NYK Advances Maritime Autonomy
As the marine industry evolves toward autonomous operations, one of the sticking points traditionally has been centered on maintenance and answering the question: “what happens when machinery needs fixed?”
Helping to advance the technologies is the NYK Group, which recently finished a concluded a joint research agreement for developing advanced condition-based maintenance (CBM), a new maintenance and management process for ship machinery which eschews the maritime practice of time-based maintenance (TBM). In fact, the global shipping giant has started verification during actual ship operations.
In accordance with the NYK Group’s medium-term management plan “Staying Ahead 2022 with Digitalization and Green,” the group is promoting digitalization initiatives, and strives to enhance innovation in the shipping industry with various partners making use of operational big data.
Leveraging the ability to rapidly collect and disseminate large amounts of data from ship to shore, machinery plant data from many sensors will be shared and monitored with the classification society and engine manufacturers in real time, advancing maintenance management. In the future, the NYK Group will use this data and real-time monitoring to develop an advanced CBM to realize manned autonomous vessels.
The Joint Research
In addition to SIMS2, (which is a ship information management system developed by NYK and MTI and allowing data-sharing among workplaces on land and sea in real time) a new sensor and equipment package are installed in two different types of main engine and main steam turbine, and detailed operational data such as vibration and temperature of bearing are to be collected. The condition of the engine will then be shared and constantly monitored by the classification society and engine manufacturers.
The projects will also work to make failure predictions and remaining useful life (RUL) for the engine by taking advantage of manufacturer expertise to create optimal CBM guidelines and then verify them on actual ships. These results will be shared with the classification society to establish a new classification survey scheme based on CBM.
Project: Joint research for realizing CBM for main diesel engines
Partner: NYK, MTI Co. Ltd., Class NK, Japan Engine Corporation
Project: Joint research for realizing CBM for main steam turbines
Partners: NYK, MTI Co. Ltd., Class NK, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Marine Machinery & Equipment Co. Ltd.