BY IAN CAMERON
The importance and benefits of rapidly developing digital capabilities and how they can transform marine transportation is often hard to demonstrate.
To overcome this, Rolls-Royce has opened the first in a series of what it calls “ship intelligence experience spaces” to demonstrate to its customers, suppliers and partners how the latest digital solutions can transform the marine industry.
The first Intelligent Asset Management (IAM) experience space, has opened in Ålesund, Norway, to show how ship intelligence systems can harness the “power of data” to optimise fleet operations, reduce operating costs and improve maintenance procedures.
The IAM space provides an area for Rolls-Royce customers to validate the advantages of using IAM systems, such as the Rolls-Royce Energy Management (EM) and Equipment Health Management (EHM) portals in real-time, operational environments.
Mikael Makinen, Rolls-Royce, president – Marine, said: “It is often difficult to convey the many commercial and operational benefits of new cloud-based digital technologies. But now, with the opening of this, the first in a number of planned Ship Intelligence Experience Spaces around the world, we can fully demonstrate for our customers the very tangible benefits of what is often considered an intangible technology.”
Split into two areas – an “Intelligent Analytics Center Collaborative Canvas area” and a “Fleet Management Command Center” – the IAM Experience Space will showcase the Rolls-Royce range of digital products designed to support its customers in the management of their vessels and fleets.
The facility also provides a workspace in which Rolls-Royce and its customers can hone existing digital solutions and collaborate on the development of new ones to meet their individual requirements.
“Essentially, the Intelligent Analytics Center is a ‘digital factory’, where data is transformed into insights that facilitate and support more informed decision-making,” said Jan Chirkowski, Rolls-Royce, Intelligent Analytics Center manager. “The Intelligent Analytics Center Collaborative Canvas space allows us to visualize this data, co-develop product features with our customers to make better use of that data and give them a complete digital picture of the current and potential operational performance of their fleet.”
The Fleet Management Command Center area, meanwhile, is a proof-of-concept for a future product that puts all the information fleet managers needs at their fingertips. The command centre is fitted out with an intuitive touch interface and a floor-to-ceiling, six-metre-wide curved screen to display collected ship data via systems such as the Rolls-Royce EM and EHM portals.
“The EM display gives the fleet manager a complete overview of the fleet’s energy footprint, providing the comprehensive information needed to optimise or adjust operating parameters to achieve better energy and environmental efficiencies,” said Chirkowski.
The EMH portal, to be officially introduced next year, uses “Machine Learning” algorithms to flag-up any anomalies in the sensor data coming in from machinery and systems onboard a vessel, in a real-time, live operating environment. This information can then be used to make informed decisions to take more effective and pre-emptive action.
“This data is invaluable,” said Chirkowski. “For example, it can inform fleet managers of any material degradation or likely component failure before it actually happens. Components can then be ordered and replaced before causing any operational disturbance. Certainly, a reduction in the frequency of unplanned maintenance events will pay dividends and result in a fleet that is always running to optimum commercial and environmental efficiency.”
The concept of real-time machinery data is common in the aviation industry where aero-engine performance information is critical to safe operation. However, until recently bandwidth availability and cost have been barriers to the concept being rolled out across the marine industry.
Makinen added: “The information presented to fleet managers today in the Aalesund IAM Experience Space is crucial for optimizing vessel performance. It can be used to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, extend machinery overhaul intervals and increase system availability. Machinery breakdowns could be a thing of the past.
“We can demonstrate exactly how Rolls-Royce Ship Intelligence Solutions increase the overall performance and safety of the vessels in our customers’ fleets.”