Columbia Ship Management (CSM) has once again pushed industry boundaries by creating a totally SMART and fully digitised jack-up barge under its management as part of a digital twinning process designed to massively optimise vessel performance.
The process, which takes digital vessel twinning to a new level, was undertaken by the team at Columbia’s Performance Optimisation Control Room (POCR) headed up by Captain Pankaj Sharma.
Using non-invasive next generation Internet of Things technology through a wireless eco-system packed with full machine learning capability, the connected vessel benefited from machinery health monitoring as well as enhanced engine diagnostics.
Transforming the SMART vessels into an effective digital twin, the process was one step ahead of pre-existing often fragmented ship-to-shore connectivity solutions.
And what makes it a SMART vessel? According to Capt Sharma, it is as much about maximising IoT technology and minimising human input as it is about focusing on Artificial intelligence for predictive applications.
“The vessel is fully digitised and digitalised in a totally cyber secure environment. SMART cameras onboard the ship take analogue images of the systems which are then digitised.
“By combining and analysing data from the sensors, the crew and the onshore technical department have direct access to all information about the health of specific items of equipment. The smart vessel solution capitalises on the machine learning, self-correcting and early warning systems for asset preservation and the solutions are scalable, modular and OEM agnostic,” he said.
With sensor technology and data processing, the vessel uses advanced analytic techniques to identify data trends and anomalies, providing early indicators to avoid potential failures or downtime and help with decision making for crew and shoreside personnel. By using non-invasive sensors, the smart system on the vessel looks for any anomalies while monitoring the vessel’s diagnostics and predictive warning systems.
The mix of technologies onboard the vessel has a proven track record in the aviation, wind energy and marine industries.
Optimising engine and vessel performance through the ingenuity of the POCR can help to reduce emissions as well as increase the life of equipment onboard ship, boosting the return on investment for the owner as well as providing accurate equipment maintenance and condition records which can help to boost a vessel’s resale value. It can also reduce fuel consumption by between 2% and 5% as well as generate a basket of other benefits such as reduced dry dock costs; improved insurance rates and the potential for near zero down time of the vessel. Optimising lubrication can also reduce vessel by vessel lubrication costs by up to 45%.
Capt Sharma again: “While vibration and temperature monitoring have been used successfully on ships for many years to reduce breakdowns and improve equipment functionality and reliability, our vessel links sensor data to an onboard server from which the crew can immediately spot any abnormalities or problems.
“The generator condition monitoring technology installed onboard, for instance, constantly takes measurements and can recognise abnormalities in the generators as well as the engines and gearboxes,” he added.
Mark O’Neil, President and CEO of Columbia Shipmanagement, said: “I am very proud that our POCR has been designed by the experts at CSM with our clients’ needs at the forefront of our minds. Our POCR optimises all areas of vessel operation, maintenance, bunker and lube oil purchase/consumption. This is monitoring and performance optimisation at scales never before seen in our industry. We are proud to deliver this service to our customers Saudi Aramco and BGMS who are driving change and demanding efficiencies and levels of optimisation and safety which were previously thought impossible to achieve. Welcome to the future of vessel/asset management.”