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New operations centre "next step" on road to automated ships, claims ABB

ABB has opened a new operations centre in Norway, designed to monitor and remotely troubleshoot ABB components on ships.

Through the centre, ABB’s engineering team are able to remotely monitor the ship's critical equipment and its key parameters, such as generator output or the condition of propulsion pods, in a similar setup to Rolls-Royce’s Engine Health Management (EHM) for its aircraft engines.

More than 500 vessels are now connected with ABB’s Integrated Operations Centre, enabling their owners to collaborate with ABB’s engineers and make informed decisions, and, it claims, save up to 50% on dry docking costs on ABB equipment, with harvested data used as input for maintenance work during dry dockings..

ABB highlights the centre's future potential, as well, as the "next step" on the road to ship autonomy, with the same support capabilities available via its so-called “Internet of Things Services and People” (IoTSP) rendering a greater proportion of onboard staff able to relocate to shore, managing whole fleets rather than individual ships.

“We are monitoring the key parameters which will have direct impact on the critical equipment and could lead either to downtime or to a significant loss in efficiency,” says Richard Windischhofer, vp integrated operations. “We are proactive in our relationship with our customers and with the new Integrated operations Centre  we proactively monitor the critical alarms and inform the crew about issues – sometimes even before they notice them themselves.”

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