ClassNK Releases ‘Guidelines For Digital Smart Ship’ As Part Of Its ‘Innovation Endorsement Initiative’

Leading Classification Society ClassNK released its “Guidelines for Digital Smart Ship” which stipulates the procedures for class notations for ships with advanced digital technology. The guidelines are part of the society’s new initiative, “Innovation Endorsement”(*), aiming to certify innovations utilizing digital technology.

The “Digital Smart Ship Guidelines” set out the requirements to grant class notations, “Digital Smart Ship”, for the ships equipped with systems utilizing digital technology, such as energy efficiency analysis, hull or machinery monitoring, sloshing detection and prediction, onboard data processing and data transmission to shore, routing/speed optimization and remote monitoring/operation.

ClassNK is going to add and update the guidelines in response to future industry needs and advances in digital technology so that the society continuously supports the industry’s efforts to promote and develop innovative technology.

ClassNK
Image Credits: ClassNK

The guidelines are available to download free of charge via ClassNK’s website.

*Background: 

In February 2020, the Society announced the “ClassNK Digital Grand Design 2030” *1 which shows its future vision for the digital society of 2030, aiming to support the evolution of ocean-related business by meeting the new needs of clients brought about by digital technology and data distribution, and contribute to the further improvement of safety.

The Digital Grand Design cites three fundamental policies, with one of them being to “diversify certification services and expand their scope”. The “Innovation Endorsement” certification service which targets innovative digital technology is being launched in line with this policy.

With the development of information technology, attempts to share and utilize data from ships have already begun, and many innovative technologies have emerged. By proactively providing certification services for these innovations and promoting their spread and development, ClassNK strives to support the preservation of the marine environment, further improve safety at sea, and support the sustainable development referred to in the SDGs.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Toshiro Arima Corporate Officer, General Manager of Digital Transformation Center said “Up until now, we have carried out certifications in accordance with the mandatory requirements of international conventions and of our rules. On the other hand, it is likely that a clear evaluation standard has yet to be established for innovative technologies, which can occasionally hinder their diffusion. Accordingly, “Innovation Endorsement” will provide certification services regardless of existing standards based on the policies of “speed-focused” and “establishing evaluation criteria in cooperation with front runners”. In cooperation with technical front-runners, we will continue establishing appropriate evaluation criteria and providing prompt certification services.”

“Innovation Endorsement” certification will be carried out and classified under “1. Ships”, “2. Products/solutions” such as software and machinery, and “3. Providers” offering products/solutions.

  1. Ships: A new class notation “Digital Smart Ship” will be established and will be given to ships applying digital technologies including various types of monitoring and autonomous navigation.
  2. Products/solutions: Includes innovative products/solutions that are expected to be widely used in the future such as those involving CBM (Condition Based Monitoring), fuel efficiency improvement, data quality assurance, electronic logbooks, and more.
  3. Providers: Certification of development methods for creating innovative technologies by companies and of the companies themselves.

Reference: classnk.or.jp

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