Efficiency gains through advanced fleet performance management
Our recent white paper presents a perspective on the different stages of digitalization of commercial marine operations, from traditional noon-report based data collection approach, to connected and onshore analytics-based approach, followed by smart real-time performance analytics and, ultimately, to autonomous operations. In this blog post I share some concrete use cases and approaches especially for companies who are already utilizing real-time performance analytics and are looking for measurable improvements in operational and technical efficiency with the use of advanced performance data.
Increased insight from data through normalization and modelled references
As discussed in our previous writings (read the blog “What is a digital twin and how can it help me?”), the added value of automatic data processing and machine learning are demonstrated in the digital twin of a vessel or a specific equipment. Once a digital twin model is in place, performance diagnostics and breakdown or simulation of future voyage configurations can be done without physical testing in specific conditions. A typical application of the digital twin and its component models is a fleet and vessel performance benchmarking based on the data collected from vessels.
On vessel level, performance models enable the user to define an accurate reference performance for a specific vessel in the prevailing conditions (e.g. weather and itinerary). By simulating an optimal route and speed profile for the specific vessel, one can define the best achievable fuel performance and compare this to the actual measured performance. Normalizing the performance of each vessel, for instance to calm sea conditions at specific speed or to certain standard loads, enables comparability between vessels and fleets, again without physical testing.
Performance data use cases for operational efficiency
Achieving an adequate and reliable comparability of vessels becomes important in advanced fleet performance use cases: nautical performance data can be used for scoring voyage specific operations or even ranking vessels over time or on a specific leg. If the operational performance can be broken down to components (e.g. excess consumption caused by suboptimal speed profile, engine combination or route selection), this provides concrete guidance for continuous improvement.
Another use case for operational performance data can be fuel budgeting: defining a reference consumption for a certain itinerary or voyage prevents building buffers into fuel budgets and obtain guidance for increased budgeting accuracy. Defining a fair and realistic reference performance is important for accuracy and organizational adoption of both use cases.
Performance data use cases for technical efficiency
By normalizing vessel performance to calm sea conditions and a standard speed, one can evaluate and compare the technical performance of and across vessels. Grouping of vessels or equipment by their characteristics (such as type, size, hull form/coating, energy-saving devices) adds context and insight to the analysis. The technical efficiency insight can be applied for chartering decisions as well as help in fleet maintenance prioritization, new-building and technology impact evaluation. An equivalent approach on equipment level enables accurate evaluation of equipment deterioration or investment payback.
Overall, adequate normalization adds the value of performance data by enabling accurate quantification of the impact of past action and interventions and planning future actions.
Senior Portfolio Product Manager