New NAPA Loading Computer awarded DNV GL type approval in industry first

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 16 October 2020


Finland-based marine software specialist NAPA has announced that it has been awarded type approval by DNV GL for its latest loading computer, the NAPA Loading Computer Type 4 and Loading Computer System Damage Control, LCS(DC). The company says the type approval, which is the first of its kind to be awarded by DNV GL, is significant in enabling further adoption of a new generation of loading computers, which assess damage in real time with increased accuracy, allowing crew to make essential decisions on ship stability.

The Type 4 Loading Computer marks a significant shift in operational safety, most notably for passenger vessels. Since the start of 2020, under new IMO requirements, all passenger-carrying newbuild vessels will be compliant if a Type 4 Loading Computer is installed. Likewise, passenger ships constructed before 1 January 2014 must also comply with this requirement no later than the first renewal survey after 1 January 2025. To ensure the highest industry safety standards are reached, and to futureproof vessels in line with regulation, NAPA will also now only deliver Type 4-compliant software.

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Additionally, NAPA was awarded type approval for the functionality required by the advanced DNV GL class notation LCS(DC). This further reflects NAPA’s leadership role in setting a new standard of passenger vessel safety beyond that of basic regulation. The LCS(DC) feature provides additional functionalities, including automatic flooding detection by sensors, that assist the master as a decision aid when the ship has been subjected to damage and consequent flooding.

The Loading Computer software includes an advanced calculation of damage stability associated with an actual loading condition and/or actual flooding cases, using the direct application of user or sensor defined damage to enable safe return to port (SRtP). Although this has been a capability of the NAPA Loading Computer software for some time, the integration of such sophisticated damage stability features in class approval reflects a new frontier for safety requirements at sea.

The NAPA Loading Computer Type 4 also includes updates to a vessel’s automatic damage detection and incorporates the status of watertight doors, cross flooding, and escape routes into its modelling. NAPA Loading Computer Type 4 is Safe Return to Port (SRtP) and IACS Type 4 compliant and complies with all relevant IMO Circulars.

Jussi Siltanen, NAPA Safety Solutions Senior Product Manager, commented, “We are proud to be the first to have been awarded DNV GL type approval for our Type 4 Loading Computer and LCS(DC). The type approval not only demonstrates how the combination of live data and ship stability expertise can radically improve operational safety but reaffirms our position as leaders in this field. While we previously had to rely on pre-programmed scenarios to assess intact and damage stability, we can now more accurately assess stability based on real-time conditions. This provides crew with more precise information that they can use to keep their vessels and passengers safe.”

Inge Seglem, DNV GL Head of Section Stability, Load Line & Tonnage, said, “At DNV GL we take pride in evolving safety standards in the passenger ship sector, and beyond, and are pleased to award NAPA type approval for its pioneering safety software. The ability for crew to make smarter, better informed decisions is what keeps ships, crew, passengers and cargo safe. In light of this, NAPA achieving type approval for the DNV GL optional LCS(DC) class notion, a standard set to further evolve safety in the sector, will serve as a benchmark in the industry for passenger ship safety”.

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