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Initial sea trials successfully completed by Wärtsilä & PSA Marine’s ground-breaking ‘IntelliTug’ project

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Initial sea trials successfully completed by Wärtsilä & PSA Marine’s ground-breaking ‘IntelliTug’ project. Image: Wartsila
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The technology group Wärtsilä and PSA Marine have successfully completed initial sea trials for the “IntelliTug” project. The PSA Polaris, a harbour tug owned and operated by PSA Marine, has been retrofitted with a suite of Wärtsilä technology to enable autonomous navigation. The project is a collaboration between technology provider Wärtsilä, marine services provider PSA Marine, classification society Lloyd’s Register, the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine Singapore (TCOMS), and co-funded by Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore’s (MPA) Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) Fund.

Carried out in Singapore, the trials commenced in September 2019. They verified the IntelliTug’s capability to avoid a variety of obstacles, including virtual and real-life moving vessels. These trials are Singapore’s first for commercial Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) using the MPA MASS regulatory sandbox, which has been established to facilitate the testing of MASS and other autonomous technologies in a safe and controlled environment within the Port of Singapore.

The IntelliTug trials are part of MPA’s MASS initiative, which aims to accelerate the industry’s R&D capability in this field, and validate new MASS-related concepts of operations and technologies. This would enable technology developers, the research community, and maritime stakeholders to capture future MASS-related opportunities.

“It is critical that we prepare the Port of Singapore for MASS. With MPA’s MASS regulatory sandbox, I am glad that Singapore can contribute to the sea trials and eventual adoption of MASS. We will be happy to share our MASS experience with other ports and coastal administrations,” said Captain M Segar, Assistant Chief Executive (Operations) of MPA.

An Intelligent Tug for Future Operations

The PSA Polaris is a 27-metre harbour tug with dual azimuth thruster controls. It has been fitted with a sensor suite, including Wärtsilä’s RS24 near-field high resolution radar and Wärtsilä’s Dynamic Positioning (DP) system, to enable autonomous capabilities. Data collection via the sensors has been ongoing since the start of the project in conjunction with the development of a collision avoidance algorithm.

The project is aimed at developing and field-testing intelligent vessel capabilities and viable pathways towards smarter, safer, and more efficient ways of operating a harbour tug. This is achieved through the provision of human-centric technology, design-thinking, and man–machine collaboration.

“PSA Marine is constantly innovating to redefine the capabilities of our tugs. The achievement seen in the IntelliTug project is a testament that with strong partnership, alignment of purpose and the courage to innovate, ideas can be turned into reality. With the incorporation of feedback and experience from our tug masters, the smart technology developed in the IntelliTug project augments our tug masters’ situational awareness and amplifies their capabilities. We will continue to work closely with the stakeholders and look forward to future developments of the project,” said Peter Chew, Managing Director of PSA Marine.

Rigorous Testing for Autonomous Development

Before sea trials commenced, system integration and digital testing began with the use of Wärtsilä’s autonomous ship simulator. TCOMS has carried out further validation of the various data gathered from the sensor suite, as well as real-world performance of the tug through a physics-based digital twin that incorporated the effects of the physical environment faced in the sea trials. Lloyd’s Register has been closely involved throughout the project to support the development of the trials’ safety case, while collaborating on the human factors and technology design processes.

“Wärtsilä has taken a rigorous, staggered approach to the sea trials, first to prove the fundamental safety and accuracy capabilities of the system, and then moving on to real obstacle-free path planning. It has further progressed to more complicated test cases, previously attempted in digital batch testing and digital first-person simulation. The design of the test cases was a collaborative effort involving Tug Masters and a Master Mariner, with close review and continuous refinement with MPA throughout the project,” says Thomas Brightwell, SACA Software Manager, Wärtsilä.

About the Sea Trials

During the sea trials, a new smart navigation system – which was developed during the project in cooperation with PSA Marine’s Tug Masters – was used to select destinations for the hundreds of test cases carried out. The system allows the user to easily see the routes plotted, with the avoidance of collisions, in real-time. The smart navigation system also sends track and speed commands to the DP system, which drives the vessel along the route safely at varying speeds up to 10 knots. These manoeuvres are expected to follow set behaviours and meet success criteria to reach the destination.

At all times, the PSA Marine Tug Masters were able to determine if the tests were safe to continue and had full control to abort testing at any time where required.

“Wärtsilä continues to lead the marine industry’s transformation into a new era of digitisation and decarbonisation – achieving greater efficiency, improved safety, and better environmental performance through its Smart Marine approach. The IntelliTug project provides a clear picture of the potential that this approach can unlock, to the ultimate benefit of owners and operators everywhere,” says Mervin Ong, Managing Director of Wärtsilä Singapore.

Wärtsilä and PSA Marine will continue development work on the IntelliTug and its systems throughout 2020, working towards continuous deployment of smart capabilities in real-life harbour craft operations to complement and enhance the capabilities and experience of human tug masters.

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Maritime

Wilhelmsen and thyssenkrupp step-up collaboration, establishing 3D printing joint venture targeting the maritime industry

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Wilhelmsen and thyssenkrupp step-up collaboration, establishing 3D printing joint venture targeting the maritime industry. Image: Wilhelmsen
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Utilizing thyssenkrupp’s deep expertise in additive manufacturing, alongside Wilhelmsen’s long standing maritime service and supply know-how, the maritime company’s recent experiences from its 3DP Early Adopter Program will be an important steppingstone for the new venture.

The program, where customers have exclusive access to on-demand additive manufacturing was launched by Wilhelmsen’s Marine Products division in December 2019. Customers include Berge Bulk, Carnival Maritime, Thome Ship Management, OSM Maritime Group, Executive Ship Management and Wilhelmsen Ship Management.

Based on current data, the maritime industry spends billions of dollars every year on spare parts; with 50% of these vessels are older than 15 years, availability of parts are limited. This makes fulfillment of orders for maritime spare parts costly and complicated, and in fact, the supply chain overheads involved may often far outstrip the cost of the part itself. Moreover, traditional manufacturing processes such as machining and casting often involve long lead-times stretching into months. The traditional model of manufacturing and distribution of spare parts has largely remained unchallenged for decades, until now.

“We are very excited to enter the next phase of our 3D printing journey, hand in hand with thyssenkrupp. With this joint venture we believe we will take the lead as the defacto supplier of 3D printed maritime spare parts, continuing to bring the benefits of AM technology to shipping companies by reducing the cost of spare parts, lead times and environmental footprint”, says Hakon Ellekjaer, Head of Venture, 3D Printing, Wilhelmsen.

Additive manufacturing, or 3D Printing, disrupts the costly and time-consuming spare parts status quo, as suitable components are fabricated near the vessel location in a matter of weeks, sometimes days.

“We are already seeing a very positive response from our maritime customers on the additive manufacturing adoption,” shared Abhinav Singhal, Director of thyssenkrupp Innovations. “They are realising the benefits from faster lead times, reduced costs and having more resilience in their spare parts supply chain. This is going to be a true gamechanger for the maritime industry and we are proud to offer it alongside Wilhelmsen.”

The joint venture will position Wilhelmsen and thyssenkrupp as leaders in the maritime AM fulfillment platform, offering a customized, on demand, and more efficient process of obtaining selected spare parts. Expected to be headquartered in Singapore, it will serve the key port locations around the world. In addition to the collaboration with thyssenkrupp, Wilhelmsen continue to work with additive manufacturing company Ivaldi Group on a number of 3D printing software applications.

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CMA CGM adds LNG powered container vessel to its fleet

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The CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE has joined CMA CGM Group’s fleet thus becoming the largest LNG-powered container ship in the world. A global leader in shipping and logistics, CMA CGM has made the symbolic choice of naming its new flagship after its founder, Jacques Saadé, a visionary and entrepreneur.

A unique naming ceremony for a unique ship  

The joining of the fleet of the CMA CGM Jacques Saadé was marked by a first-of-its-kind digital naming ceremony that saw the shipyard’s representatives in Shanghai and CMA CGM Group’s management in Marseille share an emotional landmark moment in their common history. Blessed by father Francis Fang, the vessel was then officially named by her Godmother, Tanya Saadé Zeenny, who wished the ship, the captain and its crew the best of luck on their future voyages with the traditional words “May God bless this ship and all who will sail on her”.

LNG, a pioneering choice aimed at preserving air quality and driving the energy transition

In November of 2017, Rodolphe Saadé, CMA CGM Group’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, decided to equip this series of container ships with LNG-powered engines – a first in the history of shipping for Ultra Large Container Vessels. The CMA CGM Group has thereby proven its commitment towards driving forward maritime transport’s energy transition.

Today, LNG is the most advanced solution when it comes to preserving air quality. It enables a 99% reduction in sulfur dioxide and fine particle emissions, and an 85% reduction in nitrogen dioxide emissions, going well above and beyond existing regulation. LNG emits up to 20% less CO2 compared to fuel motorization. This technology is one of the first step towards achieving CMA CGM Group’s ambitious 2050 objective of carbon neutrality.

Innovation-packed vessels, the result of 7 years of research and development from CMA CGM experts

These nine vessels are packed with innovations, the result of a long cooperation between CMA CGM’s research and development experts and industrial partners.

In addition to LNG motorization, the vessels offer advanced technologies:

  • The cockpit boasts the latest embedded digital technologies to assist the commander and crew, in particular for port maneuvers;
  • They feature a redesigned straight bow with an integrated bulb, a redesigned rudder, and a redesigned propeller all of which substantially improve the vessels hydrodynamics, thereby reducing energy consumption.

These 9 vessels bear a specific “LNG Powered” label that will be recognizable on all seas across the globe.

An extraordinary construction project that mobilized the know-how and expertise of CMA CGM Group’s experts and their industrial partners

From its design all the way to its operation, without forgetting its construction, The CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE benefited from the know-how and expertise of the best French, European, and global industry leaders. A number of specialized companies played their parts in this landmark construction project, including:

  • BIO-UV Group, a French specialist in ultraviolet-based water disinfection systems who provided the BIO-SEA system, a ballast water treatment technology,
  • CSSC, Shanghai’s shipyards who developed a globally recognized know-how and expertise in container ship construction,
  • Cryostar, a French expert in high technology cryogenic equipment who provided the LNG pumps,
  • Bureau Veritas, a French classification company in charge of guaranteeing the certification of the CMA CGM JAQUES SAADE and its sister ships,
  • BLM, a French company who provided winches and windlass,
  • GTT, a French technology and engineering company expert in membrane containment systems, selected for the design of LNG tanks and related technical services.
  • Schneider Electric, a French industrial group who designed the vessel’s electrical switchboards,
  • Sperry Marine, company based in the United Kingdom and responsible for radio navigation and platform equipment,
  • Total and Rotterdam port who provided LNG refueling services,
  • Wartsila, a Finnish gas provider who handled system and auxiliary systems,
  • WinGD, the CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE’s primary engine designer.

CMA CGM pioneers France’s LNG field of excellence in maritime transport

The CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE, along with its eight 23 000 TEU sister ships (twenty-foot equivalent unit) will be registered at the French International Register (FIR). They will bear the names of landmark Parisian monuments and other renowned venues and institutions from throughout the French capital (Champs Elysées, Palais Royal, Louvre, Rivoli, Montmartre, Concorde, Trocadéro, and Sorbonne). CMA CGM has chosen Total as part of a major industrial partnership to supply them with gas. Thereby making CMA CGM the initiator in structuring a genuine LNG field of excellence in maritime transport.

A first journey on the largest sea route in the world at the heart of exchanges between Asia and Europe

The CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE will start its maiden voyage as of September 23rd on the French Asia Line (FAL), CMA CGM Group’s most emblematic line between Asia and Northern Europe. Its rotation will lead it to the ports of Pusan in South Korea; Tianjin, Ningbo, Shanghai and Yantian, China; Singapore; Southampton, Dunkirk, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Algeciras in Europe; and Port Kelang in Malaysia. This line provides a weekly service comprising 13 calls over the course of 84 days.

On the occasion of the CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE’s coming into service, Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, declared:

“The CMA CGM Jacques Saadé embodies our commitment to the planet. This vessel has been enhanced with the latest technologies and is the result of 7 years of research and development. While guaranteeing the safety of our crew, it preserves air quality and will be part of our fight against global warming. It significantly improves the environmental footprint of carried goods. We have taken a big step forward. We need to go further to build transport that is even more respectful of the environment.”

MA CGM JACQUES SAADE has joined CMA CGM Group’s fleet thus becoming the largest LNG-powered container ship in the world. Image: CMA CGM

CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE has joined CMA CGM Group’s fleet thus becoming the largest LNG-powered container ship in the world. Image: CMA CGM

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Maritime

Kongsberg Digital enters into strategic partnership to deliver joint digital infrastructure

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Kongsberg Digital enters into strategic partnership to deliver joint digital infrastructure. Image: Kongsberg
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Kongsberg Digital and leading engine manufacturer MAN are entering into a strategic digitalization partnership, formalizing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the two companies in October 2019. The first project undertaken by the partnership will be to deliver joint digital infrastructure to Höegh Autoliners, marking the first step in their stated aim to work together in accelerating the rate of digitalization in the maritime industry and securing greater value for customers on both sides.

The agreement to collaborate in developing digitalization solutions for the maritime sector came about as the two companies realized that their separate efforts in this space were complementary. Kongsberg Digital’s recently launched Vessel Insight – a new, cost efficient data infrastructure solution for the maritime market – is a natural match with MAN’s PrimeServ Assist digital solution for optimization of engine use and maintenance.

Vessel Insight captures contextualized data from vessels and fleets for use in value generating applications for ship owners and operators, so by integrating the data from PrimeServ Assist will be able to provide a more holistic picture for the majority of vessels with MAN two-stroke engines on board. With two major maritime vendors collaborating on a common data infrastructure, customers will benefit from interfacing with one system instead of many, automated data integration, and a larger selection of digital solutions. This will make the digital transformation faster and more cost efficient for customers in the maritime sector.

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