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Japanese propulsion powerhouse targets new fuel solutions

Japanese propulsion powerhouse targets new fuel solutions
With the global datasphere set to reach 175 Zettabytes by 2025, experts at the Offshore Support Journal, Asia virtual conference focused on the growth of digitalisation in shipping and how it is changing OSV operations

P&O Maritime Logistics head of IT Kris Vedat said P&O has integrated its data management system to streamline drydocking, maintenance, procurement, quality, health, safety, security, environment and document management.

Mr Vedat cited a real-world example where a P&O vessel suffered engine damage resulting from water ingress. Manual sampling resulted in delays and up to US$1M in damages.

The company has since deployed an IoT model for gathering data to improve maintenance based on a predictive model instead of relying on reactive models, as it sees vessels as an extension of shore operations. By ensuring connectivity, the quality and quantity of data collected is improved. Using BI data, the company is able to create dashboards to enable greater transparency and look at fuel performance, more economical transport options and route optimisation.

P&O deploys lube oil monitoring across its fleet tracking water dilution, glycol, salt water dilution, TBN, TAN index, viscosity, metallic particles, temperature and density. The return on investment has been significant, with the company saving between US$18,000-20,000 per vessel in lube oil.

From the class perspective, ClassNK corporate officer Dr Toshiro Arima discussed new developments in condition based maintenance (CBM).

Dr Arima said digital twin systems, which have CBM as a key component, can help companies grasp actual events as they occur in real time, in a virtual space. These systems, he said, can achieve cost efficiencies, increase uptime and reduce the risk of failures.

“Data obtained through CBM systems should be accumulated in land-based data centres which facilitate big data utilisation” he said.

Dr Arima also discussed using CBM in hull maintenance and that some ships equipped with steam turbines had registered systems for preventative maintenance, adopting survey schemes based on CBM and diagnostics. The schemes did not work for diesel vessels.

“There were technological problems related to the accuracy of diagnosis that were yet to be resolved. Therefore, these services were not adopted by ships with diesel engines,” Dr Arima added.

From a business perspective, Ulstein International senior business analyst Jose Jorge Garcia Agis said digital operations are now mature enough to be commercially viable.

“We now have cheaper sensors, inexpensive data transfer and storage options, and higher computation capacity,” he said.

Varied sources of data from the vessel itself, weather date forecasts, commercial data, day rates, and the state of the ports helps operations. But Mr Agis cautioned that data by itself has no value. Ulstein extracts data, integrates data sets from multiple sources and then benchmarks the data, he said. The company defines clear goals based on stakeholder needs for the use of the data. In operation, knowledge gathered from data helps Ulstein in training crew, making new guidelines or retrofitting ships in addition to CBM.

All of the panellists said they expect CBM to take a larger share of vessel maintenance in the future.

Dr Arima and Mr Vedat felt that where possible, every machine on board will use CBM by 2050. Mr Vedat said “the ambition and the drive should target that [date as a] certainly.” Mr Agis added the machinery that is most critical will be tracked, particularly with the growth of autonomous operations.

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