ABS launches smart guide and new notations for offshore

Paul Gunton
Paul Gunton
ShipInsight

01 May 2019


US class society ABS has published the Guide for Smart Functions for Marine Vessels and Offshore Units (Smart Guide) to help marine and offshore owners and operators capitalise on their operational data.

The Smart Guide introduces a unique class approach leading to the marine and offshore industries' first set of notations to help owners and operators qualify and utilise smart functions. Through the analytics that they provide, smart functions can proactively manage asset health and performance, providing a mechanism for sustainability and improved uptime. Smart functions can also lead to increasingly condition-based approaches to maintenance strategies and class surveys.

The approach laid out in the Guide applies a risk-informed set of easy-to-apply prescriptive requirements for engineering review and survey of the smart technology applications. The use of operational data and analytics, such as machine learning, enable better decisions related to vessel performance and can also provide early indicators that help avoid failures and downtime. The implementation of smart functions helps crew and shore-based personnel make decisions to speed corrective actions.

The Smart Guide covers functions related to performance, health, and crew support. It also introduces three new notations that support the recognition of a vessel’s data infrastructure as well as health monitoring functions, which can be utilised to directly support survey activity.

  • Smart INF: Data Infrastructure for Smart Function Implementation;
  • Smart MHM: Machinery Health Monitoring.
  • Smart SHM: Structural Health Monitoring.

To support a streamlined integration of vendor products and services related to smart functionality, the Smart Guide also lays out a Product Design Assessment scheme coupled with a Service Provider approval process to support equipment manufacturers, shipyards, owners as well as third party software providers, as they develop products and services for smart functionality for use onboard ABS-classed vessels.

The Smart Guide follows the release of Guidance Notes published in 2018, which laid out a goal-based approach to supporting vessel operators apply smart functionality on marine and offshore assets.

“Smart technology will be a key factor for industry sustainability in the coming years. Future adoption of smart technology and its ability to enable better decision making and continuous improvement will coincide with quickly changing environmental requirements,” said ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J Wiernicki. “Smart technologies and how a vessel’s data is utilized to optimize performance can drive improved efficiency today and will be critical to meeting the reduced emissions requirements being developed by the IMO.”

“Another testament to our digital leadership, this Guide takes a practical approach to helping industry incorporate smart functionality. Fundamentally, this Guide enables industry to apply smart function notations based on operational needs, allowing owners to choose the machinery or structural areas that are most critical for health monitoring,” said ABS Vice President for Global Business Development John McDonald.