SHI-ME Selects State-Of-The-Art Structural Monitoring Systems For Two Aframax Tankers

Light Structures AS, the world leading supplier of fiber optic condition monitoring systems for maritime applications, and Japanese shipbuilder SHI-ME have entered into an agreement for delivery of comprehensive hull stress and fatigue monitoring systems on two newbuild 115,000 DWT AFRAMAX crude oil tankers due for delivery in Q2 2023 and Q3 2023.

Hull stress monitoring is usually the preserve of larger ships and platforms, or very specialized vessels, but its deployment on AFRAMAX vessels reflects a growing interest in long-term structural monitoring due to the safety and financial benefits it can enable, for instance, by helping to extend the operational lifespan of a ship.

Leveraging Light Structures’ established SENSFIB™ technology portfolio, with solutions already deployed on more than 300 large and specialist vessels, the adopted customised hull stress monitoring system will provide precise and actionable real-time data that will empower the AFRAMAX captains and navigators to reduce the impact of dynamic forces such as whipping, slamming and shearing while underway.

Sumitomo Aframax Tanker
Image Credits: Light Structures

The SENSFIB™ installations will also help SHI-ME verify its latest AFRAMAX design by measuring stress loading over time and comparing it to design values. When integrated with a Condition-Based Monitoring (CBM) system, long-term stress and fatigue measurements can enable servicing regimes designed to add years of useful life to a ship.

Light Structures is the only company in the world to offer specialized structural stress monitoring using fiber optics and Fiber Bragg Grating technology (FBG), a solution that delivers more accurate data while reducing cost and complexity when compared to less resilient electro-mechanical systems. Uniquely, SENSFIB™ sensors are installed using a powerful adhesive, negating the need for any welding, and with no moving parts there is no requirement for the annual recalibration that all competing systems need.

“We believe that we should keep ships healthy because it improves the ship charterer’s reputations, increases resale values and reduces the pain-points such as insurance costs. Our target is to supply more healthy ships to our clients using our in-house ship monitoring system AVEDASTM (Automatic Voyage and Engine Data Acquisition System). By adopting a structural health monitoring system like SENSFIB™ from Light Structures, AVEDASTM will become even more valuable to our clients.” said Yoshinori Tagaya, senior engineer, SHI-ME.

“We are delighted that SHI-ME has recognised the advantages of our fiber optic measurement technology and tasked us to deliver, install and commission turnkey solutions for its new mid-sized tankers,” said Goetz Vogelmann, Sales Director, Light Structures. “Japan is an important market and we’re confident we can demonstrate the understanding, trust and ‘kaizen’ that are vital for our future growth in the country.”

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