There’s no technology on the horizon that’s going to replace the shipboard engineering watchstander anytime soon, that’s for certain. “You need to be in the engine room, looking around, touching, smelling, listening for unexpected changes in the plant,” says Tim Klaybor, former Chief Engineer, now General Manager of Fassmer Lifeboats. “Considering anything to the contrary would be a very bad idea.”
There is however, technology that has been in service on US Navy warships that may prove to be of great assistance to marine engineers on board commercial vessels, and to the technical superintendents and fleet managers ashore.
At SMM Hamburg last week, I met up with Ken Krooner, a former US naval officer, now President of Engineering Software Reliability Group (ESRG) which provides leading-edge data analysis and remote monitoring technology for shipboard engineering systems. They recently partnered with the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) in order to integrate ESRG’s real-time data management and analytics to the marine and offshore industries.
This system, which has been in use in the US Navy for over a decade, “can help operators resolve issues faster, leading to fewer non-compliance events, lower energy and fuel consumption, less downtime and lower maintenance costs,” says Krooner.
Speaking with former US Navy Chief Engineer, Kate Macleod today, she describes this technology:
“The ability to have engineers at NAVSEA remotely monitor our equipment and provide a subject matter expert-level of assistance to the shipboard engineers in real-time was extremely valuable. As shipboard manning numbers continue to decrease, systems like this will be even more useful to the US Navy.”
“The future of operational optimization and regulatory compliance in the marine and offshore industries lies in the ability to collect, analyze and act upon real-time data gathered from operations around the world,” said Karen Hughey, President and COO, ABS Nautical Systems. “ESRG’s experience and capabilities in vessel operational monitoring and analysis will help strengthen the NS5 Enterprise fleet management platform and enhance future product and service offerings from ABS Nautical Systems.”