Asia-PacificMaritimeOcean shippingTechnology

Port Report: Korean shipbuilder aims to develop ‘digital twins’

Cooperation agreement on developing on-shore simulators aims to foster robotic shipping future.

One of Asia’s largest shipbuilders will help develop “digital twins” for ocean vessels, part of an effort to provide better monitoring and performance analytics around ocean shipping.

South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) is part of the co-operation agreement with Finnish software maker Napa, German powertrain developer AVL, and Korea Maritime and Ocean University.

The four will collaborate on methods for acquiring and processing engine room data, ship performance and meteorological data. The goal is “to turn insights from engine data into practical efficiencies” for the training of seafarers and understanding how ships perform in real-world circumstances.

“The development of digital twin ship and engine is one of the most exciting outcomes of the recent surge in maritime digitalization and development of the Internet of Things,” said Odin Kwon, Chief Technology Officer of DSME said,  “By creating a virtual, real-time copy of engine equipment, we can better monitor, analyze, and predict performance, leading to safer and more efficient operations.”

Each partner brings a different angle to the collaboration, coordinated by DSME, the world’s second largest shipbuilder behind Hyundai Heavy Industries.

Napa, an expert in maritime software and big data, will develop digital twin ship models with digitalized components and a real-time simulation platform to integrate between engine models and ship models.

AVL will develop the simulation tools and methodologies for the development, simulation and testing of powertrains and propulsions systems.

Korea Maritime and Ocean University is developing a platform for using virtual and augmented reality to help monitor ship performance. The university’s own training ships are expected to be a test bed for research and testing of digital twins. One professor said digital twins will help advance development of robotic shipping.

“We are actively entering into the digital era in the industry nowadays which could be a basis for the development of autonomous ship,” said Professor Deog Hee Doh. “Digital twins bring together a range of different fields of expertise, requiring hardware, software and operations to work together. This is why collaboration is essential if this technology is to mature.”

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Michael Angell, Bulk and Intermodal Editor

Michael Angell covers maritime, intermodal and related topics for FreightWaves. His interest in transportation stretches back several generations. One great-grandfather was a dray horseman along the New York waterfront and another was a railway engineer in Texas. More recently, Michael has written about the shipping industry for TradeWinds, energy markets for Oil Price Information Service, and general business topics for FactSet Mergerstat and Investor's Business Daily. When he is not stuck in the office, he enjoys tours of ports, terminals, and railyards.

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