Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (“K” Line) and compatriot Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (KHI) as well as Preferred Networks announced that they have concluded a co-development contract for “AI (Artificial Intelligence)-based Marine Machinery Operation Support System that is expected to be part of the core technology to achieve autonomous vessel operation in the future. The system will have such functions as failure prediction/ diagnostics, CBM (Condition-Based Maintenance), and optimum operation support, based on the data analytics of marine machinery operation data using AI.
The system manages not only a specific piece of equipment but marine machinery onboard as a whole, including the main engine and power generator. In developing the system, they will first target those vessels with diesel propulsion plants, and then those with various types of propulsion systems such as steam turbines and electronic propulsion systems in the next phase. The system will provide useful information on failure predictions and failure diagnostics. This not only enables users to prevent major engine troubles from occurring but also assists planning effective maintenance schedule and advises optimum engine operation based on the condition of plants, ultimately to improve fuel consumption and to contribute to the greenhouse gas reduction.
The Marine AI will be implemented both onboard and in the cloud system. The one onboard learns the vessel’s operation data and uses them to diagnose on a real-time basis. The one in the cloud system periodically collects the data accumulated on each vessel, and centrally uses them for further learning, allowing itself to become smarter and offer failure prediction and diagnostics as well as optimum operation support for any type of vessels.
Other Japanese shipping majors Mitsui OSK Lines and Nippon Yusen Kaisha are also pursuing autonomous vessel operation. (Photo: K Line )