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Lloyd's Register gazes into the crystal ball with Global Marine Trends 2030

A collaborative project between Lloyd’s Register (LR), QinetiQ and the University of Southampton has identified eight key technologies likely to have an effect on the future of shipping.

Entitled Global Marine Technology Trends 2030, the report anticipates developments in the technology of shipbuilding and fabrication using advanced materials, as well as advances in robotics and in ship propulsion, sensor, communication and analytics technology.

In identifying future ship types, the report, available on LR’s website, identifies "Technomax" ships, which identify possible future bulker, tanker, boxship and gas carrier designs. “The Technomax scenarios are not concept ships but give an indication of the potential maximum technology uptake relevant to the four ship market sectors,” LR clarified in a statement.

Key features of the new designs are composite hulls made of graphene, carbon and glass-fibres, with self-repairing coatings, while new fabrication technologies enable shipyards to use resources in more efficient "additive" manufacturing configurations such as 3D printing rather than the more wasteful"‘reductive", like steel-cutting.

Meanwhile improved automation and improved sensor and analytics capabilities enable ship operations to automate many functions, foregoing many of the hiring and training expenses seen today.

“The Global Marine Trends 2030 report published a couple of years ago led us to believe that 2030 could well usher in… opportunity and growth, despite the volatile nature of commercial shipping,” writes Tom Boardley, LR’s Marine director, in the report. “We published a follow-up report last year on Global Marine Fuel Trends 2030 which used a similar scenario-planning methodology and principles to explore the driving forces and conditions influencing the future marine fuel mix.

Global Marine Technology Trends 2030… gives a fascinating insight into technologies with the potential to transform shipping, naval and ocean space operations.”

Posted 08 September 2015

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