MOL, Kawasaki to Jointly Develop Ship Steering Gear Technologies for Improved Energy-saving Operation and Failure Prediction via New Sensing Capabilities and Big Data Analysis―Development of Intelligent Steering Gear―

May 08, 2018

System flowchart

Tokyo, May 8, 2018 — Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today its agreement with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) to jointly develop technologies that enable improved energy-saving operation and failure prediction via new sensing capabilities and big data analysis for ship steering gear.

This project focuses on steering gear, which is one of the most important elements in ship handling, and steering gear control. By utilizing Kawasaki hydraulic control technologies cultivated over the years along with MOL's sophisticated knowledge in areas including ship handling and operation, the two companies will develop new energy-saving ship operation technologies and failure prediction technologies to improve ships' environmental performance, reliability and maneuverability.

In addition to fitting steering gear with sensors to monitor the pressure, flow rate and temperature of hydraulic oil along with power consumption amounts and other such details, ships will be equipped with an onboard high-speed data collection system boasting large storage capacity in order to enable accumulation of detailed data on steering gear conditions and performance. Collected data will be utilized in big data analysis related to steering gear, which will help detect parameter irregularities and predict potential failures and malfunctions in order to boost overall vessel reliability. Moreover, by analyzing the data together with other types of data, such as engine plant conditions at sea, vessel speed and course, it becomes possible to make energy efficiency improvements to ship operation based on specific operating conditions.

Steering gear equipped with these sensing technologies and a high-speed data collection system will be installed and tested on a very large crude carrier (VLCC) currently being built by Kawasaki for MOL. The companies view these endeavors as an important step toward the successful development of intelligent steering gear in the future, which will contribute toward improvements in ship reliability and maneuverability, as well as energy-saving operation. The companies aim to complete development for this new type of steering gear in FY 2020.

Kawasaki began production of ship steering gear in 1916 and has supplied these products for more than 20,000 vessels of various types. Over the years, the company has fostered high levels of trust among customers through advanced technological capabilities and a wide range of past successes. Moving forward, Kawasaki will continue its active development of various technologies in order to contribute to greater global-environmental preservation and revitalization in the ship industry along with safer and more reliable ship operation.

Same type of steering gear to be used for the project

High-speed data collection system to be installed on the vessel


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