The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management recently installed an air quality sensor on Splitsingsdam at the Port of Rotterdam’s Maas Entrance. An application with real-time readings displays vessel emissions for inspectors when vessels enter or leave the port. This is one of the additional measures ILT is taking to monitor sulphur dioxide emissions from shipping.
Air quality sensor, Splitsingsdam, Rotterdam. Photo: ILT
Stricter regulations from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) are placing significant restrictions on sulphur emissions from shipping. In protected areas, such as the North Sea, a maximum permitted sulphur level of 0.1% has already applied since 2015. As of 1 January 2020, sea-going vessels on the world’s oceans may only use fuel with a sulphur content of no more than 0.5%. The current maximum is 3.5%. High-sulphur fuel will only be permitted on vessels that have scrubbers – an installed filtration system – on board.
Hoek van Holland
The ‘sulphur sniffer’ was originally installed at Hoek van Holland. It has now been relocated to the ‘Lage Licht’ on Splitsingsdam in the centre of the approach channel, where it will have a much better reach. The previous location was too far away from the area in which the largest vessels enter the port.
ILT has also been using a small Belgian plane to monitor sulphur emissions since 2018. The Belgian coast guard has been monitoring shipping emissions using a small Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences plane for several years. A sensor extracts the air from beneath the plane to measure a vessel’s SO2 and CO2 emission concentrations. ILT is now also using this. Using the plane means that ILT can now also monitor vessels far out to sea.
In recent years ILT has observed that approximately 95 per cent of vessels arriving in Rotterdam complies with the sulphur regulations. In addition to the standard inspections in the Port of Rotterdam, ILT will also be sampling sea-going vessels’ so-called bunker tanks from 2020. From that point, vessels without scrubbers may no longer have fuel containing sulphur levels higher than 0.5% in their tanks.
The Port of Rotterdam is creating an environment where autonomous ships will become the norm, through IoT and IBM Watson
The Port of Rotterdam is moving closer to its plan to enable autonomous ships to call into port, and is currently replacing thousands of sensors to be compatible with the IBM Watson Platform it purchased in 2018.Download this free guide
The ultimate goal is autonomous ships. Think huge fuel-efficient vessels with a skeleton crew and an artificial brain, that sail the seas sustainably and navigate ports with great accuracy, thanks to rapid data exchange with terminals, agents and customs authorities.
Shipping companies and container terminals are making great strides towards that goal, says Jeroen Ramakers, IT Architect at the Port of Rotterdam Authority: “Our customers are automating everything that can be [automated].
“Today, when visiting the large container terminals, such as Rotterdam World Gateway, you hardly see any people walking the grounds. Our customers are way ahead of us in the digitisation of their operations.”
The first autonomous ships will still have crews on board for navigation. In later phases, the captain can perhaps steer his ship from shore and the vessel will navigate the seas autonomously.
But before any of this can become reality, all relevant data needs to flow seamlessly between all parties involved. Data such as water and weather conditions, terminal capacity and logistics.
In 2018, the Port of Rotterdam Authority purchased IBM’s IoT Platform Watson. Working with networking giant Cisco and IT services company Axians, the port started to collect a variety of weather and water data including water level, currents, saline levels, wind and visibility.
Saline levels are relevant because a higher percentage of salt in the water means a greater buoyancy, and this affects a vessel’s fuel consumption. “We replaced these five sensor types so they worked with Watson,” said Ramakers. “It was the hardest task we gave our supplier. Once that was done, we could start changing other sensors, too.”
Previously, sensor data was read, translated into information, analysed and turned into forecasts. “Now we can very accurately calculate conditions 24 hours in advance,” said Ramakers. “Our aim is to create one generic platform that collects all data: that means replacing thousands and thousands of existing sensors in quaysides, roads and boulders. All that data needs to come together in one platform that will be able to communicate with autonomous ships.
A port of Rotterdam spokesperson said that data has already led to a surprising cost saving. “When we constructed quaysides, we built them to withstand the forces of ever larger ships,” they said.
“However, our sensors have measured these ships are actually not taxing the quaysides as much as we had calculated. Now can now start constructing more cost-efficient quaysides that require less material and match the required functionality.”
The drive to automating shipping is a global challenge, and the Port of Rotterdam is of the international network organisation, known as Port Call Optimization. It meets regularly to discuss and agree upon standards for data exchange. “We have to work together – nobody can do this on their own,” said Ramakers.
Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, caught fire on Thursday during maintenance work in Russia’s Arctic port in Murmansk, with five people reportedly injured, Russian news agencies reported.
One source told the state-run TASS news agency that the fire had started on the upper deck and that thick, black smoke was billowing from the vessel. The area of the fire has reached 600 square meters, Interfax reported.
Six people have been injured, TASS cited a source in the regional disaster medicine center as saying.
The Baza Telegram channel reported that firefighters are struggling to get the fire under control as the thick smoke prevents them from reaching the source of the flames.
The Admiral Kuznetsov has had a troubled history since it was buit and launched by the Soviet Union in 1985. It has been undergoing repairs at a shipyard near Murmansk following combat operations in Syria, where it was blighted by problems and lost two aircraft due to malfunctions with the carrier’s arresting gear.
The additional repairs were not expected to affect the Admiral Kuznetsov’s return into service in 2022, Russia’s state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) said two days before the fire erupted. It was not immediately clear when or whether the ill-fated aircraft carrier would return to the Russian Navy.
Maritime shipping giant Wilhelmsen will implement a potentially massive Internet of Things platform aboard ocean-going freighters around the globe that relies on LoRa low-power wireless connectivity.
LoRa sensors and gateways powered by Semtech chips will be used to monitor the condition of the vessels and track the ship’s assets. The Things Industries is also a partner in the venture.
“The new system is expected to benefit our customers immediately and is a step toward autonomous vessels,” said Jon Helge Ulstein, senior project manager at Wilhelmsen in a statement. The Norwegian company, founded in 1861, services half of the global merchant fleet with products, services and technical management from 2,200 locations.
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Semtech chips are already used in many land-based IoT networks for various industries. Equipment running the LoraWAN specification is already deployed in 100 countries, but now will be deployed for the first time aboard ships serviced by Wilhelmsen.
The three companies successfully completed a proof of concept of the LoRa devices and using a TTI mesh network aboard a freighter ship last summer off the coast of Norway. LoRa was the right choice of wireless technology, since its range is long enough to service an entire ship but not so long-range that it uses too much power that can quickly exhaust batteries in sensors, said Marc Pegulu, vice president of Semtech’s Sensing Products Group.
In a typical ocean-going freighter, he estimated it will take 2,000 or more sensors to collect data connected to three gateways. The data will be collected and sent by satellite to a data center in Norway for monitoring.
LoRa (short for Long Range) is a spectrum modulation technology that can connect devices up to 30 miles apart and requires little energy to prolong battery life up to 10 years. The LoRaWAN specification works in the unlicensed band and complements Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and cellular. Pegulu said for ocean going freighters, Semtech chips operate over three bands to effectively connect around the globe: 915 Mhz in the Americas, 868 Mhz in Europe and 470 Mhz in China.
SK Telecom and Samsung Heavy Industries set sail with their 5G-based autonomous navigation platform, which will allow ships to move and set destinations on their own.
Samsung provided 3.3m craft for the trial, which SK Telecom equipped with LIDAR — a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth — at a shipyard covered by its 5G network. The companies then set the ship’s destination from a control center located 250km away in Daejeon City.
The ship’s safe arrival at the set destination was confirmed using an SKT real-time video monitoring platform. SK Telecom said it successfully recognized and avoided obstacles. They were also able to remotely control and monitor the ship from the control center through using the telco’s 5G network.
Choi Il-gyu, VP and head of SKT’s B2B business office expressed optimism about the results of trial, commenting that it “marks a meaningful step towards commercialization of technologies for autonomous navigation of ships powered by 5G.”
Eventually, SK Telecom and Samsung hope to develop a “5G smart yard” that will improve the safety of ships when sailing in particularly treacherous environments such as narrow waters and near shore.
The plan is for the smart yard to also contain heavy equipment that can be remotely controlled and monitored using 5G networks. They are also developing an augmented reality platform that will be used to check the goods in containers.
Last month, the carrier’s CFO Poong-Young Yoon said on a conference call with investors that SK Telecom has reached 1.5 million subscribers in the 5G segment, representing a share of 44% in the local 5G market. He went on to say that the company expects to end this year with over 2 million 5G subscribers, and that by the end of 2020, that number is expected to total 7 million.
‘’News overview / by Port of Rotterdam / 5h Column
In Rotterdam we are continuously searching for answers to make the port smarter, more efficient, better and more sustainable. How have partners in the port addressed this, why, and what could they have done smarter?
SmartPort is a neutral knowledge platform that initiates and finances innovative scientific research and disseminates knowledge. Its aim is to speed up innovations in the port of Rotterdam. Elisabeth van Opstall is the Director.
‘After working as a tax consultant for over 10 years, I concluded that I was not a specialist but was in essence incredibly curious. When I started as consultant, I was able to take a look in lots of other ‘kitchens’. I became acquainted with the port world in 2014, including topics such as LNG and sustainable inland shipping. The port of Rotterdam has a magical appeal, with its robustness, 24-hour operations and go-getting mentality. My regional Twente level-headedness is a great match for this. I also think it’s important that I’m involved in issues about the future. All this comes together brilliantly at SmartPort, where I’ve been working for almost two years now.
As a port you cannot sit and wait until this is organised as you’d be side-lined.
— Elisabeth van Opstall, Director SmartPort
With SmartPort we investigate how we can make the port future proof with respect to logistics, infrastructure, energy and industry. We do this based on the issues posed by companies. We put companies in touch with science, knowledge institutes and the government. Moreover we ensure that the scientific knowledge gained from this research is not only channelled back to these collaborating companies, but that it is also accessible for all companies in the port of Rotterdam. This enables them to anticipate and innovate. The research focuses on long term prognoses, 2030 to 2050. We’re looking particularly at trends emerging as a result of the energy transition, digitisation and automation and climate change.
Data is the new gold
A smart port is a port with vision, that thinks and operates in an integrated way, and looks further than its own organisation. A port with companies that develop new business models. Digitisation and automation demand this and this will have tremendous impact on processes and therefore also on companies. The party that has the right data is sitting on a gold mine. If we want to become a smart port, we need to ensure that data are available from the right neutral party and are disseminated securely and in the right way. And that the data can be used for research and to accelerate innovations in business processes and products.
This means we’ll immediately need to address a dilemma, as the crucial question concerns who will be responsible for collecting these data and making these available. As a port you cannot sit and wait until this is organised as you’d be side-lined. It is important that we create a structure now regarding who should organise and manage these data. In my opinion a market party shouldn’t be in charge on its own, as commercial interests will then take precedence over the collective interests. I think the independent government or a combination of public and private parties should take on the governing role. This will ensure availability and security.
Glaciers and bridges
SmartPort looks beyond the port of Rotterdam’s geographical borders. Companies’ chain activities in the port of Rotterdam don’t end at the port boundary. Our links with research institutes and market parties mean we have all the required expertise in-house. And yet some projects are a quest. It’s clear that a certain development is getting closer and will have impact. Not tomorrow or next year, but certainly in the coming decades. But most companies do not have a sense of urgency when it involves such a time period. This makes it difficult to get them involved in the SmartPort research, which means that a research project doesn’t get off the ground. Then it’s important that you make adjustments or wait for the right moment. External factors can play an accelerating role in this.
And yet some projects are a quest. It’s clear that a certain development is getting closer and will have impact. Not tomorrow or next year, but certainly in the coming decades. But most companies do not have a sense of urgency when it involves such a time period.
— Elisabeth van Opstall, Director SmartPort
An example is our ‘Climate change and inland shipping’ project. The idea in 2017 was to investigate the influence on inland shipping of the high and low water levels resulting from climate change. But there was insufficient enthusiasm for this in the inland shipping sector. Until that hot, dry summer of 2018 … Low water levels put pressure on transport to the hinterland. Fewer cargo volumes with higher tariffs. The research now is being embraced by market parties. You can use predictions to anticipate events. It is, of course, important that predictions are reliable.
‘You’ll only see it when you understand it’
Take how the Rhine will look in 50 years, for example. The water in the Rhine is partly created by the melting of glaciers. However, the fact is that glaciers are in decline. If there are far fewer glaciers, water levels in the rivers will depend on the discharged rainwater. We’re at the end of the waterway in Rotterdam. How do you handle this? Will more barrages or locks be needed, different types of vessels with smaller draughts, higher bridges, deeper channels? Such questions are important for Rijkswaterstaat and others but are still hardly ever considered. Mitigating measures, measures that reduce or remove these negative effects, demand an international approach and will take decades. That means you need to start investigating now. You’ll only see it when you understand it.
Rotterdam aims to be the world’s smartest port. To maintain our leading position, we need to keep on innovating. Innovation is a crucial means of realising the envisaged changes in energy transition and digitisation in the port of Rotterdam.Innovation: Smartest Port
On Wednesday, 4 December between 10.00 am and 3.00 pm, the final arc section of the future Theemsweg route steel bridge was lifted at Thomassen tunnel. The two arched bridges on the pre-construction site are ready to be transported by road to their position in the coming spring. This will take place in March for the bridge at Rozenburgsesluis and two months later for the bridge at Thomassentunnel. The consortium is using the interim period for further finishing and welding works, pouring concrete for the bridge columns, and the curing of the bridge bearing.
The bridge is an arched bridge with a span of 156.1 m and a total length, including ramps, of 269.1 m. This bridge will be in a prominent position from next year as, after the spring, traffic will be driving on the A15 beneath it. The total length of the other arched bridge at Rozenburgsesluis is 176.8 m. The construction of the Theemsweg route is still running entirely on schedule, and the first train is expected to run across this by the end of 2021.
Intelligent shipping, which involves the use of informationization and digital technologies, could well be the silver lining for the global shipping industry to stave off an industrial recession and the ideal conduit for China to become a global maritime power, said experts.
After reaching a peak in 2008, the global shipping market has been facing a torrid time due to the sluggish economic fundamentals. New regulations have made it mandatory for the shipping industry to reduce its carbon footprint, leading to steps like the 2020 sulfur cap, water ballast regulations and carbon emission reduction rules, said Martin Stopford, nonexecutive president of Clarkson Research.
New technology is now the buzzword in the shipping sector as companies are exploring the possibilities of using digital tech for ship design.
“The existing challenges confronted by the shipping industry like the sluggish market and shortage of crew are largely due to high global logistics costs. Science and technology helps companies to use intelligent shipping, especially for unmanned ship freight,” said Zhang Baochen, chairman of the academic committee at China Waterborne Transport Research Institute under the Ministry of Transport.
Zhang said the shipping industry is labor intensive and therefore crew reduction is seen as a viable solution to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
Intelligent shipping, the highlight of the 20th Marintec China conference that ended on Friday in Shanghai, is a new shipping system created through the integration of traditional shipping and state-of-the-art technologies. Specifically, it includes five elements: intelligent ships, intelligent navigation support, intelligent ports, intelligent shipping services and intelligent shipping supervision.
Experts attending the event said autonomous maritime technologies will not only reduce operational costs, but also ensure shipping safety with fewer human errors and also avoid the exposure of people to dangerous situations.
In addition, unmanned autonomous tech enables disruptive operational scenarios, and can help further optimize the complete logistics chain.
To date, international organizations as well as major maritime nations and regions including the UK, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, Japan and South Korea have announced their plans for intelligent shipping. At the same time, technology is also developing rapidly across the world.
In China, COSCO Shipping Group started commercialization of the world’s first large smart container ship recently, said Sun Jiakang, director of the board at China COSCO Shipping Co Ltd.
A guideline to further develop intelligent shipping as a new business model was jointly released by seven government agencies including the Ministry of Transport and the National Development and Reform Commission, has stressed the deeper integration of advanced technologies with the shipping industry in late November, Xinhuanet reported.
According to the guideline, China aims to become a global shipping development and innovation center based on breakthroughs made in several key technologies by 2025.
By 2035, the shipping industry will see new business models featuring sufficient intelligence and a high-quality intelligent shipping system will be built by 2050.
“The next 15 years will be crucial for the development of intelligent shipping technologies,” said Zhang.
Intelligent shipping offers an opportunity for China to grow from a large shipping nation into a shipping power, he said.
The year 2020 is almost here and customer demands, import and export trends and trade tensions show no signs of slowing down. The new year presents both opportunities and challenges for players within the supply chain to increase productivity through maximizing resources or get left behind as competitors take over. There are layers of factors for global shippers to consider in determining the best approach in remaining both competitive, efficient, and to be honest, relevant. Major factors in consideration include IMO 2020, traffic increases and vessel sizing.
Looking at some statistics reveals an interesting picture of exactly what’s going on and what shippers can prepare for based on last year’s trends. According to the 2019 North American Ports Outlook report by Cushman & Wakefield, the intermodal traffic rates saw an increase by 5.5 percent, while 90 percent of internationally shipped dry, non-bulk manufactured goods are containerized. Oh yeah, automobile imports are on the rise also.
Data make clear that big ships can not only create competitive advantages but also recreate what modern competition looks like. Cushman & Wakefield’s report shows that 79 percent of the international containership supply is dominated by the 2M Alliance (Maersk and MSC), the Ocean Alliance (CMA CGM, COSCO and Evergreen) and THE Alliance (ONE, Hapag Lloyd and Yang Ming). Not only do these alliances carry a massive amount of clout among competitors globally, but they also boast massive container vessels.
COSCO Shipping Universe, for example, sits right at 21,237 TEU capacity at 400 meters x 58.6 meters. This massive vessel holds the title as the largest cargo ship in China and the fourth largest in the world. Additionally, this vessel comes with an added bonus to further charge its performance through the support of ABB Turbocharges that enable the vessel to travel at 22 nautical miles per hour.
“The ABB turbochargers on COSCO Shipping Universe will support maximum performance and fuel efficiency, in addition to contributing to COSCO Shipping Lines pursuing green shipping practices for long-term success,” stated Oliver Riemenschneider, managing director, ABB Turbocharging in a press release announcing the vessel’s delivery in June of 2018. “We foresee the ABB turbochargers on the forthcoming mega container ships in the Universe series will contribute similar viable operational gains.”
As the vessels get bigger and better, industry players can rightfully anticipate this as a major trend to keep an eye out for in 2020. Although increasing ship sizes supporting more capacity with fewer miles in between is a win-win, shippers must consider how this impacts the ports and their size capabilities and most importantly, their access to such ports. The North American Ports Outlook report states that orders for new vessels are being placed exceeding 22,000 TEUs and that East Coast ports are beginning to see more large ships. Furthermore, the Neopanamax Locks confirmed that as of just recently, it can handle over 14,000 TEU ships, but not by much. That’s not going to cut it for the big ships predicted in the near future.
MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co. announced a successful Asia-to-Europe voyage for the MSC Gülsün ship. The 23,756 TEU vessel holds the title as the world’s largest container ship and adds a new level of quality with its advanced engineering focused on energy efficiency and reduced fuel consumption overall. The Gülsün is one of more than 10 ships to be added to MSC’s advanced fleet between 2019-2020, and it doesn’t stop there. The IMO-2020 ready vessel boasts a hybrid Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (UN IMO-approved, of course) paired with a low-Sulphur fuel and/or LNG adaptation option. Not only is this ship more than prepared for revolutionizing the approach to IMO standards, but it’s also making a big dent in operational efficiencies.
Evergreen also made news last year by confirming new vessels with up to 23,000 TEU capacity are being added to its fleet. Information released from numerous sources confirmed that five or more vessels with such TEU capacity were approved for order. These mega-ships will be built at South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard and China State Shipbuilding Corp.with a price tag of roughly $1.6 billion. The order was placed back in September and current service estimation sits between 12-18 months, according to various reports.
Go ahead and add Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd to the list of super vessels to come. The Wall Street Journal reported that up to six ships with TEU capacity well over 20,000 were confirmed. Hapag Lloyd already boasts six vessels within the A 18 class with more than 19,000 TEU capacity. Overall, Hapag Lloyd boasts a total fleet TEU capacity of 1.7 million… and counting.
Even with these new massive ships on the horizon, it is hard to compare to the OOCL Hong Kong, the first of six in the G-class with a whopping 21,413 TEU capacity. One such ship went down in history as the world’s first to ever break the 21,000 TEU-capacity marks. Within months of this announcement, the OOCL Scandinavia, the OOCL Germanyand the OOCL United Kingdom–all with 21,4313 TEU capacity—were also announced and christened.
“While our industry seems to have the knack to ‘outdo’ one another in building larger containerships relatively quickly these days, this project is nonetheless an important moment for us,” stated OOCL Chairman C.C. Tung in the announcement. “Faced with increasing competition and un-ending pressure on costs, we need to take the bold step in operating larger size ships of quality and high efficiency in order to stay relevant and compete effectively as a major container shipping company.”
Tung concluded, after the OOCL Scandinavia reveal, “This achievement is about working to bring people and companies of different professions and nationalities together to reach new heights, innovate, solve complicated engineering problems, and along the way, why not break a world record, too.”
Although the OOCL Hong Kong has yet to be replaced, competitors are pushing the limits of capacity to break new records the shipping sector has yet to encounter. Maximizing the capacity limits the industry is currently used to paired with the IMO 2020 regulations and changes will undoubtedly filter the industry leaders. The real question remains: Who will set the bar even higher than what it is now and how will they do it?
Future ships will be built with integrated bridge equipment with larger multifunctional displays that can be configured for advanced ship handling. These next-generation integrated bridge systems were demonstrated in their development phase at the Europort exhibition in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in November 2019.
Hensoldt UK presented its Kelvin Hughes’ integrated navigation system, Manta NEO, with multifunctional screens for displaying electronic navigational charts (ENCs), radar, conning, propulsion control, alarm management and other functions.
Manta NEO was built around a new digital platform with a simplified graphical user interface, says Hensoldt UK director for cruise and special projects Kevin Robertson.
“We developed a completely new human-machine interface, starting from scratch and with our Sharpeye radar and Kelvin Hughes Manta NEO ECDIS,” he says.
“Our intent was to create a common structure across all integrated products within the platform.”
This is a secure Android-based platform with touchscreens for full integration to all existing navigation equipment and sensors.
“We have made better use of the screen area to show radar and the information provided by ECDIS,” Mr Robertson explains. “Manta NEO multifunction displays provide configurable access to all tasks critical to navigation – radar, ECDIS, conning and bridge alarm management, greatly improving situational awareness.”
Hensoldt will initially focus on offering Manta NEO to passenger shipping and megayachts. But there are plans to adapt this integrated navigation system for merchant shipping, including container ships, bulk carriers and tankers, says Hensoldt commercial marine systems area sales manager Per Christensen.
“We plan to get type approval in Q2 2020 and will launch a commercial product in Q3 2020,” he says.
Mr Christensen explains how Manta NEO could be equipped with touchscreens of 24 in, 27 in, 32 in and 43 in. Or with a 55 in touchscreen dedicated for voyage planning on a digital navigation table.
Inland shipping integrated bridge concept
Radio Zeeland has developed a new integrated bridge concept incorporating ECDIS, radar and an alarm monitoring package. The target market for this integrated navigation system is river shipping and cruise ships as this set up would suit compact wheelhouses.
The main features of this bridge concept are three 47-in screens in the centre. These can be split for displaying up to six applications simultaneously such as closed-circuit TV, sensor measurements, fuel monitoring, engine controls, bridge alerts, ENCs, radar and conning.
Radio Zeeland sales engineer Marga Adriaanse says a navigator can manage the display on these screens using controls on the operator chair. There are touchscreens, joysticks, propulsion control and a VHF radio within the operator’s chair.
“We are discussing whether there is an interest for newbuildings with inland shipowners,” says Ms Adriaanse, “as this concept bridge combines functions in one compact system in the wheelhouse of river cruise ships, tankers and cement carriers.”
This bridge concept was presented by distribution partner Radio Holland during Europort. Radio Holland also presented a new digital voyage planning table using a 55-in multi touchscreen from Hatteland.
Radio Holland service engineer Timo Heskes says this displays Furuno ECDIS and weather information for navigators.
“There is more information than on ENCs for creating routes,” he says. “There is integrated weather, navigation hazard and water depth information. There are different ECDIS options and operators can overlay radar images on these ENCs.”
Operators can also import electronic documents about ports and harbours and navigation safety updates for voyage planning and execution. There is two-way communication between ECDIS on the front of the bridge used for navigation and this planning table.
“If there is a change in route on the front-bridge ECDIS, this changes automatically on the chart table,” says Mr Heskes.
Navigation and docking combined
Also during Europort, Japan Radio Co subsidiary Alphatron Marine introduced its multifunctional information navigation and docking system, Alpha-MINDS. This is being developed to improve safety during ship berthing and reduce stress on navigators.
Alpha-MINDS uses JRC’s inhouse-developed software platform Lynx to deliver advanced docking information to bridge teams.
Graphical displays deliver information as selected add-ons to ECDIS for operational modes such as berthing or dredging operations or passing through busy shipping lanes.
Information is displayed on a 26-in touchscreen on the Alpha-MINDS console. This can include ENCs, camera images and high-accuracy GPS sensors for docking. Internal ECDIS can be upgraded with more advanced features.
JRC has also included voyage planning and reporting tool NeCST, which JRC developed with NYK Lines. This enables bridge teams to:
Share data with ships and offices via JRC’s J-Cloud.
Plan routes with an intuitive user interface.
Handwrite on an electronic chart and export to ECDIS.
Overlay weather and meteorological information.
Easily hand over to the next officer on duty.
Efficiently brief voyage and onboard tasks.
Other JRC equipment can feed information to Alpha-MINDS, including its JMA-5300 and JMR-5400 radar series. Alphatron said Alpha-MINDS would be suitable for vessels up to 10,000 gt.
Damen Shipyards Group introduced its new human machine interface (HMI) for tugs, offshore support vessels and other workboats at Europort. Damen sales manager Joost van der Weiden told Riviera Maritime Media these redesigned graphical user interfaces are included in the latest deliveries of tugs and support vessels to improve the information display for crew.
These HMIs were developed in partnership with VanBerlo and Praxis for bridge, engine control and switchboard rooms in close consultation with captains and chief engineers.
There are separate displays for vessel navigation, towage operations, engine and thruster controls, tank levels and winch operations which can be chosen depending on which crew member needs them.
Damen has developed an HMI nautical dashboard in the wheelhouse for captains to view heading, speed, fuel consumption and other alarms. There is an HMI technical dashboard for chief engineers that displays information on main engines, generator sets and thrusters.
There is also an HMI indicating information required for deck machinery control and a dashboard displaying vessels systems’ information, such as fuel tank levels, pressures and consumption rates.
Mr van der Weiden says remotely monitoring these operational parameters is also included in its newbuildings. “We can provide reports to owners demonstrating the average fuel consumption and systems temperatures,” he says. “They can then optimise their operations, reducing fuel consumption or change their maintenance requirements.”
Anglo-Eastern adopts smart voyage planning to reduce fuel costs
Shipmanagement group Anglo-Eastern has partnered with Wärtsilä to digitalise its fleet operations, improve navigation and engine performance.
It installed Wärtsilä Fleet Operations Solution (FOS) on a managed fleet of more than 600 vessels to support voyage planning and execution, fuel efficiency and engine performance monitoring.
Wärtsilä FOS integrates with a ship’s planning station and ECDIS for voyage planning and weather routeing. It incorporates cloud computing power, machine learning, data analytics, and onboard/onshore mobile applications.
This platform also enables ship-to-shore reporting and fleet performance management to reduce fuel consumption and vessel speed. FOS enables data flow for monitoring hull, propeller and engine condition.
“We are keen to leverage the advantages of the latest digital solutions to maximise the efficiency of our voyages and the performance of our fleet,” says Anglo-Eastern chief executive Bjorn Hojgaard. “We expect Wärtsilä FOS will further increase ship navigational safety, reduce crew workload, and improve fuel efficiency.”
Anglo-Eastern managing director of QHSE and training Capt Pradeep Chawla says adopting these smart marine technologies will “raise efficiencies, improve safety, and reduce the carbon footprint of shipping”. He adds, “we are excited to be bringing these benefits to the 600-vessel Anglo-Eastern fleet over the coming 12 months.”