Thursday, April 19, 2018

Engineering and Cyber Security for Container Ships and Short Sea Ferries Recognised with Awards

Raft of Companies Credited for Technological Advances
Shipping News Feature

NETHERLANDS – One of the factors in ocean shipping that often goes unrecognised are the constantly evolving and improving technologies that power the vessels so it is good to know that there are events recognising the subculture of engineering which is literally the driving force behind the industry. This week's Sulphur Cap 2020 Awards in Amsterdam saw the driving forces for container ships and an electrically powered ferry alike credited, whilst fuel development and cyber security also received approvals.

The annual technical awards recognise innovations across a range of marine engineering and technology sectors and are presented to those companies or individuals that have developed a novel product, system or process that demonstrates an ‘imaginative and effective solution to an engineering requirement’.

A shaft seal may not inspire the average reader but the revolutionary SeaThigor from Ontario headquartered family firm Thorndon Bearings excited enough interest to see the seal win the Marine Propulsion Innovation Award.

A robust mechanical face seal, the Thordon SeaThigor is for water lubricated propeller shafts found in all types of merchant and naval ships. In the event of a face failure of the primary seal, it incorporates a secondary seal module to provide Safe Return to Port capability. This unique feature means the propeller shaft can be rotated at reduced speeds allowing the vessel to make it safely to a repair facility under its own power, without causing further damage.

Thorndon adds the award to the 2015 Tanker Shipping & Trade award for its COMPAC seawater-lubricated propeller shaft concept and Jeffrey Butt, Thordon’s Business Development Manager - Marine, who collected the latest accolade was clearly a happy man, saying:

“For a maritime technology company, winning the Innovation category of the prestigious Marine Propulsion Awards is like winning Best Picture at the Oscars. We are absolutely delighted to win this award.”

Other notable winners of the Awards on the night were as follows:

  • The Efficiency Improvement Award was awarded to MAN Diesel & Turbo, for its 45/60CR four-stroke engine which claims a 50% cut in lowest specific fuel oil consumption (SFOC) of 166 g/kWh and highest power output of 1,300 kW per cylinder.
  • The Emissions Reduction Award was taken by Winterthur Gas & Diesel (WinGD) for its X-DF engines, the most powerful gas and dual-fuel engines to date as being fitted to the next generation of CMA CGM mega container vessels.
  • The Marine Intelligence Award which rewards IT technology innovation was won by Naval Dome’s Maritime Cyber Protection System which defends against cyber-attacks against maritime operations.
  • Winner of the Ship of the Year Award was FinFerries' battery-powered ferry Elektra which uses on shore power generated from nuclear and hydro-electric sources to carry 40% more vehicles while emitting 60% less emissions.
The Industry Leader Award, one of the two individual awards, went to President of Marine Business at Rolls-Royce Mikael Makinen whose company are leading the charge to a new age in vessel design whilst Larsen Priem of the Antwerp Maritime Academy took the coveted Graduate Research Award for his work using heat to elicit a Fast Pyrolysis Oil (FPO) from bamboo which is completely carbon neutral. Priem used a thermal reactor and says the main problem now is growing sufficient bamboo!