08 May New project eyes development of ‘intelligent’ steering gear
Japanese MOL announced a cooperation agreement with compatriot Kawasaki Heavy Industries, to jointly develop technologies that will enhance vessel reliability and energy-saving operation by vessel steering gear with new sensing capability and big data analysis. The project focuses on control of the steering gear, which is one of the most critical elements when handling a ship.
Namely, the system will be installed on a very large crude carrier (VLCC), which is under construction at KHI and due for delivery to MOL. It is intended to develop KHI-made steering gear equipped with sensors that monitor pressure, flow rate, temperature of hydraulic oil, consumed power and so on, and high-speed data acquisition system that has a large storage capacity.
As explained, the high-speed data acquisition system collects not only data from the steering gear, but also other various types of data, such as vessel speed, course, engine load and rudder angle, during a voyage. In-depth analysis of this data will lead to improvements in vessel reliability and energy-saving operation. The project is expected to complete by end of March 2021.
This effort is a part of MOL’s technological development initiative, the «Ishin Next – MOL Smart Ship Project», intended to leverage the knowledge and know-how gained through the development process for various ship types, with the adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) to enhance safe operation and reduce vessels’ environmental impact.