(WINTERTHUR, Switzerland) — In a new collaboration, large two-stroke engine designer and developer Winterthur Gas & Diesel (WinGD) has taken a decisive step toward a future where the acquisition and evaluation of real-time propulsion operating data will play a crucial role in both engine operation and onboard support.
Signed on Dec. 16, an agreement with ship performance monitoring specialist Propulsion Analytics of Piraeus, Greece calls for the joint development of an advanced diagnostics system for all WinGD two-stroke diesel and dual-fuel engines. Representing a major step toward digitization in the shipping sector, the objective of the system to be developed is to provide shipowners and operators with digital technologies that will enhance both operational efficiency and crew decision-making processes related to the main engine.
The system will acquire and analyze data on the performance and condition of the engine and its subcomponents in real time and so provide live troubleshooting and diagnostic advice to the crew. In addition, as required, the system will be capable of connecting to shore-based stakeholders. In this way, this system completes and enhances ship digitization by providing a two-stroke engine performance optimizer and diagnostic system.
The proposed system will enable the ship operator to:
• Optimize engine performance in all its aspects (fuel consumption, power, emissions).
• Intelligently diagnose the engine status, via performance information, subsystems and components' current behavior, enabling prediction and diagnosis of component malfunction and extension of maintenance intervals (condition-based maintenance).
• Troubleshoot abnormalities by providing the crew and the shipping company with more detailed information on which key components are affected and what are the relevant steps to fix the malfunction.
• Have an integrated planning and online spare parts purchasing program.
• Train its crew and the shipping company by providing virtual and interactive tuition.
• Communicate engine data ashore to the shipowner and, if wished, to other interested parties such as service providers.
• Store data in a secured environment enabling fleet comparisons when required.
All these capabilities will be implemented into a user-friendly onboard system comprising state-of-the-art hardware, software and data analytics techniques.
Based on needs identified by WinGD in consultation with engine end users, Propulsion Analytics will develop software solutions for processing and evaluating data gathered from on-engine sensors. The data will be processed in a digital controlling, monitoring and diagnostic systems.
The complete system is also intended to provide a valuable source of knowledge on real-time, around-the-clock engine operation. That can be used to improve engine performance based on load profiles acquired over complete voyages in a full range of ambient conditions (air temperature and pressure, winds, tides and currents).
With regard to timing, the agreement targets the implementation of one pilot system with a leading shipping company by early 2017. The prototype is expected to be running in the field by mid-2017 and full release on the entire WinGD engine portfolio is forecasted for 2018.