Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) has announced that it digitised its existing proprietary bunker and lube oil analysis operations in August 2021, and has added remote access and statistical analysis functionality to the results. The company added that it plans to commercialise the cloud-based Bunker Hub analytics system in future.

MOL is the only deep-sea Japanese shipping company to maintain its own bunker oil and lubricant analysis capabilities. The company established its own bunker oil and lubricant analytical laboratory; the Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. Technology Research Center, over 60 years ago. The Center analyses about 7,000 samples collected from about 800 MOL Group-operated vessels every year. 

In August 2021, as part of MOL’s efforts to promote Digital Transformation, the company introduced a new cloud-based system to improve the management of the bunker oil and lubricant analysis results. The system consolidates statistical data, permitting segmentation of the data by vessel and/or region, as well as “off-spec bunker occurrence area distribution” on the cloud.

It also significantly improves user-friendliness and operability by adding a function that allows online access/monitoring of analysis data. Previously access to the data was email-based.

The system is expected to help MOL Group employees evaluate bunkering ports and its quality in terms of past bunker oil results. MOL expects this to help avoid the use of avoidance of inferior bunker oils. 

MOL plans to apply machine learning analysis techniques to its proprietary bunker and lube oil datasets.

Source: MOL

MOL plans to apply machine learning analysis techniques to its proprietary bunker and lube oil datasets.

The analysis results and statistical data accumulated in the system, especially trends in bunker oil characteristics by area/fuel, will contribute to improve technology and safer operation among maritime clusters. MOL added that it plans to commercialise the cloud-based system, but added that it also plans to share the Big Data, which it expects will contribute to the growth of maritime industries. 

MOL concluded by noting that it plans to extend the functionality of the system, adding direct access from engineers aboard its vessels, and integrating the system into other MOL vessel management tools. The final areas for expansion include potential applications for the analysis of faults and unplanned maintenance, and ultimately developing a feedback system drawing on analysis of aggregated trouble records and statistics.