Mar 22nd 2021 | Uttam Kumar

Real time SMART Notification – Redefining Ship Operations

Alpha Ori Technologies’ (AOT) proprietary SMARTShip™, an Internet of Things (IOT) platform with both edge and shore analytics collects data from various ship systems including navigation, engine room & cargo system and provides 24/7 visibility helping mitigate some of the major pain points faced by the shipping industry. Currently, some of the most critical problems being addressed by SMARTShip™ are profitability of vessels, prevention of equipment failures, navigational safety , avoidance of non-compliance events etc.

Real time SMART Notifications, one of the simplest and most impactful applications in our SMARTShip™ platform is redefining the way vessels are being operated. The SMART Notification feature enables users to define, view, and subscribe (according to user privilege) to system notification and alerts in real time. 

SMART notification can be categorized into various risk levels – Alarm, Warning, Caution and Info. Users can subscribe/unsubscribe to a range of available alerts and configure new ones. Also, users can include business rules and math formulas on the edge to receive intelligent alerts or combine more than one parameter to evaluate conditional scenarios. Users receive updates on their subscribed alerts via SMS, Emails, or on the Dashboard.

Let us look at some scenarios in which SMART Notification adds value

1. Real- Time SMART Notification brings transparency in vessel operations by providing vessel managers the information at their fingertips.

Traditionally, vessel managers wait for the ship’s reports or messages from vessel staff to know about any major operational issues. With real time notifications, all the relevant stakeholders are well connected and informed about the ship status in terms of operations, navigation or major equipment status and overall safety of the vessel. This improves the overall connectivity and communication across between the parties. 

Case Observation: A vessel superintendent received a critical “ME Shut down at sea” alert through SMARTShip™ GO mobile App . He noticed that the ME RPM dropped to “Zero” and then picked up within the next 6 – 7 minutes. Puzzled, he waited for an update from the vessel regarding the stoppage . After an hour, upon receiving no further information , he initiated contact with the vessel. On enquiry, it came to light that a black out had occurred at sea as the duty engineer unknowingly opened the “Active” breaker while changing over the auxiliary engines. The crew were reluctant to inform as it was a human error. SMARTShip™ on board helped capture this incident . To prevent such incidents in the future, vessels have been advised to install preventive boxes to protect “ Active” ACB and provide appropriate training to the ship staff. 

Though SMARTShip™ cannot prevent human errors, it can capture critical alerts and set a path for implementing corrective action. Transparency aids safe,standard and efficient operations.

2. Real- Time SMART Notification prevents unplanned failure by providing information the operators need to take proactive corrective measures.

In general, ship managers and operators rely on traditional maintenance strategies i.e. calendar or run hours-based maintenance and their engineering judgment to manage equipment health. The traditional maintenance has various challenges and can lead to unplanned vessel downtime affecting brand reputation and incur loss. With SMART Notifications, vessel staff and managers can effectively monitor equipment health, get an insight about operational and performance status and proactively take maintenance decisions. 

Case Observation: A Chief Engineer received a notification regarding inefficiency of the main compressor while the ship was entering a river channel with a long maneuvering passage. SMARTShip™ triggered a notification that the average number of times the air compressors run and the respective runtime were high as compared to compressors historical performance. Further investigation showed an excessive air leakage in the air line while the vessel was carrying out deck maintenance with pneumatic equipment which led to excessive consumption of air and resulted in higher run count. The air leakage was repaired and a deck air compressor was procured on the following voyage to save on main air compressors running operation in the future. 

SMARTShip™ can provide real-time reports on the condition of machinery etc. through alerts. This in turn helps to proactively make decisions and thereby avoid any unplanned failures. 

3. Real- Time SMART Notification contributes to safe navigation practices by providing accurate and reliable information and advisory powered by live data from Navigation systems.

The importance of safe navigation cannot be underscored. SMARTShip™ solution digitizes ship’s navigation and operations by providing access to live data with minimal touch point on-board the ship and driving profitability. System enables bridge staff and marine managers to track fleet and monitor events and helps with Safety and Bridge Operating Quality Assurance (BOQA).

Case Observation: One of the vessels installed with SMARTShip™ encountered adverse weather (>7 BFT Scale). SMARTShip™ provided an immediate alert about the vessel encountering bad weather. Further , it displayed the ship route with weather overlays and trendline that indicated that if the vessel continued to follow the voyage course line it would only lead towards the center of bad weather. With this available eknowledge, the master made a proactive decision to change the vessel course and set autopilot to economical mode.  

SMARTShip™ provides active decision support and helps the master take timely actions. This can have a huge impact on vessel and crew safety while saving on speed and fuel consumption. 

In short, SMART Notifications is a great value decision support system as it ;

Enables transparency, improves communication and avoids safety hazard by sharing information at right time and to the right people.
Increases vessel’s reliability and availability by sending preemptive alerts to take condition-based maintenance decisions
Improves crew’s productivity by providing pro-active and contextual decision support and enhances ability to respond faster.

With SMART Notification, vessel operators and executives have real-time access to ship operations and can provide instantaneous value realization to all stakeholders through integrated insights, transparency and enhanced collaboration. 

Request a demo by clicking here to see for yourself why AOT’s SMARTShip™ technology is the future of maritime transportation.

About the author

Uttam Kumar is a Director, Product Management at Alpha Ori Technologies (AOT) and leads SMARTShip™ product management and predictive maintenance applications. Contact:

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