News Article 20/09/2005 A

TMSA and information technology

20/09/2005 - Digital Ship September 2005, p.23

TMSA (Tanker Management Self Assessment) is an initiative from the Oil Companies Maritime Industries Forum (OCIMF), check, which aims to reduce the likelihood of uncontrolled events happening in tanker operations, and provide a framework for continuous improvement of the management systems.

Dimitris Lyras of Lyras Shipping, who chaired the conference, said that what he thought oil companies were looking for right now was a "tanker company who sounds right to the general public," in other words a company doing what the general public would expect them to do.

Rajaish Bajpaee, managing director of Eurasia, said that in his view TMSA was about motivating and encouraging quality and performance, providing a carrot rather than a stick.

"Any system which enables oil companies to make an informed vetting decision by taking a self-regulatory approach to tanker safety and encouraging improvement by rewarding those who take the time and spend the money required to run a tip-top tanker outfit can only be a good one," he said.

"It is not the threat of punishment that will drive the industry to quality standards," he said. "But wide adoption of this scheme is the key to putting the tiny minority of substandard operators out of business."

"TMSA puts the responsibility for making sure the ship is safe into operators hands."

He said that the system was not a "revolutionary" one, codifying many leading companies'' standard practices, but that it "really does go a long way to recognising that you cannot vet a vessel just by sending the inspectors onboard for a day."

Eurasia has already implemented the system on its tankers, he said. The only aspect of it where it found problems was the section on change management.

"We have found that all the TMSA has been well thought out," he said. "The systems fits our strategy of continuous improvement."

"And if our customers are happy, then we''re ecstatic."
Happy and motivated crew is a pre requisite to a safe, environmentally friendly and profitable tanker operation.

Fred Venner, Bureau Veritas

Fred Venner, product manager of tankers with class society Bureau Veritas, talked about a new computerised system developed by BV to help collect and manage steel thickness measurement information from ship surveys.

"The whole idea is that we speed up the process and get the results accurately and quickly," he said.

"Processing thickness measurements is a massive task, incredibly time consuming and often very difficult," he said.

"Most ships need ultrasonic thickness readings. We get in there, do the readings, write them all down. The list goes to a superintentents, that goes to a repair plant. Then a superintendent goes on ship to decide where we're doing the repairs."

"The big problem - is time and getting access," he said. "There are 20,000 measurement points for an Enhanced Survey Program (ESP) vessel. We have an 800 page paper report."

The Bureau Veritas software can store all the data, and generate reports and advise which repairs need to be made and which steel needs to be replaced.

Bureau Veritas models the ship as a simple "shoebox" with central bulkhead and a deck. "Its not a geometrical model but it responds exactly as a ship would," he said.

Mr Venner raised the possibility that robots could be used to collect steel thickness readings, which would make things much easier since to many spaces are hard to reach. The robots would collect the data and input it into the program automatically.


Panteleimon Pantelis, Ulysses

Panteleimon Pantelis, director of maritime software company Ulysses Systems, talked about the effect of initiatives such as TMSA on the companies which supply shipowners.

Shipowners seeking to find ways to add more value to their customers behave very differently to their vendors, than shipowners who just aim to comply with the rules, he said.

Many suppliers to shipowners can do a lot to help shipowners continuously improve, he said.

This is particularly true of software vendors' because software can make a lot of difference to the safety (or lack of safety) of a ship operation, and is often not very well understood by senior shipowners.

Shipowners need to use software to record what they have done, so they can prove they were doing the right things in the time preceding any accident that may occur.

They use software for risk assessment, and to flag up new risks, he said.

Software can help in decision making, providing timely and well filtered information.

Shipowners have very specific software requirements which other industries don't share, he said, particularly requiring specific individuals to have many different skills and do many different things at once. This means that software packages have to be focused on catering for the needs of specific users.

BMT Seatech / Teekay

Bernt Karlsen, director of Fleet Performance Services with Teekay Shipping, made a joint presentation with Gwynne Lewis, managing director of BMT SeaTech, about their project to find ways to optimize tanker operations.

Teekay's objectives were to reduce air pollutant emissions, reduce fuel consumption and increase service speed, Mr Karlsen said.

"We're looking at 2-5 per cent savings in our operational cost," he said.

"$250m is the cost of fuel oil per year. A 5 per cent savings in fuel oil per year would be $12.5m."

BMT SeaTech analysed propeller efficiency and the engine efficiency, working out how the fuel could be used most efficiently.

The first problem was gathering efficient data - Teekay had been entering data manually for many years. For the analysis, BMT needed large amounts of data about the vessel's current and historic performance.

BMT did tests using ship models, to work out how different draft (how deep the vessel was sunk in the water) and trim (difference between draft at the stern and bow).

The company found that a half meter change in trim would lead to a 2 metre change in ship power, he said.

BMT drew detailed maps of what the draft and trim would be for any hull form and different loadings, so it would be possible to work out how efficient the ship's fuel consumption would be with the cargo loaded in different ways.

15 Teekay vessels have been set up to gather data automatically, taking about 288 readings a day; other ships gather data manually, taking around 1 reading per day.

Over the longer term, it may be possible to use some of this knowledge to build a more efficient tanker, Mr Lewis said, or even one which does need any fuel at all, for example using wind and solar power and using the power extremely efficiently.