Expert blogs

Surfing the Tides

In the changing times of maritime business, it is necessary at some point to work out how to take advantage of the new tide. In other words, to take the vessel of new opportunity at the right time and make the best possible passage. In the previous two articles, we talked about our forward vision of the global maritime business. In this final article of this series, we highlight how the supply chain, in particular ComAp, is taking aim at catching the ship on the incoming tide.

The vast majority of ship owners have conventional tonnage that is primarily conventional propulsion/energy technology. Within the investment cycle, it is not viable to strip or scrap this tonnage, in fact, it is doing a pretty good job for what the requirements were when it went into service.  Unfortunately though, the requirements are rapidly evolving.  Lower emissions, improved energy consumption are foremost in the owner’s and charterer’s aspirations. 

Modest investments making significant savings

To meet these challenges, relatively modest investments in control technology enable significant savings/compliance.  Typically upgrading analogue control systems or outdated PLCs with modern controllers is a cost-effective way of achieving savings.  Adding the InteliDrive DCU Marine to the main engine, for example, means you can integrate SCR add-ons or emission control, monitor real-time fuel consumption and even use event logging.  Adding the InteliGen NTC genset controllers can reduce reactive power, equalize loads and running hours to reduce fuel burn and maintenance costs.  Clear effective remote displays such as the InteliVision 13Touch provide the crew with information to allow them to make the safest, most economical operating decisions as well as enjoying a better workspace.  Additionally, applying this technology allows owners far greater access to data onboard, where information in real-time, via Cloud, or via dedicated tools such as ComAp‘ s WebSupervisor, eliminates the need for costly, complex and demanding centralized management systems that would normally provide this.

New technologies for the transition tonnage

As the second tide comes in, we have to look farther out past the delta.  New marine technologies are the key. Perhaps the largest contributors to this tide of technology are reciprocating engines burning different fuels (mainly gases), large battery packs, mechanical drive lines incorporating multiple drive points and power take-offs/take-ins and complex energy management based upon specific vessel duty modes and routes. Take note that we specified new marine technologies. Many of these technologies are already tried and tested in other, admittedly less demanding applications.  ComAp has a wide breadth of these technologies in place today. To mention just a few, we have a dual fuel system for reciprocating engines, hybrid controllers for battery operation, power controllers such as the InteliSys NTC Basebox for automatic control of power sources, including shaft generators/motors and heavy consumers based upon operation.  Add to this list, dedicated controllers for shore power (“cold ironing”) in the form of InteliMains units and a range of AC and DC protection products. Together with the above-mentioned remote data tools, owners of vessels, either new builds or with significant upgrades, can be sure of safe, durable, reliable and compliant systems.

Investing in future needs

The third tide is still a fair way out, but the first ripples are starting to lap the shore.  ASKO Maritime’s contract for two full-electric, autonomous capable, cargo ferries being an example today.  Supply chains need to invest now.  ComAp is investing in new technologies, new products and people with the required skill sets, locally, where they are needed.  Investing in key pilot projects with emerging technology partners, engaging with OEMs and critical component suppliers to leverage the total advantage to owners.

The tide is coming in.  Join the global marine experts at ComAp to keep your feet dry!

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