Wilhelmsen has signed up four shipping companies to utilise its digital ‘Smart Ropes’ system for mooring management, with Synergy Ocean, Viking Cruises, Berge Bulk and Finnlines all set to roll out the technology aboard their vessels.
Developed and refined over the past three years, Wilhelmsen’s Smart Ropes system comprises a measuring unit embedded within the mooring rope that collects information such as key tension, time, and temperature data. Housed in a cigar-shaped metal baton, the sensor and battery unit weighs just under 1kg.
That data collected is wirelessly transmitted to a command module located on the bridge, where it is processed and transferred to a live reporting system running on a tablet or computer on the ship’s bridge to allow the crew to see the tension in each of their mooring lines. The data is also backed-up in the cloud.
The aim of the system is to ensure mooring ropes consistently have the right tension, in the right place, at the right time, reducing instances of over tensioned lines, premature wear of ropes and unexpected rope failures.
“This isn’t a gimmick or another piece of badly thought out maritime bloatware. We have spent years developing a completely new technology, which brings accuracy, transparency and consistency to a task which is currently haphazard and fraught with risk,” said Magnus Dickens, Venture Lead at Wilhelmsen Marine Products’ recently established Open Innovation function.
The first installations of the system will begin in Q3, with four vessels using the Smart Ropes. The four ships represent different vessel segments with unique challenges, and as such will provide Wilhelmsen with the opportunity to identify specific pain points for different use cases.
“Seeing the tension of a vessel’s mooring ropes for the first time, in real time, via an app is a novelty. But it absolutely shouldn’t be, it should be necessity. Wilhelmsen are determined to push the boundaries and we at Synergy Ocean Maritime Inc, are proud to be one of the first companies to be able to benefit from their Smart Ropes system,” said Capt. Shivram Volety, Director of Synergy Ocean Maritime.
“Safety is at the forefront of our operations, at sea and in port, and we are always looking for new systems, products, and processes that can further improve how we work. At Synergy Ocean we are wholeheartedly committed to technology-enabled ship management for safer and efficient ship operations.”
“That is why we are keen to explore and analyse Wilhelmsen’s Smart Ropes mooring system and want to be one of the first companies to have the system installed. It has the potential to totally revolutionise vessel mooring, making our port calls quicker, more efficient and most importantly safer.”