Digitalization is rapidly transforming the business of international shipping. Efforts to enhance ship efficiency and sharpen commercial focus on fleet performance and profitability are being buoyed by the use of smart technology and the application of big data, argues Beat Guettinger, Head of Tekomar for ABB Turbocharging.
Often, talk of yielded benefit from the industry harnessing digital change to optimize vessel performance omit the ship owner’s largest, most expensive, and most important component of their physical assets: the engine. Engine operational inefficiencies greatly impact the bottom line and the environment. Continual optimization of engine performance can unlock great fuel savings and it is for this reason that smart software solutions supporting this activity represent a golden opportunity for ship owners.
Continual optimization of engine performance can unlock great fuel savings
Technology and market expert in the manufacture and maintenance of turbochargers, ABB Turbocharging has made it possible to identify the reasons for sub-par engine performance at a glance, or precisely quantify an engine’s optimization potential and scope for total propulsion performance. With their smart software solution Tekomar XPERT, ABB Turbocharging is turning data insights into value in the physical world.
Incorporated into ABB’s comprehensive digital portfolio in 2017, Tekomar XPERT was designed by engineers to facilitate the optimization of main and auxiliary engine performance by providing the chief engineer onboard with advisories on exactly what actions to take to enhance efficiency. Fundamentally, the software gives concrete advice, telling the chief engineer what to do to be able to cash in on potential fuel oil savings. This type of advanced diagnostics, combined with the intuitive delivery of information to the onshore office, also allows ship operators to immediately focus on fixing potential problems, rather than initially spending many hours analyzing them.
Beat Güttinger, Head of Tekomar for ABB Turbocharging, says: “Tekomar XPERT is making the continuous optimization of engine performance an easy undertaking for ship owners.”
The Tekomar XPERT software analyzes engine performance and evaluates deviation from the engine’s shop trial performance. Each identified deviation is converted to a fuel penalty that shows the chief engineer how much fuel could be saved by acting on accurate advisories provided by the system.
“If action is taken on advisories provided by Tekomar XPERT, significant fuel savings of typically 0.5 to 3 tons of fuel and cost savings of up to $1000 per day, per vessel can be achieved,” says Güttinger.
Tekomar XPERT can be used with any marine main and auxiliary engine, irrespective of manufacturer, type, age or size. Offering ultimate flexibility, the software can be installed on any computer onboard or onshore. There is no hardware to install and the software can be dropped into the shipping company’s normal IT system. As a versatile and intelligent tool, Tekomar XPERT is offering an attractive value proposition at a time when operators are seeking to reduce fuel consumption and focus on sustainability, as well as profits.
Güttinger states: “The beauty of this subscription-based smart software solution is that only a small investment is required to yield huge monetary savings. The return on investment for the software is so high that instantaneous savings can be achieved from week one if ship operators act on using this smart technology.”
Based on customer feedback, ABB Turbocharging has also recently worked to improve the software solution to better target fleet and technical managers. Tekomar XPERT 3.0 is ABB Turbocharging’s tailored response to their customers’ need to have crosscheck options with a dynamic new interface so that essential information is intuitively displayed.
Through cloud connectivity shore-based superintendent and fleet managers can also see how their fleet is performing. Onshore personnel can quickly pinpoint vital data, such as vessel reporting activity and savings potential, and select criteria, including engine and ship type, to filter results. This saves time and money by making it faster and more convenient for onshore personnel to identify and analyze essential data for optimal performance monitoring.
Speaking about the recent upgrade to version 3.0, Güttinger says: “This upgrade of Tekomar XPERT to version 3.0 supports a new level of quality control. With the new overview screen a fleet manager is now able to oversee engine performance across the fleet in condensed statistics and instantly get a sense of priority actions required, facilitating their immediate response based on smart insights. With just a few clicks they can get straight to the point and focus on fixing problems in their fleet saving vital time which would usually be spent analysing the same parameters.”
Tekomar XPERT is a mature smart software product and its benefits have already been widely proven in the market. Rewards from the small required investment in the software subscription have already been reaped on more than 1,400 vessels equipped with Tekomar XPERT to-date.
The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and not necessarily those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.
Beat Guettinger is Head of Tekomar for ABB Turbocharging