Furuno has unveiled bridge systems’ monitoring, Reygar combines automatic and manual reporting, while Transas and ABB provide service suites
Furuno Electric has introduced remote monitoring and diagnostics for its range of ship integrated bridge systems. Its HermAce gateway was unveiled at the Posidonia exhibition in Athens, Greece, in June.
The HermAce remote monitoring and troubleshooting platform is connected to a series of bridge electronics including radar, ECDIS, speedlog, sonar, voyage data recorders and alarms through an Ethernet network and Dell-supplied hardware.
This can be used for real-time monitoring of performance and condition of bridge systems, said Furuno UK area manager Paul McKenzie. He said if there was an issue with ECDIS, radar or other bridge equipment, the ship’s superintendent would be alerted and they could review the problem through a portal.
“A technical manager could view the status of the equipment and interrogate any problems,” he said. Furuno would also be alerted and “would advise the shipowner on how to fix the problem”, said Mr McKenzie.
To achieve this, sensors within the integrated bridge system would be connected to the ship’s satellite communications through a Dell gateway unit to send information to the shipmanager’s office and to Furuno’s monitoring centre. This communications pipeline can be either VSAT or an L-band connection.
Remote fleet management
Remote monitoring is a rising trend in shipping, but on most vessels masters still produce manual daily ship status reports for onshore fleet managers. Which is one of the reasons why Reygar developed Digital-DPR (daily progress reports) that combines daily reports with data captured automatically by its BareFleet system.
This combines data captured by sensors with information from the master, such as personnel on board, drills performed, personnel transfers and bunker levels.
BareFleet automatically records a host of fleet monitoring data, including machinery health and alarms, fuel efficiency, vessel motion and navigational information. To augment this, a master would input his daily information on to a console to automatically generate a report to be sent to shore.
Digital-DPR was developed in close co-operation with Global Marine Group’s CWind, which uses BareFleet to monitor its entire fleet of offshore crew transfer vessels (CTVs).
CWind head of CTV fleet operations Josh Brennan said using Digital-DPR alongside BareFleet helps “us to better monitor fleet performance and personnel activity on a day-to-day basis”. This information can then be shared with CWind’s clients. Digital-DPR reports can be tailored to other shipping sectors.
Vessel monitoring can incorporate suites of information for improving fleet operations, as Norway-based fleet operator Wilson Ship Management is finding out from using Transas services. Wilson signed a fleet operations contract with the Wärtsilä subsidiary in Q1 this year. This included obtaining fleet data from shore-based locations, onboard navigational and communication components, e-learning courses and a portfolio of decision support tools developed by Transas.
This Fleet Operations Solution provides vessel performance monitoring and machine-learning techniques to increase navigational safety and enhance efficiency. Wilson expects access to fleet data will improve situational awareness for both crew and shore managers, said Wilson general director Thorbjørn Dalsøren. “We expect that within a short period Transas will be able to equip our vessels and support them,” he said.
Edda Accommodation is also seeing the benefits of vessel monitoring. It is using ABB Ability’s Octopus marine advisory system on its flotel Edda Fiddes to optimise operational performance and improve safety during crew transfers on gangways between the ship and offshore production facilities.
The system incorporates alarms to provide onboard warnings if preset limits are exceeded and allows shoreside staff to monitor vessel performance via the Octopus Fleet Portal.