James Fisher has teamed up with BAE Systems on a key research project to monitor and boost vessel efficiency at sea.

James Fisher Mimic has joined a consortium of technology suppliers chosen to work with BAE Systems on the development of specialised software that will be able to monitor equipment, fuel and energy performance of a ship, which could ultimately transform ship maintenance.

The aim is to provide real-time information that will enable vessel owners and operators to monitor and control and wide range of parameters that affect a vessel's performance during operations. This should ensure better fleet management by reducing downtime and increasing vessel availability.

Testing has commenced on James Fisher's commercial tanker, the MT Speciality, equipped with JF Mimic's condition monitoring software which will be used to capture and display key performance data onboard over the next few months.

The project, called Ship Energy Assessment - Condition Optimisation and Routing Enhancement System (SEA-CORES)is being conducted by BAE Systems in conjunction with a number of key partners. It is sponsored by Innovate UK, which is a public body backed by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

JF Mimic's technology analyses the vibration and performance data of vessels including pressure, temperature, speed and fuel consumption. The Mimic software will form part of a new software suit which displays further vessel information such as the state of the hull and superstructure together with environmental conditions such as weather.

All reported parameters will provide operators with a greater understanding of a vessel's capabilities and SEA-CORES aims to enable the development of performance optimisation strategies.

Chris Courtaux, head of engineering and energy services at BAE Systems, explains how SEA-CORES will build on the company's experience supporting Royal Navy vessels:

"SEA-CORES is able to consider all the important components which affect the performance of a vessel. For example, reducing speed may save fuel but increase the wear to the engine if below its optimum performance. This could in turn increase the maintenance requirements for the vessel and reduce its overall availability."

Martin Briddon, business development manager at James Fisher Mimic adds;

"The integration of Mimic with the BAE Systems SEA-CORES software along with weather routing information allows Mimic to be used in a new and unique manner."


Image courtesy of BAE Systens