Ship maintenance

ClassNK, IHIMU, DU and IBM Develop Ship Maintenance Software

Posted on November 20, 2012 at 8:30 a.m. by

The Maritime Executive

ClassNK, IHI Marine United (IHIMU), Diesel United (DU) and IBM Japan announced that they will jointly develop a ship maintenance management system to help reduce the life cycle cost of ships. The jointly developed system, which will use the latest condition monitoring sensor technology and data analysis systems, will be offered by ClassNK as a cloud-based service to shipowners, managers and operators from June 2013. .

As ships face ever-changing ocean conditions, proper maintenance and condition monitoring of onboard machinery is essential to ensure smooth operation. As bunker prices approach historic highs, shipowners are increasingly turning to maintenance management programs that use on-board sensor data and diagnostic analysis tools to prevent malfunctions, ensure proper operation and reduce maintenance costs.

From April to July 2012, ClassNK, IHIMU and IBM Japan conducted joint research to study methods for early detection of machine anomalies. Using the technical expertise and detailed ship machinery performance data provided by the IHIMU Group, ClassNK and its partners analyzed the evolution of machinery performance in situations where malfunctions occurred.

This analysis was made possible by a new data analysis technology developed by IBM Research – Tokyo that can automatically identify hidden dependencies between operational parameters as well as identify sensor anomalies, enabling automatic noise and noise removal. false positives of sensor data. When research confirmed that the new technology could effectively analyze data from sensors on board machinery, ClassNK began work to adapt the system for use in the marine industry.

ClassNK’s new ship maintenance management system will be developed using technical know-how derived from IHIMU’s ADMAX shipboard management software, which is already used on more than 700 ships, with the software system of IBM Maximo Asset Management. The IBM Maximo software platform is one of the world’s leading enterprise asset management (EAM) systems and is widely used in power generation, manufacturing, real estate and other industries to manage maintenance and reduce the life cycle costs of machinery and other capital-intensive assets.


The system itself will use IBM’s cloud service to ensure maintenance information is available and secure from anywhere in the world. In order to efficiently record maintenance data on board vessels even when internet access is not available, IBM will also jointly develop an enterprise asset management mobile application for the new management software using of its Worklight mobile application platform. IBM’s market-leading mobile architecture will allow on-board maintenance data to be recorded and accessed by managers or owners from anywhere in the world via mobile devices.

To ensure the effectiveness of the sensor data analysis technology, the new system will also be verified on existing bulk carriers, tankers and container ships equipped with the Lifecycle Administrator (LC-A) total assistance system. from DU, which also uses data sensors to determine the status of diesel engines and other machinery in the engine room. In addition to confirming the effectiveness of the new scanning technology, the tests will also confirm the effect of actual ocean conditions and differences between individual vessels on sensor data.

DU’s LC-A is a sophisticated sensor-based system for condition-based and preventive maintenance that includes troubleshooting functions. While LC-A requires a specialist to develop an analysis model for each vessel on an individual basis, using IBM’s new technology and extensive testing on real vessels, ClassNK’s new maintenance system should minimize the need for a customized analysis model, increasing the scope of the system and allowing it to be used immediately on almost any vessel.

By providing an integrated vessel maintenance management system with sensor data analysis technology, ClassNK’s new service will help owners and managers detect machinery anomalies as early as possible and predict where malfunctions occur. are likely to occur, allowing owners to prevent machine malfunctions and extend machine life. , while reducing life cycle costs.

The world’s largest classification society based on gross ton, ClassNK is dedicated to ensuring the safe development of the international marine industry and the protection of the marine environment. This research project is one of more than 100 R&D projects currently being conducted under ClassNK’s “Practical R&D for Industry” program, which brings together partners from the maritime community and beyond to develop new solutions to the challenges facing the shipping and shipbuilding industries.

IHIMU, which will soon merge with Universal Shipbuilding as Japan Marine United to become Japan’s largest shipbuilder, will use the data and expertise developed through this project to improve its ship support service. lifecycle business, which will be one of the company’s key market segments after the merger.