Automation for reliability

18 Oct 2010
MTU’s Callosum integrates and controls all systems on vessels such as tugs

MTU’s Callosum integrates and controls all systems on vessels such as tugs

MTU cites the diverse range of applications, including a German ice-breaker and research vesse, a Spanish fast ferry and a New York fireboat, as users of its Callosum integrated control and monitoring system.

The three featured vessels, and a number of others, share the need for onboard technology that functions reliably, safely and efficiently under all likely sea states.

MTU says that its integrated ship automation system guarantees the safety, efficiency and reliability of all on-board systems. Measured data acquired from every area of the vessel can be directly accessed by the crew on colour monitors at the control stands, providing duty crew with a fast and up-to-the-minute overview. The automation system can therefore provide confirmation that the technology on board such as propulsion plant, on-board power supplies and measuring devices at various points throughout the vessel – such as tanks, bilges and HVAC – are working properly. Smaller crews, in particular, can benefit greatly from the possibility of being able to overview highly complex processes and having the vessel at their fingertips at all times. If engine cylinder exhaust temperature increases, the system can rapidly assess the possible consequences and limit any resultant faults.

The name ‘Callosum’ comes from the human corpus callosum, which is responsible for the exchange of information between the two halves of the brain. The marine version is designed to combine data acquisition, logic operations and visualisation. All of the processes involved can be shown on and accessed on a chain of monitors throughout the ship. MTU claims that Callosum’s three-click technology guarantees that any action can be implemented with no more than three clicks on the mouse.

The system includes integrated monitoring and control, a ship safety system, a training module and a service and maintenance system. By concentrating on simple operation and vessel safety duty crew sizes can be kept to a minimum. More than 20,000 data parameters from a network of sensors can be assessed simultaneously in order to provide continuous monitoring and control. The vessel’s acceleration and handling characteristics, for example, can be optimally adjusted. All connections are via modern high-speed bus lines.

The system can accommodate diesel or gas turbine prime movers, in a wide range of configurations and combinations. Including electric plant. The system includes monitors, control levers and keypads for propulsion mode selection. Integrated navigation functions can be selected on the same monitor screen on the bridge.

The modular design means that Callosum can be adapted for a range of vessel types, from tugs to cruise liners. The system’s open structure also allows integration of electrical power management systems, fire detection systems, CCTV and other custom modules.

Callosum DC is avessel safety and damage control system designed to prevent and limit damage due to leaks or fire. Using written instructions and hazard warning levels, it is intended to provide effective communication in any situation. Detectors and warning devices throughout the ship provide a rapid overview in hazardous situations, and are monitored via a central operations station so that damage can be precisely localised and rapidly combated. Professional software is available to help crews combat hazards and to maximise safety during incidents. A structured procedure based on a detailed checklist is automatically implemented independent of human decision-making or during power outages, system failures or leaks. The system was developed with a focus on rapid reaction times – users need no more than three clicks to access their target on the screen.

The Callosum TS integrated training system Callosum TS software simulates a range of scenarios designed to prepare the crew for difficult situations. Exercises can take place either on board the vessel or at ashore. During development of the hazard scenarios, engineers focused primarily on achieving maximum reality and this element is highlighted by integration of the training system in Callosum via the vessel’s normal man-machine interface in order to increase the crew’s understanding of vessel operation.

Callosum is rounded off by a service and maintenance system conceived for long-term assignments at sea. It involves an electronic diagnostic program which continuously monitors all propulsion-related processes. If any malfunctions, irregularities or signs of wear are identified, Callosum MT (maintenance) initiates a message. If the vessel is not within reach of a service centre, the crew can access technical documentation and 3D-videos to enable them to carry out basic jobs using a step-by-step approach. The material includes detailed images of components as well as descriptions of full maintenance procedures. If needed, the crew can send the initial message ashore to arrange for support or service. In addition, ship systems can be remote-monitored from land via satellite.

MTU claims many years experience in developing and manufacturing complete systems for ship propulsion and automation plants. Callosum consolidates the previous systems in order to monitor and control the range of onboard technology.

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MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH

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