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Simulator-led project to develop remote engine monitoring system begins

In recent years in coastal shipping, it has become an urgent task to deal with the future shortage of seafarers, which is expected due to the aging of seafarers and the decrease in the number of applicants.

It is said that the biggest barrier to becoming a seafarer is an isolated working environment where seafarers spend a long time in an environment isolated from land. Due to the shortage of future seafarers, a concern has grown that there will be a shortage of highly specialised human resources who will be responsible for the engine operation of ships, which will hinder safe and efficient ship operations.

To solve such issues, five companies have come together to  estimate the cause of engine operation failure by utilising simulators to develop a remote-engine-monitoring system that can judge/make a decision on how to recover.

The companies participating in the project include NYK Line, NYK Group’s MTI, Nabtesco Corporation, ClassNK, Nihon Shipyard, and BEMAC.

This is a highly innovative initiative and aims to develop an on-land monitoring centre to monitor engine operations of multiple ships yet maintain today’s high safety level even if the number of seafarers involved in engine operation on board is reduced. Further, by proposing a new working style at the on-land monitoring centre to coastal seafarers, it is also expected to reduce the seafarers’ isolated working environment.

In this project, a shipyard, maritime equipment manufacturers, a classification society, and shipping companies will work together to expedite development and conduct demonstration tests on actual ships.

The first area of research will be in developing a system for estimating the cause of engine-operation failure and for judging and/or making a decision on how to recover. the second part of the research will focus on conducting demonstration tests of highly automated operations of marine engines, utilising the remote monitoring technology on actual ships.

Each company will play a specific role in the project. MTI will, for example, develop the failure-recovery-judgment system and the engine remote monitoring system, and will also conduct demonstration tests of the developed systems on actual ships. ClassNK will evaluate the failure-recovery-judgment system and the engine remote monitoring system, and will also evaluate the results of the demonstration tests.

More information on the project and the roles of each company can be found here.

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