Wärtsilä has launched SmartMove Suite, a pairing of sensor tech with navigation systems for semi-autonomous ship movements.
American Steamship Company (ASC), a subsidiary of Rand-ASC Holdings LLC, is the first to install Wärtsilä SmartMove solutions for hands-off transit along the Cuyahoga River in Ohio, US.
Great Lakes self-unloading bulk freighter, MV AMERICAN COURAGE, with cargo carrying capacity of 24,300 gross tonnage, is the largest ship ever to perform automatic dock-to-dock operation.
“Wärtsilä Voyage has introduced Wärtsilä SmartMove Suite to the global shipping market,” the technology company stated. “This flagship offering for semi-autonomous sailing features the industry’s most advanced sensors and high-accuracy ship control systems, effectively taking the concept of automated dock-to-dock operations to the next level.
“Fully retrofittable, the SmartMove Suite can soup-up existing vessels with next-generation capabilities to improve safety, efficiency and productivity on the water. The technology enables navigation officers to perform at a higher level.”
Pierre Pelletreau, VP of engineering at Rand-ASC Holdings LLC, said: “ASC chose to partner with Wärtsilä Voyage based on their ability to bring to bear their diverse subject matter experts into a cohesive team to deliver comprehensive solutions to complex challenges.
“The complete Voyage Smart technology package addresses the American Courage’s restricted water manoeuvring profile requirements including a position margin of less than 2m and transit under bridges.
“Wärtsilä adeptly familiarised itself with our business sensitivities to drive adjustments throughout the project to benefit ASC. One example of this is the versioning of the technology that utilises the surrounding environment for vessel positioning making it ship-based rather than on shore. The resulting impact was a further reduction of the American Courage’s operating costs.”
John J Marshall, senior business development manager, Automation & DP, Americas, Wärtsilä Voyage, commented: “Advanced decision support systems, such as Wärtsilä SmartMove, bring value because they can automate the repetitive tasks, such as docking on repeated itineraries, allowing the navigation officers to focus their bandwidth on the parts of the operation.
“This is not about going captain-free, rather, enhancing the capabilities of onboard crew as they traverse shuttle routes, congested or restricted areas. When vessels must operate twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, we are pleased to offer an automated dock-to-dock transit solution that ensures every trip is conducted safely.”