MOL and Kawasaki to develop "intelligent" steering gear

MAY 8, 2018 — Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) and shipbuilder Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (KHI) have agreed to jointly develop vessel steering gear technologies that enhance vessel reliability and energy-saving through new sensing capabilities and big data analysis.

The project focuses on control of the steering gear, one of the most critical elements in handling a ship. The system will be installed on a very large crude carrier (VLCC), currently under construction at KHI for delivery to MOL.

It is intended to develop KHI-made steering gear equipped with sensors that monitor pressure, flow rate, temperature of hydraulic oil, consumed power and other data, along with a high-speed data acquisition system with a large storage capacity.

In addition to collecting steering system data, the high-speed data acquisition system will also collect various other types of data, such as vessel speed, course, engine load and rudder angle, during a voyage. In-depth analysis of this data will lead to improvements in vessel reliability and energy-saving operation.

The project is expected to complete by end of March 2021.

MOL sees the project as an important step in developing a future "intelligence function equipped steering gear," that will contribute to improvement of the vessel's reliability, improvement of maneuverability, and energy-saving operation.

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