Sea change

This decade will see a significant evolution in marine technology with the deployment of software that uses all the available data from intelligent ship equipment.

On many of the newer ships, modern drives, protection relays, motors, etc. offer rich sources of data that can be integrated with other information like speed, wind, waves and the weather forecast to optimize a vessel’s operation and save energy.

Further, online communication via satellite is now common and vessels are able to report their technical and operational status to headquarters. This gives the ship owner the ability to elevate planning, monitoring and vessel comparison to a new level.

The green sea
A primary benefit arising from these new products, and smart integration, is a reduction in energy usage. Fuel accounts for between 30 and 40 percent of the cost of running a cruise ship. This increases to between 50 and 60 percent for most merchant vessels. Reducing fuel consumption by just 1 percent can mean an annual saving of $50,000 for a midsized bulk carrier and $300,000 a year for a large container ship.

This represents a significant opportunity, given that around 90 percent of world trade is carried by the 70,000 or so vessels that make up the international shipping industry. In addition to these, there are a number of ships performing specialized duties, such as drill ships, research vessels and offshore supply and construction vessels.


Read the full article to find out about the VICO and EMMA software as well as marine equipment integrity.

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About the author

Kai Hansen

I'm the technology manager for the Center of Excellence "Vessel Information and Control" in the business unit "Marine and Cranes". I've worked at ABB for 15 years and in most of this time as a scientist and manager in ABB Corporate Research where I focused on a number of different exciting ABB technologies. At the moment I'm taking part in the challenging task of establishing new teams and new business around utilizing software technology in the shipping industry. Outside of work, I I tend to drag a long, large Nikon camera wherever I travel and enjoy trying to capture the perfect photograph!
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