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Special Report

Next Generation OffShore Vessel Multi-Function Workstation Systems Marine Technologies Offers New Integrated Navigation System Complex Functions Need Management Creating Balance in a Changing Environment Why Do Ships Need Software? The Overview from the Bridge

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media


SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation OffShore Vessel Multi-Function Workstation Systems Marine Technologies Offers New Integrated Navigation System

SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE VESSEL MULTI-FUNCTION WORKSTATION SYSTEMS

Contents

Complex Functions Need Management Creating Balance in a Changing Environment Why Do Ships Need Software? The Overview from the Bridge

Foreword

2

John Hancock, Editor

Marine Technologies Offers New Integrated Navigation System

3

Paal Liset, Marine Technologies, LLC

Marine Technologies LLC, Application Manager A Superior Navigation Solution

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell

A Benefit to Both Shipyards and Vessel Owners A Focus on Superior Communications The Future is Now

Complex Functions Need Management John Hancock, Editor

A Challenging Start What are OSVs and PSVs? What do the Vessels do? All-Purpose and Special Purpose

Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks

A Lot to Control

Editor John Hancock

Creating Balance in a Changing Environment

Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes

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Francis Slade, Staff Writer

Rudders and Thrusters Safety First Dynamic Positioning (DP)

Production Manager Paul Davies

Tomorrow’s World, Today

For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

Why Do Ships Need Software?

10

Francis Slade, Staff Writer The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

More Than One Task Impact on Ship Design and Building E-Navigation Dynamic Positioning Paperless and Accessible

The Overview from the Bridge

12

Peter Dunwell, Correspondent

The Navigation Bridge Today A Workstation

© 2013. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. Cover image – Snorre B, Statoil/Harald Pettersen

The View from the Bridge

References 14

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE VESSEL MULTI-FUNCTION WORKSTATION SYSTEMS

Foreword W

e all try to arrange our immediate working

of even a reasonable day at sea, that tiredness could

environment to make it possible to carry out

be positively life-threatening.

the operations that we have to complete with the

Also, when several operations are being managed

least amount of movement between places. There

with progress and conditions being monitored, the

are reasons for this.

person or people in charge need not only to hear but

This Special Report opens with an article that looks at

be quickly able to identify and see alarms or condition

the new state-of-the-art Integrated Navigation System

changes that might affect the operation in hand and

offered by Marine Technologies. This system makes

safety. A sense that one is fully in control of the situation

all applications needed for bridge operations available

will support the right level of informed decision-making

on any multi-function workstation. To achieve this, an

and reasoned action – people who feel in control act

Application Manager interface has been developed,

to control events rather than react to events.

which functions like a computer desktop, displaying

So the workstation from which an officer or officers

all applications needed to operate vessels safely. The

overseeing the operations of a vessel engaged

Application Manager is designed to simplify operations

in a supporting role to the offshore oil, gas and

in stressful environments, thus contributing to overall

generation sectors is a very important component in

vessel safety.

the operational effectiveness and safety of that vessel.

It would be tiring and distracting to have constantly to

As well as traditional bridge design values, such

move between operating positions in order to handle

as oversight of as much of the ship as is possible,

each of the tasks that are on our schedule. And that is

modern bridges need to place the officer(s) at the

not a lazy approach to work. There is no reason why

heart of the systems that deliver the vessel’s purpose.

work should be tiring and, as importantly, distraction can impair our ability to function. In an ordinary office, that would not be a good thing. On a powerful vessel conducting a precision transfer of hazardous materials to or from an oil or gas rig in the challenging conditions

John Hancock Editor

John Hancock joined as Editor of Offshore Technology Reports in early 2012. A journalist for nearly 25 years, John has written and edited articles and papers on a range of engineering, support services and technology topics as well as for key events in the sector. Subjects have included aero-engineering, testing, aviation IT, materials engineering, weapons research, supply chain, logistics and naval engineering.

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE VESSEL MULTI-FUNCTION WORKSTATION SYSTEMS

Marine Technologies Offers New Inte-grated Navigation System Paal Liset, Marine Technologies, LLC

New Integrated Navigation System provides the vessel operator with easy access to all applications from anywhere on the bridge.

M

arine Technologies (MT) offers a state-of-the-art, new Integrated Navigation Sys-tem (INS) designed to integrate MT’s proprietary applications, including dynamic po-sitioning, thruster control, conning, ECDIS and radar, with third party applications, such as automation systems, DP reference systems, sonar and trawl systems, into a single, simplified control interface. This provides the vessel operator with easy access to all applications from anywhere on the bridge. MT’s unique Integrated Navigation System makes all applications needed for bridge operations available on any MultiFunction Workstation (MFW). In order to make multiple applications available on each MFW, MT has developed an Application Manager interface (pictured below). The Application Manager functions like a computer desktop, displaying all applications needed to operate the vessel safely.

Marine Technologies LLC, Application Manager Available applications are shown as square buttons positioned around a circle. Each button functions as a shortcut to a different application. Fewer applications mean fewer buttons. The Application Manager gives the operator the ability to start, stop or open any application with a mouse click. The text in each button is color-coded to indicate the present state of activity. Orange text indicates that the application is running. Grey text shows that the application is turned off. A red cross behind the text tells the operator that the application is not available on that operator station. The MT Application Manager is designed to simplify operations in stressful environments, contributing to overall vessel safety. The software allows up to four different vessel operators to configure as many as five different operating modes – including day or night modes –

INS Application Manager

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE VESSEL MULTI-FUNCTION WORKSTATION SYSTEMS

The MT Application Manager is designed to simplify operations in stressful environments, contributing to overall vessel safety

enabling a quick reconfiguration of applications to accommodate various vessel operations. In addition, a variety of useful commands are built into the MT Application Manager, such as Calibrate Touch Screen, Clean Screen, Remote to Other Operator Station, Print Screen, etc. With this convenient and user-friendly interface, vessel operators are no longer required to go to different workstations to access each application, giving them more time to pay attention to their surroundings.

A Superior Navigation Solution Bridge navigation solutions should be designed in such a way that essential information is presented in a precise and timely manner, reducing workload and enabling the vessel navigator to correctly assess the situation and direct full attention to the decision at hand. Having all navigation functions available on each MFW enables a more compact and ergonomically designed bridge with fewer workstations than conventional bridge systems. Navigation functions utilized in conventional workstations can also be integrated into MT’s MFW concept. Functions such as Automation, Power Management, CCTV, Radar and ECDIS can all be accessed from MT’s Multi-Function Workstation. There are a few requirements that have to be met in order for third party software to be implemented into the MT MWF concept. This includes identifying the operat-ing system the software is written for and determining its compatibility and ability to communicate over Ethernet. MT will NOT accept any third party software using broadcast messaging, as it is impossible to control this method of communicating between different devices.

MT bridge, 280’ platform supply vessel

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A Benefit to Both Shipyards and Vessel Owners The major benefit of the INS for shipyards is less cabling, as all sensors connect to two independent sensor concentrators providing sensor information via redundant Ethernet for all applications. There is also less cabling required for the thruster interfaces, as each thruster is wired to a single thruster card with a redundant Ethernet interface that all applications can read. For vessel owners, the benefit is a common user interface with all applications available at multiple MFWs. This translates into safer operations, as complete vessel control will always be within easy reach of the vessel operator.

A Focus on Superior Communications Efficient communication is critical to meeting the demands of competitive shipping operations. By enabling remote monitoring and diagnostics, and often remote maintenance and repair of onboard systems, downtime can be greatly reduced, along with the need for service personnel. The result is savings in both time and money. The ability to remotely monitor ship positions from ashore enables better ship routing in regard to weather. Automatic transfer and updating of navigational and ad-ministrative information can also enhance safety and reduce workload for the crew. In addition, effective communication solutions can provide opportunities for remote training and improved crew supervision. In response to industry demand for superior communications solutions, MT recently entered into the realm of global satellite communications with the launch of its new C-Comm™ Anatel-, Intelsat- and Eutelsat-approved Ku band BB100


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE VESSEL MULTI-FUNCTION WORKSTATION SYSTEMS

MT bridge, 189’ flybridge sailing yacht

MKIII and BB150 VSAT global broadband antennas. A total communication solution provider, C-Comm offers true END-to-END communication solutions bolstered by a worldwide technical support team and a network operations center (NOC).

The Future is Now Meeting International Maritime Organization (IMO) standards for e-Navigation, MT’s new Multi-Function Workstation solution is designed to bring more efficient vessel navigation to the maritime and offshore community – both today and tomorrow. The MT Integrated Navigation System is recognized around the world for its simplicity in design and intelligent engineering – leading the way for a safer and more confident vessel operating environment.

By enabling remote monitoring and diagnostics, and often remote maintenance and repair of onboard systems, downtime can be greatly reduced, along with the need for service personnel

MT bridge, 401’ light construction vessel

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE VESSEL MULTI-FUNCTION WORKSTATION SYSTEMS

Complex Functions Need Management John Hancock, Editor

A class of vessels with multiple capabilities pose significant management challenges.

“Safety of crew at all times is paramount – the working deck of a PSV can be a hazardous environment, especially when discharging at a platform in bad weather”

A Challenging Start The offshore oil and gas and, these days, generation sectors are quite something. They put complex structures requiring significant human and materials resources into increasingly challenging and hostile environments at ever greater distances from land. What could possibly go wrong? Actually, it is a lot less than some individual incidents might suggest. Like aviation, offshore energy activities are conducted by a highly regulated and safety conscious industry which has developed a number of engineering systems and (more recently) digital systems, to add capability to expertise to ameliorate some of the risks inherent in the work, the product and the environment. Among the clearest manifestations of this capability are Offshore Support Vessels (OSVs) and Platform Supply Vessels (PSVs) which are complete engineering and digital systems in themselves. As Ulstein ship design, shipbuilding and system solutions explains, “… (Platform Supply Vessels) can be used as multi-purpose platforms. A range of alternative pre-engineered modules and well worked-through solutions create great flexibility...”1 It is what links those systems, providing the bridge between capability and expertise, that is the basis of this paper. But first, it might be useful to understand the nature of the systems themselves; what they are and what they do that is so vital to offshore operations.

What are OSVs and PSVs? A usefully complete definition of the ubiquitous Platform Supply Vessel2 suggests; “A Platform Supply Vessel (often abbreviated as PSV) is a ship specially designed to supply offshore oil platforms. These ships range from 20 to 100 meters in length and accomplish a variety of tasks. The primary function for most of these vessels is transportation of goods and personnel to and from offshore oil platforms and other offshore structures.” One could add that, in recent years a new generation of Platform Supply Vessel has entered the market, usually equipped with Class 6 | www.offshoretechnologyreports.com

1 or Class 2 Dynamic Positioning System, more of which later in this paper; but, again, it highlights the blend of engineering and systems that make PSVs much more complex than their tug-like appearance would suggest. Also, there is the reason why these vessels need something called Dynamic Positioning: it’s because they need to be able to maintain station either on the water while supporting a function such as diving, or relative to the installation to which or from which they are transferring materials. Operating as the lifeline between offshore installations and land bases, service vessels such as PSVs can have a crew of up to 20 who will live and work on the vessel for several weeks at a time. But people prepared to work in such conditions are costly and so operators will try to reduce manning in order to save cost where commensurate engineering and systems capabilities can ensure that safety is not compromised.

What do the Vessels do? The systems have to cope with a wider variety of cargoes than would be the case for most cargo vessels. “Vessels can be equipped to carry normal supply cargoes – liquid, bulk, powder and solid. Stern ports can be specified for drive-on loading to suit operators’ requirements.”3 That’s how Rolls Royce Marine describes its vessels. But these vessels do a great deal more than that. OSVs and PSVs transport supplies to the offshore installation and return materials such as waste and temporary accommodation modules to shore. Their main carrying capacity is in cargo tanks for drilling mud, pulverized cement, diesel fuel, potable and non-potable water, and chemicals used in the drilling process. Also, tools and equipment are carried on the load decks of these vessels. Of course, these are not easy materials with which to work at the best of times and OSVs/PSVs often need to handle them at less than the best of times. Rolls Royce Marine adds to its comments above; “Safety of crew at all times is paramount -– the working deck of a


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE VESSEL MULTI-FUNCTION WORKSTATION SYSTEMS

M/V Island Enforcer forward bridge

PSV can be a hazardous environment, especially when discharging at a platform in bad weather.” Engineering and systems that automatically manage fastening, moving and locking of deck cargo, such as pipes and containers, contribute further to safety on these vessels.

All-Purpose and Special Purpose Most ships in this group carry a combination of deck cargoes and bulk cargo below deck and can take on other roles such as rescue boats if need be. But some vessels are constructed (or refitted) to accomplish a particular job. That might be a fire-fighting capability or with oil containment and recovery equipment to assist in the clean-up of any spillages and avoid the type of pollution event that could scar the industry’s reputation. Other vessels are equipped with tools, chemicals and personnel to ‘work-over’ existing oil wells for the purpose of increasing the wells’ production. In each case, the engineering and systems to make it possible to do their allocated job need to be controlled. Another class of vessel that needs similar engineering and systems to operate is a Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) unit used to take product from offshore installations, process it, store it and then discharge it to transportation vessels for transfer to a landbased infrastructure. That takes us to what purposes OSVs, PSVs, FPSOs and all the other specialised vessels requiring engineering and systems serve. One specialised vessel in a number of offshore supply fleets is the Field and Subsea Support Vessel described by Maersk4 as, “very flexible [and] therefore, it is able to perform sub-sea

work as well as conventional supply and anchor handling duties for the offshore construction industry.” Maersk continues, “[Specialised] Anchor Handling Tug Supply [AHTS] vessels are capable of performing anchor handling for semi-submersible drilling rigs and other offshore equipment. Focus is specifically on deep-water work.” That work entails, according to Deep Ocean Group, “[setting] anchors for drilling rigs and [towing] mobile drilling rigs and equipment from one location to another. In addition to these capabilities, AHTSs can be used in supply, oil spill recovery, tanker lifting and floating production, storage and off-loading, or FPSO, support roles when they are not performing anchor handling and towing services.”5

A Lot to Control As readers will probably have realised by now, the ability of this remarkable class of vessels to undertake the complex and vital tasks for which they have been built means that, among other things, they need proper control systems to link the engineering and systems to the human expertise without which the vessel could not function. A well designed central position from which the human expertise can handle remote operations on the vessel as well as navigation and positioning cannot only improve productivity and efficiency but will also enhance safety which, in turn, will all generate cost savings. Automation of other key factors such as weather and route planning plus the display of that information for the monitoring officer to use will all add to the effectiveness of these very important vessels for the economically important offshore sector. www.offshoretechnologyreports.com | 7


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE VESSEL MULTI-FUNCTION WORKSTATION SYSTEMS

Creating Balance in a Changing Environment Francis Slade, Staff Writer

Providing a stable working platform where stability has to be actively maintained.

A rudder can only control the angle at which the vessel goes forward which is why ships need assistance from tugs when berthing. Thrusters, on the other hand, deliver the same force but at different and even at variable angles. This active application of directional pressure allows a ship to manoeuvre in more directions

T

he previous article considered what the various vessels, but often Platform Service Vessels (PSVs), are, what they do and why they need to be integrated with a number of engineering and software systems in order to operate at peak efficiency. It might also be instructive to look at the systems that are used. Some are versions of systems that can be found on any vessel while others are specialist systems whose capabilities will match and support the tasks for which the vessel will be used. This article will focus on one of those specialist systems. The main engineering systems used on Offshore Support Vessels (OSVs) and PSVs include those used to handle the cargoes but, for this paper, they are not the main ones in which we are interested. One piece of engineering that distinguishes these vessels is the use of thrusters.

Rudders and Thrusters Thrusters are neither new nor exclusive to vessels engaged in the offshore sector. The screw propeller used on countless ships since the mid-nineteenth century is a thruster operating on a fixed shaft pushing the ship forward using a rudder to apply steering. But a rudder can only control the angle at which the vessel goes forward which is why ships need assistance from tugs when berthing. Thrusters, on the other hand, deliver the same force but at different and even at variable angles. This active application of directional pressure allows a ship to manoeuvre in more directions and in more confined spaces. Some thrusters use traditional looking propellers while others use water jets to apply directional pressure. Also, some are fixed in their direction while Azimuth thrusters are positioned in manoeuvrable pods so that their direction of steering pressure can be rotated in any horizontal direction. Bow and stern thrusters are, “transversal propulsion devices built into, or mounted to, either the bow or stern, of a ship or boat, to make it more manoeuvrable. Bow thrusters make docking

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easier, since they allow the captain to turn the vessel to port or starboard side, without using the main propulsion mechanism which requires some forward motion for turning. A stern thruster [uses] the same principle, fitted at the stern.”6 It can easily be seen how control of such systems is a vital component in the operation of any offshore support vessel.

Safety First Offshore support vessels use thrusters to achieve and maintain position relative to an offshore structure using a system called Dynamic Positioning (DP). Because they are so vital to a system without which offshore support would not be possible and where failure could have catastrophic consequences, there are strong regulations around the operation of thrusters, their control and the safety aspects of their design. Typical would be the IMCA (International Marine Contractors Association) ‘Guidelines for The Design and Operation of Dynamically Positioned Vessels’7, which states that, “Speed of response, efficiency and interference should be considered for all thrust units and the arrangement should be made to give, as far as is possible, a balanced configuration even after the worst failure. It is essential to avoid a thruster control fault that results in full power or power in an unwanted direction which can destabilise the whole DP control system. Such problems are overcome by a failsafe design; that is, the thruster: • Fails as set; • Fails to zero thrust; • Trips the drive motor or engine. While these safety features should be automatic it is nevertheless essential to provide an independent emergency stop for each thrust unit, suitably protected against inadvertent operation and operated from the DP control console or nearby.”

Dynamic Positioning (DP) A ship can be considered to have six degrees of freedom in its motion, i.e., it can move in any of six axes. Three of these involve translation:


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE VESSEL MULTI-FUNCTION WORKSTATION SYSTEMS

M/V Andrea Chouest aft bridge

• Surge (forward/astern); • Sway (starboard/port); • Heave (up/down). The other three are concerned with rotation: • Roll (rotation about surge axis); • Pitch (rotation about sway axis); • Yaw (rotation about heave axis). Dynamic positioning is concerned primarily with control of the ship in the horizontal plane, i.e., the three axes: surge, sway and yaw. It is the system which makes the engineering (thrusters) work to manoeuvre and stabilise OSVs and PSVs when they are close to offshore installations. As such, control of the system is a very important part in the safe running of these vessels. So the place from where that control is exercised is also a very important component in the operations and safety of the vessel. Dynamic Positioning was first employed in the offshore industry to stabilise vessels carrying drilling equipment. In shallower waters, jackup barges had been used to provide stable drilling platforms; but in deeper waters, jacking was not practicable and anchoring equally was

less effective and uneconomical. In 1961 the drillship Cuss 1 was fitted with four steerable propellers, in an attempt to drill the first Moho well. It was possible to keep the ship in position above the well, off La Jolla, California, at a depth of 948 meters. Whereas the Cuss 1 was kept in position manually, later in the same year Shell launched the drilling ship Eureka that had an analogue control system interfaced with a taut wire, making it the first true DP ship.

Tomorrow’s World, Today Today, DP systems are computer-controlled to maintain automatically a vessel’s position and heading by using its own propellers and thrusters. Position reference sensors, combined with wind sensors, motion sensors and gyro compasses, provide information to the computer pertaining to the vessel’s position and the magnitude and direction of environmental forces affecting its position. All of this requires control and is a significant element on a modern phenomenon – the multi-function workstation – that has changed a ship’s bridge into a high tech control room.

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE VESSEL MULTI-FUNCTION WORKSTATION SYSTEMS

Why Do Ships Need Software? Francis Slade, Staff Writer There’s a lot to manage and monitor on a modern vessel; software makes the task more achieveable.

Good bridge navigation solutions will deliver the right information from the appropriate program, accessible when it is needed

More Than One Task A computer is little more than a box containing a few million switches that can be either on or off: what makes them the indispensable tools they have become is software – the programming that tells them which switches should be on or off, when they should be and in what order. It is the amazing speed with which computers can handle those actions that we call ‘processing power’. But with a number of different software solutions to engage at any one time, users appreciate the availability of one over-riding solution to manage all of the individual programmes. This is certainly true on the bridge of any seagoing vessel and especially one that has to negotiate congested seaways and hold station by offshore installations. Good bridge navigation solutions will deliver the right information from the appropriate program, accessible when it is needed. The answer is a multi-function workstation allowing the officer on the bridge to view all key functions that might be engaged in any operation and to control the key applications to manage an operation… and all from their working position on the bridge. That is why modern bridge technology is arrayed around the officer’s seat to allow an unrestricted view of information carrying screens. The seat is also usually placed to offer an unrestricted view of the working areas of the ship with, often, a position facing forward for navigation and course management and one facing rearward over the working deck to manage supply and work functions of the vessel.

Impact on Ship Design and Building One upshot from this increasing emphasis on technology to enhance the operation of vessels in the offshore sector is that, “Today’s shipyards and ship owners require complex technological

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solutions… in the areas of navigation, integrated communication and power & control systems...”8 This view from ULSTEIN, a provider of ship design, shipbuilding and system solutions for ships, is typical of today’s approach to a very sophisticated segment of the maritime sector.

E-Navigation There are many tasks that are accomplished nowadays by or with the considerable input of software. The first that springs to mind is navigation, among the earliest applications of technology to shipping with compasses, sextants and monitoring the positions of stars. The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) ‘Requirements concerning Navigation’9 is quite specific about what is expected of the software used in navigation; “The ship is to be equipped with an ARPA [Automatic Radar Plotting Aid] system including, or associated with, a collision avoidance system, meeting the requirements of IMO Resolution A422(XI). The ARPA function may be independent or built into the radar equipment. The system is to be based on the assumption that all floating objects may come onto a collision course with own ship if the object’s course is changed up to 45 with its speed maintained. A warning shall be given to the navigator at a time which shall be adjustable in the range of six to 30 minutes, having regard to the time to danger (TCPA).” e-Navigation is defined by the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation Lighthouse Authorities (IALA)as ‘the collection, integration and display of maritime information aboard and ashore by electronic means to enhance berth-to-berth navigation and related services, safety and security at sea, and the protection of the marine environment’10 The paper continues to explain that this level of sophistication in software requirement might be traced back to December 2005 when, “Japan, the


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE VESSEL MULTI-FUNCTION WORKSTATION SYSTEMS

Royal Huismann/Ray Main

Marshall Islands, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, UK and USA submitted a paper (MSC 81/23/10) to the IMO Maritime Safety Committee on the development on an e-navigation strategy… The paper went on to propose that the aim should be to develop a strategic vision for the utilisation of existing and new navigational tools, in particular electronic tools, in a holistic and systematic manner. E-navigation, the paper argued, would help reduce navigational accidents, errors and failures by developing standards for an accurate and cost-effective system that would make a major contribution to the IMO’s agenda of safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans.”

Dynamic Positioning The other key area in which software doesn’t simply enhance but really makes practice possible is dynamic positioning.11 “Nearly all DP vessels electronic computers and/ or several microprocessors are used, hence these guidelines assume these control systems are installed.” is how IMCA ‘Guidelines for The Design and Operation of Dynamically Positioned Vessels’ explains the importance of software in positioning. And dynamic positioning software on these offshore service vessels has to carry a lot of

information. “The computer program contains a mathematical model of the vessel that includes information pertaining to the wind and current drag of the vessel and the location of the thrusters. This knowledge, combined with the sensor information, allows the computer to calculate the required steering angle and thruster output for each thruster. This allows operations at sea where mooring or anchoring is not feasible due to deep water, congestion on the sea bottom (pipelines, templates) or other problems.”12

Paperless and Accessible Also, as with many operations these days, shipping and offshore support services are increasingly moving to a paperless environment. That is good because huge quantities of information can be placed at the disposal of an operator without the need to store, carry or flip through vast paper files. However, the concomitant of a paperless world is that information should be displayed in a way that makes where it is and how to access it very straightforward. It is why so much emphasis is placed on the design and capability of bridge workstations so that, not only is all the information needed available, but also it is accessible.

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE VESSEL MULTI-FUNCTION WORKSTATION SYSTEMS

The Overview from the Bridge Peter Dunwell, Correspondent

The range of functions to manage and conditions to monitor from a modern bridge.

A properly equipped modern bridge brings all the vessel’s functions within reach of one operator so that, in

The Navigation Bridge Today If your image of a ship’s bridge includes Trevor Howard in a duffel coat battling with a very large wheel and holding a mug of steaming coffee then you won’t have seen a modern ship’s bridge. The mug of steaming coffee might still be there but the rest would look more Mission Control than a storm lashed lookout. That is because modern vessels use state-of-the-art systems and up-todate IT driven workstations from which to operate and control the array of engineering and software functions at the Captain’s command.

A Workstation

certain circumstances, it is technologically possible to operate the bridge with an officer of the navigational watch alone

Put simply, the Bridge is a room or platform from which the ship can be commanded.13 But it’s not that simple; a modern bridge is very technical affair and can justifiably be termed a multi-function workstation; also, as with most of maritime related equipment these days, bridge design and equipment is subject to a number of regulations and guidance notes. Typical would be the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) Guidance Notes on Ergonomic Design of Navigation Bridges14 which includes… “The focus of ergonomics is the study of the role of humans in the safe and efficient operation of complex industrial systems and the application of ergonomic principles and data to the design of equipment and systems. The importance of the ‘human element’ and ergonomics in maritime safety is increasingly recognized and embraced by the maritime community [author’s italics)… this document provides: i. General ergonomic design guidance (design principles) for navigation bridges (Section 2), ii. Specific bridge design guidance gleaned from international sources, such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Association of Classification Societies(IACS) (see Sections 3 through 11), iii. A process to identify individual vessel bridge requirements to guide application of ergonomic design principles (see Appendix 1).”

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A properly equipped modern bridge brings all the vessel’s functions within reach of one operator so that, in certain circumstances, “It is technologically possible to operate the bridge with an officer of the navigational watch alone, acting as the sole lookout. However, the design, performance and maintenance of the equipment can have considerable effects on the safety of one man bridge operation.”15 This statement from the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) ‘Requirements concerning Navigation’ continues, “The bridge configuration, the arrangement of consoles and equipment location shall enable the officer of the watch to perform navigational duties and other functions allocated to the bridge as well as maintain a proper lookout from a convenient position on the bridge, hereafter referred to as a ‘workstation’. A workstation for navigation and traffic surveillance/ manoeuvring shall be arranged to enable efficient operation by one person under normal operating conditions. All relevant instrumentation and controls shall be easily visible, audible and accessible from the workstation [author’s italics].” But not only should the components that make up a bridge be capable of one man operation, they should also be capable of accommodating several operators responsible for different tasks without them ‘getting in each other’s way’.

The View from the Bridge What all the above boils down to is that everything on the bridge should work towards simplifying operations in what can be a stressful environment, that will contribute to both effectiveness and safety. IACS adds, “For the purpose of performing duties related to navigation, traffic surveillance and manoeuvring, the field of vision from a workstation shall be such as to enable observation of all objects which may affect the safe conning of the ship. The field of vision from a workstation shall be in accordance with the guidelines on navigation bridge visibility, as specified in IMO Resolution A708 as it applies to new ships.”


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE VESSEL MULTI-FUNCTION WORKSTATION SYSTEMS

The reality is that there are quite a few tasks to be managed from this ‘workstation’ bridge. We have already covered one of the most important tasks, Dynamic Positioning, and the engineering that makes it possible – thrusters. But any vessel including an offshore support or platform supply vessel (OSV or PSV) will need an array of functions to ensure its operational effectiveness and safety. Communications Communications are not only person to person but also system to system using traditional radio and, to an increasing degree, satellite systems. Vessels use communications to aid navigation, to update route plans according to weather data and to enable land-based systems to remotely monitor a vessel’s operational condition. Navigation Tools such as route monitoring and alarms management as well as continuous maintenance of the vessel’s logbook run alongside voyage plans and track control systems to ensure the best and safest route plus to provide information for the Officer of the Watch about traffic and installations in the immediate proximity. Electronic Charts Display and Information System (ECDIS) An important contributor to Navigation, ECDIS is an integrated information system that displays a vast array of navigation information utilizing electronic charts. ECDIS is a vital resource for efficient route planning and monitoring that delivers not only position data but, with more advanced systems, other valuable data such as fuel consumption and safety information. Radar All ships need to use Radar but, for service vessels in the offshore sector, it is even more important, not only for voyage navigation but also when manoeuvring in congested sea areas among installations and other service vessels.

The field of vision from a workstation shall be such as to enable observation of all objects which may affect the safe conning of the ship and shall be in accordance with the guidelines on navigation bridge visibility

Radar also assists in dynamic positioning by monitoring the space between the vessel and the installation it is serving at the time. Add to all of these freight handling, vessel safety and evacuation systems, on-vessel public address and an array of other tasks and it is easy to see why a properly designed and ergonomic workstation is a vital component in any modern bridge and especially that of a service vessel operating in the offshore sector.

www.offshoretechnologyreports.com | 13


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION OFFSHORE VESSEL MULTI-FUNCTION WORKSTATION SYSTEMS

References: 1

 Ulstein Platform Supply Vessels http://www.ulstein.com/Kunder/ulstein/cms66.nsf/%28$All%29/9B8A09BB5AAA9354C12576A90040C633?OpenDocument

2

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platform_supply_vessel

3

Royce Marine http://www.rolls-royce.com/marine/about/market_sectors/offshore/supply_service/psv.jsp

4

SupplyVessel.net, Maersk http://supplyvessel.net/companies/maersk

5

Deep Ocean Group http://www.do.deepoceangroup.com/vessels_.php?key=anchor-handling

6

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bow_thruster

7

IMCA ‘Guidelines for The Design and Operation of Dynamically Positioned Vessels’ 1.6.1 http://www.imca-int.com/media/73055/imcam103.pdf

8

Ulstein http://www.ulstein.com/kunder%5Culstein%5Ccms66.nsf/pages/SaaSTEMSSERVICES.html

9

The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) ‘Requirements concerning Navigation’

http://www.iacs.org.uk/document/public/Publications/Unified_requirements/PDF/UR_N_pdf156.PDF

10

Introducing the e-navigation revolution by David Patraiko BSc, MBA, FN http://www.ifsma.org/tempannounce/aga33/Enav.pdf

11

IMCA ‘Guidelines for The Design and Operation of Dynamically Positioned Vessels’ 1.6.1 http://www.imca-int.com/media/73055/imcam103.pdf

12

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_positioning

13

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridge_%28nautical%29

14

American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) Guidance Notes on Ergonomic Design of Navigation Bridges

http://www.scribd.com/doc/3991048/Ergonomic-Design-of-Navigation-Bridges

15

IACS, ‘Requirements concerning Navigation’ http://www.iacs.org.uk/document/public/Publications/Unified_requirements/PDF/UR_N_pdf156.PDF

14 | www.offshoretechnologyreports.com


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Special Report – Next Generation Off-Shore Vessel Multi-Function Workstation Systems  

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Special Report – Next Generation Off-Shore Vessel Multi-Function Workstation Systems  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Next Generation Off-Shore Vessel Multi-Function Workstation Systems