Use Data Analytics to Improve Shipboard Operations and Energy Efficiency.




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Marine Maintenance is not anymore a separate aspect of shipping as it was in the days of breakdown, periodic and preventive maintenance. It is high time that ships must adopt to predictive maintenance and roll along with the waves of Big Data and data based predictive analytics. Big data and predictive analytics are being used by business and industry to make changes & improve processes and operations in big ways. When it comes to ship operations, management and energy efficiency, big data is helping companies make changes that increase profits, improve operations and reduce their carbon footprints.

Energy ‘Metering and Monitoring’:

Early 20th Century, the concept of metering the electrical power consumption was introduced for buildings and shopping malls.  In the 1980s, submetering was introduced, mainly for the property management sector. For example, an owner of a shopping center could install submeters on each store and bill each one for its actual energy consumption.  Today, with the advent of big data, it is very well possible to implement the concept of submetering to sub-meter every potential possible machinery on board.  Some highly automated ships are using device-level submeters coupled with big data analytics for real time operational efficiency and system performance management.  Real-time data monitoring and corrective action will enable any organization to tie its financial goals with energy efficiency goals.  The multiple pressures on the global maritime industry ranging from on time schedules to strict emission regulation compliance, mean that ship owners and Managers can no longer afford to ignore the performance of their fleet.  The value of accessing real-time data across a fleet of ships as part of a shore-based management strategy is highly appreciated in the maritime industry.

In order to overcome different maritime industry challenges ranging from strict emission requirements to energy efficient operation, don’t we have to measure and quantify the variables first?


The improvement cycle or the process kick-start point may differ with respect to organizational needs, however two important aspects which complete the cycle are “Measurement & Monitoring”.  When it comes to Measurement & Monitoring – an effective, powerful, robust and user friendly tool is highly essential.  It was not possible to analyze such vast quantity of shipboard data without a robust tool like VEEMS (Viswa Energy Efficiency Management System).  These data were extremely hard to quantify in a verifiable way and it is now possible to analyze such Data with VEEMS.

VEEMS can help monitor the energy consumption of almost all the shipboard systems and devices, then use the “big-data” which is collected over a period of time and analyze the recorded information.  The shipboard staff can take corrective action almost instantaneously which otherwise will end up in more fuel or resources being consumed.

When we monitor the fuel consumption pattern of main and auxiliary engines and benchmark them against sea trial data or sister ships on same trade routes, we get real-time alerts on what is causing the engines or other machinery to consume more fuel than what it is supposed to.  Identifying unseen problems and interconnecting them with daily operational parameters will save thousands of dollars in fuel consumption, equipment failures, and maintenance costs.


Interrelated Systems Performance.

Without VEEMS, it was not possible to discover systematically malfunctions that affect multiple systems.  For example, if VEEMS device-level monitoring shows us that the main engine suddenly consumes more fuel and, at the same time, we notice that the wave/swell/wind force is high, we can tie these problems together and solve them more efficiently by taking respective corrective action.  This interrelation of system performance is credibly possible with a robust tool like VEEMS.

Monitoring the Energy Print:

VEEMS provides a way to monitor critical shipboard parameters which affect the fuel consumption on a real-time basis.  Thus VEEMS helps in monitoring the energy print.  When we analyze the energy print, predictive maintenance is possible.  For example, when machinery begins to draw more and more electrical power, perhaps a belt or bearing is causing this increasing draw.  With such energy trend information available, management can predict an equipment failure in advance.  When we are able to utilize predictive maintenance, we save the time and money required for unnecessary maintenance.

VEEMS will Make the Move from ‘Metered to Monitored’:

While making the move from metering to monitoring of shipboard equipment, it is a process that should be conducted nonchalantly.  Whether it is for operational improvements, energy efficiency, responsible environmental stewardship, or a combination of all of these reasons, successful energy management is a goal shared by all companies.  To accomplish this goal, we must be able to monitor it, benchmark it, report on it, and prioritize it.  This is made possible by VEEMS.

In the next write-up, we will cover how VEEMS will prove to be a useful tool to achieve energy efficiency standards and thus reduce a vessel’s carbon footprint.

Please Feel Free to Download the VEEMS (Viswa Energy Efficiency Management System) Architecture and Supplement below:


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