NYK containership gets next generation bridge

SEPTEMBER 27, 2018 — Japan's NYK Line says that it has completed a new concept for a ship's bridge and has employed it on a large containership currently being managed by the NYK Group.

In this "Integrated information and bridge system," bridge space and instrumentation have been optimally, ergonomically arranged and designed to take advantage of the IoT capabilities of navigational equipment and to improve the safety and efficiency of vessel operation.

Since 2007 NYK, together with navigational equipment manufacturers and shipbuilders, has been studying how to improve the bridge to enhance watch efficiency and decrease human error.

Conventionally, various navigational and maneuvering equipment units are located independently on the bridge, so that officers must move around the bridge to gather information and must navigate the vessel while standing.

In contrast, the new concept makes use of an integrated console that is about two-thirds the size of a conventional one and enables officers to check essential navigational information and navigate the vessel at the same time. NYK says that being seated helps officers better grasp the situation around the ship.

A joystick type autopilot system for navigation has been adopted to better avoid collisions with other vessels and help officers in a sitting position easily maneuver the vessel. However, a mini manual wheel has been installed on the console for steering in an emergency, taking safety into consideration.

Bridge Optimization

The new bridge has been equipped with larger windows, and the gap between the windows has been minimized to reduce dead visibility angles. Wipers are now operated by remote control. And the shape of the bridge has been optimized to ensure clear sight from a sitting position. The layout has also been enhanced to improve the work environment and reduce fatigue during navigational watches.

At the bridge wing, a narrow walkway extends outward from both sides of a pilothouse, allowing the ship to be maneuvered for entering/leaving harbor and berthing/un-berthing operation.

This wing takes advantage of large windows and floor windows, and is equipped with an integrated control stand that can remotely control the main propulsion, rudder and bow thruster. A multi-function display, a workstation that can conduct some tasks at the same time, such as checking and operating navigational information, the radar, and ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System), is also located on the wings.

Installation of J-Marine NeCST Ship Navigation Support Tool

J-Marine NeCST, which was jointly developed by NYK, MTI Co. Ltd., and Japan Radio Co. Ltd. to make briefings among the officers and the pilot more efficient, has also been installed on the bridge. This will help NYK improve bridge resource management (BRM), even when many officers are on the bridge conducting navigational watches during heavy vessel traffic.

Future Developments

NYK has decided to adopt this new bridge on pure car and truck carriers and crude oil tankers, and is currently considering other types of vessels. NYK also plans to make use of this advance as the company looks ahead to manned autonomous ships.

top pic

Japan Radio Co

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Japan Radio Co

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Left front view of installed bridge 

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Console

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Exterior view of wing

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Interior view of wing

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