Following the recent announcement of a strategic partnership between International Paint and BMT ARGOSS to verify through independent monitoring and software analysis the contribution of hull coatings to shipboard energy efficiency, the two companies have been apprising their customers and clients of the potential benefits of the BMT SMART SERVICES system.
A number of blue-chip companies, ranging from oil majors to mining giants and from trading houses to ship managers and operators, were invited to a demonstration of the system at the Institute of Directors in London’s Pall Mall. There it was explained how the system operates and how it differs from others currently available in the market.
Key benefits, according to Han Wensink, Managing Director of BMT ARGOSS and Trevor Solomon, Business Development Manager for the new partnership at International Paint, include:
- The fact that shipboard data is collected on board in real-time, sent ashore and integrated with fully validated metocean (meteorological and oceanographic) data, thereby removing variables that can hide certain ship performance and fuel consumption trends;
- The third-party analysis carried out through software specially developed by BMT ARGOSS ensures completely independent and transparent analysis;
- The fact that the results of detailed comparative analysis are made available through a secure webbased application to approved users almost immediately.
Ship operators and charterers present at the event agreed that vessel performance monitoring is an increasingly powerful tool in ship cost control, particularly in light of soaring bunker bills and the imminent introduction of mandatory new parameters by the IMO. These include the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), the Energy Efficiency Operational Index (EEOI) and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP).
However, isolating the individual parameters contributing to a ship’s performance through the water is a complex challenge. Water flow around the hull itself is a key issue as is the nature and condition of the propeller and, crucially, there is also the question of hull roughness, the type of coatings employed and their condition.
Those present at the demonstration were able to see specific examples of how hull coating condition can be independently tracked over time to support decision-making in maintenance and repair strategy. The fact that the effects of wind, wave, weather and currents are integrated with the shipboard data results in a far more accurate analysis of the true condition of a ship’s hull. Data indicating exceptional performance of any type can be clearly and quickly identified. The new service also allows comparative analysis between sister ships deployed on the same or different routes and the effect of changes in hull roughness over time.
The two companies said that the information relayed both to shipboard staff and authorised shore-based personnel through the secure web-based application will provide a valuable new tool in support of financial, operational and day-to-day ship management decision-making. International Paint is confident that the system will clearly demonstrate the benefits of Intersmooth® self polishing copolymer antifoulings and Intersleek® foul release coatings and is offering to pay 50% and 100% respectively of the first 12 months license fee for the software system on behalf of participating customers.