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MOL Announces Smart Ship Steering Project

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Japanese logistics company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and technology developer Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) will jointly develop technologies that enhance vessel operations and save energy.

MOL has announced that new sensing capabilities and big data analysis will form the basis for controlling steering gear in its ‘Ishin Next MOL Smart Ship Project’, which is focused on developing shipping vessel technology.

The installation of the system will be on a very large crude carrier (VLCC) that is under construction at KHI for delivery to MOL.

MOL said that it expects to complete the project by the end of March 2021.

KHI will install steering gear that is equipped with sensors that monitor pressure, flow rate, the temperature of the hydraulic oil and consumed power.

Read the about the key themes for container logistics over the next five years in a Port Technology technical paper by Containerchain

The system will also feature a “high-speed data acquisition system that has a large storage capacity”, according to an announcement by MOL, which collects both data from the ship's steering gear and information during a voyage such as its speed, course, engine load and rudder angle.

In-depth analysis of this data will lead to improvements in vessel reliability and energy-saving operations.

In its announcement, MOL said: “The company will leverage the knowledge and know-how gained through the development process for various ship types, as it takes a proactive stance in adopting the Internet of Things (IoT) to enhance safe operation and reduce vessels' environmental impact.”

Read more: MOL has announced the expansion of their Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier business under a unified brand name

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