed additional emphasis on the digitisation of ship systems
The intelligent tank management system (ITAMA) approach provides direct, real-time monitoring and measurement, covering all aspects of tank management to ensure safe operations and control at sea and in port. Central to the ITAMA system is the integration between marine tank management and key aspects of tank maintenance, such as tank cleaning machines, to improve safety and achieve faster turnaround times.
Developed to provide reliable operation in harsh marine environments. ITAMA has been designed as a modular platform, bringing together embedded proprietary software, operating system and hardware to create a fully integrated system which delivers information direct to the ship’s automatic systems.
A user-friendly touch-screen system display shows active tanks in action, while local indicators and a new handheld ATEX-certified wireless tank monitoring and alarm unit provide additional viewing options. ITAMA additionally provides support for ship-to-shore transmissions and remote support via a ship’s internet connection.
“The growing move towards ship autonomy, although still some way off, has placed additional emphasis on the digitisation of ship systems”
ITAMA provides the ability to add or remove monitoring points, accommodating a large number and type of instrument. This includes full connectivity and data transfer with third-party products and automation systems. The system has been designed to be future-proof, offering lifetime full reverse compatibility of parts and components, making the upgrade to meet new standards and regulations easier.
ITAMA integrates with Scanjet tank measurement technology, which is based on high frequency non-contact radars (ScanRad) or high accuracy temperature-compensated absolute pressure sensors, or both in combination, to measure liquid density. Temperatures can be monitored at multiple points, with readings used to automatically recalculate the specific gravity of the liquid as a function of the temperature.
Proprietary algorithms integrated within the system filter out instrument fluctuations and compensate for the effects of tank liquid movement arising from pitch and roll, helping avoid false alarms. A separate service for non-contact tank calibration ensures accurate tank volume charts. The system enables reliable reconciliation between level (ullage) and weight measurements at any trim or list.
Tank-level gauging is provided by an electro pneumatic system offering continuous, fast measurement, transmitting data to the relevant systems with DC 4-20 mA or digital Modbus serial line.
Suitable for permanent submersed operation, ITAMA’s pressure sensors measure absolute pressure. The system control panel features a continuous and simultaneous digital readout of each measuring point, as well as user-defined visual and audible alarms. Continuous corrections of the level readings for the vessel’s trim and list and a transmitter for system atmospheric pressure compensation are included. Serial line communication to other systems is available via RS485, RS422, RS232 and TCP/IP.