Thursday, October 15, 2020

Vessel Loading Computer Software Awarded Type Approval as Ships Regulations Change

Technology Oversees Flood Danger, Damage Detection and Escape Routes
Shipping News Feature

FINLAND – WORLDWIDE – In a first for its kind the latest loading computer from maritime software, services, and data analysis provider NAPA, has been awarded type approval by DNV GL. This is significant in that it enables the further adoption of a new generation of loading computers, which assess damage in real time with increased accuracy, allowing crew to make essential decisions on ship stability.

The Type 4 Loading Computer marks a significant shift in operational safety, most notably for passenger vessels including ferries. Since the start of 2020, under new IMO requirements, all passenger-carrying new build vessels will be compliant if a Type 4 Loading Computer is installed. Likewise, passenger ships constructed before 1 January 2014 must also comply with this requirement no later than the first renewal survey after 1 January 2025.

To ensure the highest industry safety standards are reached, and to future proof vessels in line with regulations, NAPA will also now only deliver Type 4-compliant software. Additionally, NAPA was awarded type approval for the functionality required by the advanced DNV GL class notation LCS(DC). The LCS(DC) feature provides additional functionalities, including automatic flooding detection by sensors, that assist the master as a decision aid when the ship has been subjected to damage and consequent flooding. Inge Seglem, DNV GL Head of Section Stability, Load Line & Tonnage, said:

“At DNV GL we take pride in evolving safety standards in the passenger ship sector, and beyond, and are pleased to award NAPA type approval for its pioneering safety software. The ability for crew to make smarter, better informed decisions is what keeps ships, crew, passengers and cargo safe. In light of this, NAPA achieving type approval for the DNV GL optional LCS(DC) class notion, a standard set to further evolve safety in the sector, will serve as a benchmark in the industry for passenger ship safety”.

The Loading Computer software includes an advanced calculation of damage stability associated with an actual loading condition and/or actual flooding cases, using the direct application of user or sensor defined damage to enable safe return to port (SRtP). Although this has been a capability of the NAPA Loading Computer software for some time, the company claims the integration of such sophisticated damage stability features in class approval reflects a new frontier for safety requirements at sea.

The new Loading Computer Type 4 also includes updates to a vessel’s automatic damage detection and incorporates the status of watertight doors, cross flooding, and escape routes into its modelling. NAPA Loading Computer Type 4 is Safe Return to Port (SRtP) and IACS Type 4 compliant and complies with all relevant IMO Circulars.

Since its launch in 1993 the company says it has seen the NAPA Loading Computer software installed on over 2,000 ships across the global commercial and passenger fleet. The ship stability solution is used by nearly all the major cruise lines, such as Kvarken Link, Windstar Cruises, and all nine Carnival Cruise line brands, as well as the ferry, RoRo, RoPax, StoRo, and LoLo operators.

The software undertakes a wide range of calculations related to hydrostatics, intact stability, and ship longitudinal strength to optimise vessel load while minimising stress and safety risk and 90% of new build vessels worldwide are built in yards that use NAPA design software. Jussi Siltanen, NAPA Safety Solutions Senior Product Manager, commented:

“We are proud to be the first to have been awarded DNV GL type approval for our Type 4 Loading Computer and LCS(DC). The type approval not only demonstrates how the combination of live data and ship stability expertise can radically improve operational safety but reaffirms our position as leaders in this field.

”While we previously had to rely on pre-programmed scenarios to assess intact and damage stability, we can now more accurately assess stability based on real-time conditions. This provides crew with more precise information that they can use to keep their vessels and passengers safe.”