Pilot project will see class and OSV owner collaborate on data-driven strategy for planned and ultimately condition-based maintenance, writes ABS senior vice president digital solutions Kashif Mahmood
The maritime industry is facing a period of major disruption and the effects are not confined to the physical world. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic upended conventional ways of working, digitalisation was having a similarly transformative effect on vessel operations, performance monitoring and sustainability goals.
The realisation that digital tools and technology have the power to impact client relationships, business models and vendor relationships is one that ABS recognised early and has been embraced by prudent operators who first identified the need for change among the opportunities.
This thinking led ABS and Dubai-based vessel owner P&O Maritime Logistics (POML) to agree on a pioneering condition-based class (CBC) pilot project for platform supply vessel DMS Courageous. CBC is a program developed by ABS to ultimately replace calendar-driven surveys of hull and machinery systems with alternative and less intrusive means of verification of compliance with specific survey requirements.
POML is the ideal partner for this project. The company is known as an industry disruptor, thanks to its long history of innovative, digital initiatives. The pilot grew out of a desire to change the way vessels are classed, with two significant drivers for this: creating efficiencies within the class survey process and recognition and standardisation of vessel digital data by class societies.
The agreement will see the vessel become the first to utilise ABS Nautical Systems as the digital maintenance management system, transmitting planned and condition-based maintenance (CBM) data to ABS, potentially crediting class survey requirements.
Commenting on the partnership, POML chief executive Martin Helweg, said “Our agreement with ABS is a milestone in our journey towards a digital transformation. At POML, we focus relentlessly on ensuring the quality and safety of our operations while working towards achieving our digital future. We aim to be a reliable and innovative service provider to our customers, and we will continue to pursue models of co-operation to accelerate new strategies and changed operations.”
Powered by advances in digital technology, remote surveys and audits augment the traditional survey experience by allowing surveyors to perform a range of actions without being physically present. Surveyors also will have the ability to simultaneously capture all survey and audit requirements.
ABS will also apply data analytics by linking POML’s existing ABS-NS maintenance program with the ABS Enterprise Asset Management assessment. This provides the baseline to standardise operational rankings, enabling a continuously improved maintenance methodology implementation through ABS-NS.
POML can already capture large amounts of data from its fleet, but this is of no use unless it is interpreted correctly and given the right context. Interpretation and contextualisation will be done individually – such as specific data analysis for vibration data – and collectively as part of the CBC project. Data quality is also important and as such, the project will establish a baseline of this data so there is a datum to work to.
Changes will come quickly at the end of the first phase and can be implemented when each vessel is enrolled in the PMP Class notation. This will in turn reduce the annual survey time.
Phases two and three will focus on data integration and the ongoing monitoring of machinery and hull health, which will incorporate additional ABS digital capabilities to facilitate the class transition process from PMP to CBC.
These phases will demonstrate the value and operational benefits realised through two specific ABS digital capabilities. These capabilities include the ABS Decision Support Centre, an innovation hub which uses the industrial internet of things as a connective ecosystem between connected assets and workers, shipyards and service providers, fleet operations centres, ports, terminals and ABS offices.
Ongoing monitoring of the vessel’s machinery and structural health – the second ABS digital capability – will also be deployed on DMS Courageous. This will be performed using sensor technology and the operational data transmitted through the ABS-NS integration. We will see results including better control over the status of degradable systems, an increase in situational awareness and human reliability, support in the definition of corrective actions and the reduction of operational risk.
Seen in the context of its wider digitalisation strategy, POML believes that data, sensors, and systems are critical for achieving the highest levels of cost-saving and optimisation possible. Given that the shipping industry has traditionally lagged behind some other industries in the application of technology, there is no doubt the time is right for change and to disrupt conventional ways of working.