The world’s first smart ship is underway

The world's first smart ship is coming to a port near you soon. (PRNewsFoto/China State Shipbuilding Corp.)
The world’s first smart ship is coming to a port near you soon. (PRNewsFoto/China State Shipbuilding Corp.)

The world’s first smart ship has been revealed at the Smart Ship Development Forum & Smart Ship Demo “i-Dolphin” Release Meeting sponsored by CSSC on December 1st in Shanghai, China.

The 38,800 dwt smart ship project is the first civilian program of CSSC Innovation, planed and led by Shanghai Ship Design and Research Institute with participation from CSSC Systems Engineering Research Institute, CSSC Huangpu-Wenchong Shipbuilding Co., Ltd, CSSC Power Research Institute and Hudong Heavy Machinery Co., Ltd.

The project is aimed at the shipbuilding of smart demo ship based on “Green Dolphin” a 38,800 dwt bulk carrier. The 38,800 dwt smart ship will be designed with the highest technical specifications, smart management and control systems. The ordering specifications have been completed. Several modules have been applied in trial assembly and used on other ships, with the commercial plans for building a smart demo ship having been confirmed.

The smart ship is based on big data and applies up-to-date information technology including real-time data transmission and collection, large-capacity calculations, digital modeling and remote control. All of this is designed in to the ship to better guarantee navigational safety and improve operational efficiency of ship.

According to Wei Muheng, an engineer working at the Intelligent Maintenance Laboratory for Platform System Research Institute under CSSC Systems Engineering Research Institute, the 38,800 dwt smart ship project will set up a whole-ship information perception system and realize information integration and data sharing between all the systems and equipment on the ship.

The project will also utilize intelligent management and control systems, independent analysis, assessment and predictions. This will help with communication between the smart ship and shore as well as providing remote maintenance and upgrades of ship systems.

Designed with remote monitoring, support, management and control by using onshore resources to improve the ships operations and safety. With the ships data analysis and optimizing ship design and shipbuilding techniques, the project can provide the ship owner with life cycle value of the ship.

Key smart functions by the smart ship include the overall performance and status monitoring; ship status safety assessment; ship energy efficiency monitoring, analysis, assessment and optimization; engine room equipment and system operation, status and monitoring; engine room equipment operation, safety and performance analysis; engine room equipment maintenance including prediction and reliability, status assessment and maintenance optimization; sea route; ship navigation; navigational operation and control information analysis; environmental impact analysis; navigational optimization.

The companies involved plan to start construction September 2016 and deliver in 2017.

The entire ship will be run on smart systems, optimizing everything while maintaining safe operations.

Today, China’s smart ship development aided by good policy and a highly technical environment. In May of this year, the State Council announced the “Made in China 2025” policy, encouraging a comprehensive implantation and manufacturing in China. As a high-tech ship, the smart ship is highlighted for priority development in Made in China 2025. In August, China published the Action Program for Promoting Big Data Development and vigorously developing big data has ascended as a national strategy.

China has accelerated smart ship research in recent years. Under the guidance of CSSC, CSSC Systems Engineering Research Institute launched the “Intelligent Information Management and Practical Technology Innovation Center for Marine Equipment” with NSF IMS in 2013, with the aim of boosting relevant core technology and product R&D.

In September 2015, CSSC Systems Engineering Research Institute and China Merchants Energy Transport Co., Ltd. signed the strategic cooperation agreement on “Ship and Shipping Intelligence,” to drive industry and network integration, carry out intelligent technology applications in new-buildings and explore shipping information in new ways. The implementation of the 38,800 dwt smart ship project will push China’s smart ship R&D forward.

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