Rolls-Royce, ZF Team On New Electronic Monitoring System

Rolls-Royce and ZF are developing an electronic monitoring system for ships that they say will focus on ship availability, while keeping fuel consumption and CO2 emissions to a minimum.

The new Equipment Health Management System (EHMS) will collect and analyze data from the MTU engines (a brand of Rolls-Royce), ZF transmission systems and other key components on a vessel, while taking into account environmental factors, such as wind, waves and currents, the companies said. The system will be available beginning in 2021.

Germany-based Förde Reederei Seetouristik Shipping Group (FRS) is testing the new system for the first time in the Halunder Jet ferry that connects mainland Germany with the Heligoland archipelago in the North Sea.

“Reliability is what we value most of all,” said Tim Kunstmann, managing director of FRS Helgoline GmbH & Co. KG. “When you have 680 passengers standing on the St. Pauli Piers in Hamburg waiting to board the Halunder Jet ferry to Helgoland, the reliable ship operation is of top priority.”

The Halunder Jet incorporates four 16-cylinder Series 4000 MTU engines delivering a total output of about 12 000 hp, ZF 7650 NR2H transmission systems, and Kamewa waterjets. The ferry carries a maximum of 680 passengers and operates at speeds of up to 35 knots.

FRS has a total of 58 vessels operating ferry services and crew transfer services for offshore wind farms in Europe, North Africa, the Near East and North America, and currently has 40 MTU engines in service.

“The large number of vessels, the variety of vessel types operated and their areas of operation make the FRS fleet particularly interesting for the development project, as it enables us to develop a product designed specifically to meet the demands of a large fleet operator,” said Bartosz Kowalinski, project manager at the Power Systems business unit of Rolls-Royce.

The next steps will be to set up an interface from the ZF transmission systems to the Equipment Health Management System, collect data from the various components of the powertrain on the Halunder Jet and then to analyze the data obtained. Interim results are repeatedly examined by the customer in order to determine to what extent they meet requirements. On the basis of this collaborative arrangement, Rolls-Royce and ZF hope to be able to offer maritime customers optimized and integrated propulsion solutions.

Rolls-Royce said that, to date, 70% of MTU’s marine engines have been delivered with ZF transmission systems.

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