Wärtsilä, a trailblazer in marine technology, continued its steadfast support of the IMarEST UAE branch by sponsoring a riveting technical meeting underlining decades of design and engineering expertise in the realms of Dynamic Positioning, Automation & Navigation systems.
In his introduction to the 132 high caliber of marine professionals from the Middle East and Indian subcontinent, Nikeel Idnani, honorary secretary, IMarEST UAE branch, drew attention to the fact that a seagoing vessel is subject to forces from the elements and those generated by the propulsion system. Dynamic positioning is the capability of a vessel to maintain its position automatically using its DP system including the vessel’s power and thruster systems. Likewise, monitoring and control systems are dedicated to improving ship operations via increased safety & reliability, suitably designed to meet the demands of modern sea-going vessels.
Commensurate with their declared social responsibility, Nikeel admired Wärtsilä’s sustained efforts towards disseminating technical knowledge amongst the Middle East marine community thereby supporting local maritime development. He read out an encouraging letter of recommendation from Wärtsilä endorsing the valued work done by the IMarEST UAE Branch.
Udo Suessenberger, Sales Engineer Wartsila-SAM-Electronics, presented the company’s cost effective suite of electronic systems – NACOS Platinum which covers all areas within ship automation, propulsion, navigation, power management, dynamic positioning, general alarm and control. Wärtsilä NACOS Platinum is applicable to any ship size or type and is by design fully integrated and its applications are engineered to operate in unison, utilizing shared resources and a common infrastructure. The modular concept enables it to cater to specific requirements, while the system can also be installed as a stand-alone application to fully deliver the required functionality within specific areas. Udo emphasized that the Wärtsilä NACOS Platinum complies with all relevant international rules and regulations of major classification societies viz. DNV GL, ABS and LR. The system is constantly updated in accordance with new and anticipated legislation, and existing onboard installations can also be upgraded as needed.
Dave Adams, Vice President of Sales at Wärtsilä Dynamic Positioning highlighted their DP technology was suitable for any maritime platform – from luxury yachts to offshore vessels to specialized naval applications. Their systems are supplied in a variety of configurations – from simple joystick systems to fully integrated vessel control systems incorporating Class 3 dynamic positioning, thruster control and power management. Using commercial-off-the-shelf equipment, their control systems are easy to maintain and offer efficient upgrade paths for extended service life.
Wärtsilä’s holistic approach to optimising vessel efficiency starts from the initial design. Dave stressed that they study its power and propulsion systems, the integrated automation systems, and the way that the vessel will be operated and maintained. Substantial savings in operational costs can easily be achieved if all these items are taken into consideration from the beginning of the ship design process. Dave then went onto explaining that new concepts can result in great power savings. When selecting the optimal power system, an operator might consider the machinery concept, such as electric and hybrid configurations, heat recovery, alternative fuels, as well as the automation and controls. By tailoring the machinery concept to match the operating profile, fuel consumption can be notably reduced. Dave cited the example of a complete concept for a series of innovative and cost effective ferries, featuring low emissions, being launched by Wärtsilä. The ferries are designed to run entirely on batteries or in a battery-engine hybrid configuration where the fuel options are LNG or biofuel. In plug-in operation, the fuel consumption is reduced by 100% compared to conventional installations, and all local emissions are eliminated. With the plug-in hybrid configuration, emissions are reduced by up to 50%. The concept features Wärtsilä’s new wireless inductive charging system, which for typical shuttle ferry operations involving 20,000 or more departures a year, is considered a notable benefit because of its time and energy savings. The system eliminates physical cable connections, thus reducing wear and tear and enabling charging to begin immediately when the vessel arrives at the quay. This technology is available for retrofit onto existing vessels.
Dave finished with a description of how Wärtsilä had augmented their smart marine capabilities by successfully manoeuvring an 80m platform supply vessel in the North Sea via remote-control over a satellite link carried out from Wärtsilä’s San Diego office, 5000 nm away.
Kevin Vanderkerff, Online Deployment Manager enlightened the attendees with Wärtsilä Online Services which contains information on assets, spare part prices and availability, technical information and logistics tracking with full transparency of Wärtsilä systems, 24/7.
Sheel Cabral, honorary treasurer IMarEST UAE branch, presented the first-rate speakers with tokens of appreciation recognizing their contributions towards promoting continuous professional development and learning opportunities for the regional maritime fraternity.
The highly convivial professional setting culminated with buoyant networking while feasting on an impressive array of contemporary international cuisine served by the chic Metropolitan hotel on Dubai’s famed Sheikh Zayed Road.