Classification society DNV GL teamed up with innovative Greek owner Consolidated Marine Management (CMM) for a test on the health of a control and communication network on board seagoing vessels. The pilot project, conducted on one of CMM’s state-of-the-art chemical tankers, investigated exactly what it takes to carry out a successful test of a vessel’s communication and control systems, in order to strengthen their overall robustness and resilience.
“On-board communication networks have become the ‘nervous system’ of vessels’ integrated machinery,” says Mate J. Csorba, Principal Specialist, Marine Cybernetics Advisory DNV GL – Maritime. “A growing share of disruptions and down time in offshore operations can now be traced back to problems with networked equipment.”
The pilot project on board CMM’s vessel consisted of 46 tests covering Ethernet-based networks (control systems and auxiliary systems), CAN-bus connectivity (sensors and the alarm system), and a selection of DNV GL class rules addressing on-board communication networks. In practice this translated into a focus on the alarm monitoring system, the ballast water treatment system, the main engine shaft power and performance monitoring system, the main engine control and monitoring System, and auxiliary networks.
“Having a comprehensive overview of the ’health’ of the network on board will allow owners to schedule preventive measures at convenient times, enable better maintenance planning and perhaps even result in extended lifespan of aging assets,” says Csorba.