Sensors and IoT in the shipping industry

Shipping is constantly becoming the main field of automation and digitalization. All over the world, vessels are being equipped with the latest technologies, sensors and software solutions. Cost savings and efficiency are in the foreground.
The speed of application of sensor technologies is growing rapidly, which will lead to a number of technological and regulatory challenges. The capabilities of low-cost computing elements will open up a wide range of opportunities for industry and research. The devices will be able to operate on a network connected to a remote device to collect and process data. Wireless sensor technology and the development of a new generation of micro- and nanomechanical sensors will be on the cusp of revolutionary changes in environmental monitoring and data collection.

Automation of shipping

Charts automation is relatively straightforward compared to traffic or aviation. Unlike car traffic, there is almost no traffic on the sea. However, in the ports of the world, the situation is different. Many rely on remote control here. But there are also autonomous docking systems. SmartDock is one such system developed by the Finnish tech giant Wärtsilä.

In aviation, you move in three-dimensional space, but here it is easier for ships. They only need to move left or right, not counting up and down as an option. The situation is changing again when it comes to submarines, and research and development is also underway in this area.

Robust and Wireless

Remote Sensing

It will no longer be necessary to repeatedly visit remote locations in order to upload data or collect samples for analysis, as data will be collected autonomously by the deployment of a network of remote sensors capable of communication and data transmission in real time. A robust wireless networking architecture for the shipping industry will require sensors with a number of characteristics: self-calibration, fault tolerance, high transmission capabilities, wireless capabilities, environmentally friendly materials for easy disposal, robustness, ultra-low energy consumption, miniaturised, ability to provide active behaviour, and ability to work on network modules (master-slave layouts). Essential and non-essential equipment onboard will be able to monitor, manage and control its status. Furthermore, equipment will be able to warn operators when they are about to run out of circulating liquids, or when they are about to require maintenance.
Sensors and IoT in the shipping industry
Condition monitoring will be improved. Sensors help track an asset throughout its life through an early warning strategy and optimize O&M practices.

Technologies' Connectivity Drivers

The quality of data will be exponentially improved, and the data from sensors will be welcome from a statutory perspective. The development of sensors technology will be key for other developments such as smart ship, big data and robotics.

Operational Drivers

The service life of the equipment will be extended. This will affect the corresponding capital expenditure (CAPEX). The use of this technology will help to closely monitor the asset during its life, and, as a result, the financial performance will be improved. Last but not least, touch technology is an affordable option for mainstream adoption.

Financial Drivers

Information Quality and Cybersecurity

The database will not be able to track the actual values of the entities and will use the old values instead. Queries using these old values will give incorrect answers. However, if the degree of uncertainty between the actual data value and the value in the database is limited, the answers to queries will be more reliable. Depending on the amount of vague information provided to an application, different levels of inaccuracy may appear. As data network and data management become vital to shipping, the security of such systems will need to be carefully protected from outside interference, especially from viruses, piracy and terrorist attacks. A potential cyberattack on a sensor network can cause great damage to this business and disrupt the operation of systems and equipment. Read more about Cyber Security in Maritime

Effect on efficiency

The use of sensors will provide an excellent opportunity to improve the efficiency and safety of ships and related equipment. The sensors and the data they generate will have huge potential in the commercial shipping sector. Real-time monitoring and analysis strategies will be key to improving the commercial shipping sector. Collecting high-quality ship data with reliable and reliable sensors will open up new ways to optimize the lifecycle of ships. One result will be the possibility of extending the life cycle of the vessel according to the highest standards of operation.

Impact on work

This technology will provide data that will need to be properly transferred, stored and analysed. Moreover, it will improve the operation and maintenance of ships and auxiliary equipment over the life of the vessel. Gradually, we will move to the use of sensors with characteristics that will remain stable over time, even in spite of possible external disturbances (e.g., vibrations, extreme temperatures, noise). Their integration into neural networks will help provide a certain level of intelligence for industrial control systems based on wireless communication channels. Combined with other technologies, the sensors will become a powerful tool for commercial shipping.
Sensors and IoT in the shipping industry
One of the frequent requests we receive at Marine Digital is the concentration of sensor data in one place with the possibility of regular transmission to shore, which the shipowner or manager of the shipping company can remotely monitor. Often, data from sensors of shaft speed, engine operation, fuel residues, etc. are displayed and recorded in the engine room of the ship. When integrating a ship into a digital environment, there are not many problems with the digital signal (usually NMEA 0183), most of the problems are related to analog sensors, temperature, flow meters, rpm, tank levels.

Marine Digital Tool for Vessel Performance monitoring

With the help of our IoT device and Machine Learning algorithms as part of Marine Digital FOS, we solve all the problems that may arise when monitoring vessel performance. This includes not only collecting data from different ships, but also processing and interpreting the received data, creating convenient reports, delivering charts to the ship's navigation system (ECDIS), as well as recommendations on the optimal route depending on weather and fuel consumption, and other data.
TOP 5 factors contributing to lower fuel costs for Shipping companies
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Аdvantage of Fuel Optimization System from Marine Digital:
Marine Digital FOS can be integrated with other system and third-party's solutions through the API. To implement vessel performance monitoring for any vessel, we are using mathematical algorithms, machine learning and the same equipment as in FOS. The more data we collect from vessels, the more precise reports and recommendations our system will perform according to your individual requirements in fleet management.

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