Class NK to develop ship maintenance software

13 Nov 2012
The newly developed system will prevent machinery malfunction

The newly developed system will prevent machinery malfunction

Class NK, IHI Marine United (IHIMU), Diesel United (DU) and IBM Japan will be developing a ship maintenance management system to help reduce lifecycle cost.

When operating in adverse ocean conditions, the monitoring of a vessel’s onboard machinery is vital to ensuring smooth operations. Class NK, IHIMU and IBM Japan carried out joint research from April to July 2012 to look at ways of detecting machinery abnormalities at the earliest point possible.

Yasushi Nakamura, executive vice president, Class NK, told The Motorship: "One major opportunity for cost saving is machinery maintenance. If we can provide owners and operators with a better understanding of how their machinery is actually performing, we can help owners achieve optimum performance, reduce unnecessary maintenance, and increase the efficiency of the entire maintenance process. This not only reduces costs, but also has knock-on benefits such as improved awareness among the crew and managers, and better communication between the ship and shore. Such advances can only be to the common good of the entire industry as it faces mounting legislative, fuel and environmental challenges in the years ahead."

New data analysis technology has been developed by IBM Research, which can automatically identify hidden dependencies, sensor anomalies and remove noise and false positives from the sensor data. This was used to analyse machinery performance when malfunctions occurred. Class NK adapted this system for use in maritime applications.

The new system will enable shipowners, managers and operators to predict where malfunctions are likely to occur, ensuring smooth operations with the aim of reducing maintenance costs and lengthening machinery lifespan.

Verification will be carried out on existing bulk carriers, oil tankers and container carriers equipped with DU’s Lifecycle Administrator (LC-A) total support system.

The new system will be offered by Class NK as a cloud-based service from June 2013.

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