Using technology to ensure safer ocean transport

Information and communication technology such as IoT and Big Data is used for applications aboard vessels, on shore, and in between.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has joined forces with Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding and Weathernews to launch the Fleet Optimal Control Unified System (FOCUS).  This technology project will gather and apply ship operation data to ensure safer, more environmentally friendly ocean transport.
Information and communication technology (ICT) such as IoT and Big Data is rapidly expanding.  Therefore, new possibilities are opening up for ICT applications aboard vessels, on shore, and in between.  As such, the three companies decided to undertake this task as a core project to promote the use and application of ICT.

Collecting data

Detailed voyage and engine data on actual voyages will be collected from about 150 vessels in operation.  This will be stored in a cloud-based data platform to develop applications for advanced ship operation monitoring and propulsion performance analysis.
The project will further enhance safe operation and reduce environmental impact through user-friendly applications.  This will further deepen cooperation between vessels and shore-based facilities.
Through “FOCUS”, the three companies aim to continuously strive to develop even more effective applications.  These applications will use actual operational data, such as from Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) (Note 1).
The applications rely on engine status diagnosis and failure sign diagnosis technologies.  This is realizing “visualization at sea” by transmitting voice and visual information of vessels in operation to the shore side.
Thus optimizing operation by applying artificial intelligence (AI) technology and enhancing ship management by applying digital twin (Note 2) technology.
MOL takes a proactive stance in collaboration with companies and research institutes that transcends business categories, pursuing convenient, stress-free services for customers.

(Note 1)
Condition Based Maintenance – This refers to conservation of status standards. Unlike Time Based Maintenance (TBM), which conventionally maintains equipment and components at fixed periods of time, Condition Based Maintenance is a way to monitor equipment and components, and maintain them at the appropriate time after identifying parts most likely to require maintenance.

(Note 2)
Digital twin technology – A way to digitally reproduce events in physical spaces. It builds twin-like simulation space into the system.  Digital twin technology can change the design and optimize it by individual customization, as well as diagnose status and identify signs of failure.

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