Tuesday, August 18, 2015

ABB Equipping Maersk Ships with Optimization Software

By Mark Edward Nero

Power and automation group ABB is working with weather forecasting service MeteoGroup to equip 140 Maersk Line container ships with advisory software to optimize routes, boost maritime safety and protect precious cargo.

The advisories will be based on factors including the vessels’ hull design and the weather and could help them avoid conditions that could be harmful to the ship, its crew or its cargo.

The deal will see ABB combine its motion-monitoring, forecasting and decision-support software with MeteoGroup’s plug-in software. Once fitted on Maersk Line ships, this is expected to enable captains to define on-board loading conditions, and more accurately determine areas of the ocean where their ship’s motion is likely to exceed threshold values.

Routes could then be optimized automatically to skirt adverse conditions.

“Both MeteoGroup and ABB take great pride in the fact that we are delivering an onboard advisory tool for the world’s biggest container shipping company,” said Heikki Soljama, managing director of ABB’s Marine and Ports business unit.

ABB’s advisory suite, which is also deployed aboard liquefied natural gas tankers and the world’s biggest cruise ships, includes a three-dimensional hydrodynamic database for each individual hull type. This means ABB’s software, together with MeteoGroup’s plug-in, produces very accurate calculations about how a ship will respond to dynamic weather and ocean conditions.

The resulting routing advice takes into account not only environmental conditions such as wind, currents and swell but also the effect these changing conditions may have on the ship’s behavior.