Spanish SME is dedicated to the development of a smart system for improving navigation, capable of taking real-time decisions, allow navigation by remote control, and improve 3 aspects of the naval industry: security, costs, and energy efficiency. Five of the Systems modules have already been demonstrated in a real environment and the other in maritime drones. To apply for Eurostars the SME is seeking partners with expertise in Control and Prediction of Machinery Failures.
The Spanish company is formed by a multidisciplinary team with wide experience in the naval sector. The modules already developed and marketed by Spanish SME are I - Static calculations of the intact ship; II - Static calculations of the damaged ship; III - Dynamic calculations with the intact ship; IV - Dynamic calculations with the damaged ship; and V – Optimization and control of energy efficiency. In addition, in collaboration with a Spanish university, it has developed a large part of module VII - Navigation control and approach to the port (by remote control), which has been tested on marine drones (TRL7). Now it only remains to develop and test it on large ships and reach the TRL9.
The company seeks to apply to the Eurostars program and accordingly seeks a partner that guarantees Module VI: Control and prediction of machinery failures. It must guarantee the highest reliability and accuracy in ship failures detection thanks to the consideration of multiple physical magnitudes and operation signals; and provides information about the machinery condition thanks to the analysis of temporal frequency behavior patterns. It consists of developing a module that will have two operation modes: (i) normal mode adapted to the vessel to detect deviations from normal performance; and (ii) diagnosis mode that identifies the causes of any malfunctioning detected and provides recommendations. The module will is in continuous communication with a control unit inland, which will guarantee the correct performance of both modes and avoids the need of making frequent inspections of machinery onboard.
There is it should be clarified that the software of auto diagnosis tools and anomalies detection modules, will be developed by Spanish SME staff, as well as integration with the rest of the modules.
The remote operation center for machinery and automation systems moves the ship's engine control room to a Ground Engine Control Centre. There, the propulsion systems and auxiliary machinery of one or more ships will be operated remotely. The transfer of responsibilities and facilities for supervision and control to land reduces the need for on-board machine engineers so that the on-board maintenance personnel of the ship will be replaced by a single polyvalent marine man capable of assuming command of technical systems. The automation of the engine room is an essential initial step, previous to achieving an automated vessel.
The partner for a research cooperation agreement should come from Eurostars member countries. The Spanish SME is willing to coordinate the project but open in case another SME is interested to lead the project.
The Eurostars call cut-off date is February 2021.
The deadline for expressions of interest is 31 December 2020.
Anticipated duration of the project – two years.
- Type of partner sought: Experience in Prediction ship Machinery Failures, with TRL6 (Technology Readiness Level 6) or higher.
- Specific area of activity of the partner: The specific area of activity of the partner: University, R&D Institution, or SME with experience in Prediction ship Machinery Failures with TRL6 (Technology Readiness Level 6) or higher.
The System will focus on vessels = 100 m in length and = 5,000 GRT, because these ships are subject to more restrictive safety and the environmental regulations. The total number of ships in the world fleet (>100 GT) reached 118,525 units in 2018, with 1,336.6 million of GT (source: World Fleet Statistics, IHM Markit). Discounting navy vessels, merchant ships summed 59.687 units and 1.263 million of GRT, with a growth rate of 3.4%. Greece and China are the largest ship owning country, with the 20.3% of the whole maritime transport, followed by Japan, Germany and Singapore. Focusing on European countries, which are the main objectives for the commercialization plan of System, Greece and Germany, are the most important countries, being in the world top-10 ship-owners. There are also other important European countries in the top-20, such as France, United Kingdom, Denmark, Netherlands and Italy.
Concerning shipping companies, the market is strongly concentrated into a few leaders, where having the top-10 companies the 71.2% of the market. Three European companies in Denmark, Switzerland and France, are the market leaders with 300, 154 and 147 owned vessels respectively. The long-term objective is to reach a commercial agreement with one of these market leaders. However, these companies are reluctant to change and to the introduction of new unknown technologies. For this reason, in the short term, more accessible potential customers have been identified to start commercialization. Many European companies have already shown their interest in the System (UK-USA, Spain, Norway).
Once these companies have installed the System on their vessels, its advantages could easily be demonstrated to larger companies, minimizing the entry barrier.
Already on the market - • Modules I, II, III, IV and V: Already on the market (TRL9). • Module VII : Tested on marine drones (TRL7)
Copyright - • Modules I, II, III, IV and V: Copyright. • Planned for the System: Patent
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