ABS: What is the future of cutting-edge maritime technology

The ABS recognizes the future growth of innovations and is charting a course for the future of marine and offshore technologies with a new report, Technology Trends: Exploring the Future of Marine Innovation.

Tit publishes a look into the future of advanced marine and offshore technologies, presenting a vision and timeline for key technological milestones in the journey to net zero emissions and digitalisation.

Artificial intelligence

AI-derived autonomous systems could revolutionize ship operations, especially during long transits. For example, a fleet of autonomous ships can travel together in wake-reducing formations to increase energy efficiency. Traveling in tight formation would be possible because connected AI systems can make decisions much faster than humans, thereby reducing risk.

Marine robotics can take direction from human crew members and perform various high-risk tasks aboard ships. In extreme cases, a ship or offshore asset can be fully autonomous and fully crewed by robots that can replace parts using simulation-driven condition-based maintenance. Parts can be printed on demand using additive manufacturing machines.

Regardless of the extent to which ships and assets become autonomous, AI is likely to play a major role in the growing digitization of maritime assets. From personnel communications to preventive maintenance, AI-based decision-making can be critical to widely improving efficiency and reducing risk.

Digital twins

INCREASING connectivity infrastructure, sensor capabilities, cloud and edge computing power and AI systems are combining to drive the evolution of digital twins. As digital twins become more widespread and reliable, they will play an ever-increasing role in naval operations. The more variables a digital twin can account for, powered by different areas of digitization, the clearer the picture it will have of the real-world ship or offshore asset.

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Initially, real-time monitoring will support human-level decision-making, such as trip optimization, fuel management, maintenance time and remaining life decisions. Over time, digital twin systems are expected to achieve standards of self-learning and awareness that will serve as essential foundations for fully autonomous functions.

As digital twin technology advances alongside improvements in connectivity, computing power and machine learning, twins will be able to proactively seek relevant data from potential inputs, such as sensors, drones or video systems. The twin will decide which inputs provide the most useful data for a given situation and will constantly update its model. An advanced twin can also gain enough awareness to model their environment and account for possible external variables when making decisions.

Modeling and Simulation

While modeling and simulation provide an important step in improving engineering and design processes, the simultaneous rapid growth of marine asset connectivity, access to cloud computing and edge computing power represent a step forward beyond the design phase, bringing decision-making based on simulation in reality. time situations.

Cloud technology allows modeling and simulation to be performed at greater scale, complexity and speed. When fed with operational data, models can be fine-tuned to reflect real-life conditions. Cloud modeling and simulation serve as a central knowledge base for producing state-of-the-art algorithms and models, which are then pushed to the edge devices through reduced-order modeling. These reduced-order models, trained by corresponding simulation models, can continuously analyze and optimize data from sensors in a system.

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Autonomous functions

IMPLEMENTATION of autonomous and remote control functions offers several benefits to the industry. Technology has the potential to increase safety by reducing human involvement in high-risk operations. Initially, autonomous technology can be used to assist with repetitive or dangerous tasks, freeing a mariner to focus on the overall health and performance of the entire system.

As the technology matures and the industry gains more operational experience, more functions and tasks can be performed autonomously. While the technology can reduce operational costs related to crew numbers, it can also help attract new talent to the maritime workforce as roles shift to remote monitoring and control systems.

Expanding the use of autonomous and remote control functions also has the potential to bring about a paradigm shift for the design of ships and offshore assets. As human crew roles are changed or reduced, designs can be optimized to allocate more space and resources to the primary objective and less space to human habitability.

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Production of additives

As AM CONTINUES to evolve, the process could revolutionize the way the marine and offshore industries handle repairs to individual vessels or systems. By decentralizing parts production, some repair or replacement parts can be achieved independently of supply chains and away from ports.

On-site or remote AM systems can provide additional value to users by printing parts closer to the point of need, reducing the problems of traditional logistics and supply chain services. Cloud-based digital part file storage, along with on-demand manufacturing, can now replace large physical inventories of complex parts. AM systems shift the focus to maintaining blockchain-secured parts files in the cloud, managing an inventory of materials or feedstock, and printing uniquely serialized parts in time, improving efficiency and simplifying the repair process.

The 3D printing nature of AM systems also provides more flexibility in part design. Printing can be more cost-effective than traditional machining or casting of complex shapes, while also providing greater control of material properties. When used with generative design, the benefits can be further increased to increase part performance, create lightweight parts and provide part consolidation solutions, where systems can now integrate multiple parts into a single part during printing , further reducing assembly and installation costs.