Japanese operator NYK has announced that a new bridge concept is being employed on a large containership as the result of a project first began more than a decade ago.
The new bridge concept has been given the name Integrated information and bridge system, and the space and nautical instruments on the new bridge have been optimally, ergonomically arranged and designed to take advantage of IoT aspects of instruments and to improve the safety and efficiency of vessel operation.
The new concept makes use of an integrated console that is about two-thirds the size of a conventional one and enables officers to check essential navigational information and navigate the vessel at the same time. A seat helps officers better grasp the situation around the ship. In addition a joystick type autopilot system for navigation has been adopted to better avoid collisions with other vessels and help officers in a sitting position easily manoeuvre the vessel. Moreover, a mini manual wheel has been installed on the console for steering in an emergency, taking safety into consideration.
NYK says the new bridge has been equipped with lager windows, and the gap between the windows has been minimized to reduce dead visibility angles. Wipers are now operated by remote control. And the shape of the bridge has been optimised to ensure clear sight from a sitting position. The layout has also been enhanced to improve the work environment and reduce weariness during navigational watches.
At the bridge wing, a narrow walkway extends outward from both sides of a pilothouse, allowing the ship to be manoeuvred for entering/leaving harbour and berthing/un-berthing operation. This wing takes advantage of large windows and floor windows and is equipped with an integrated control stand that can remotely control the main propulsion, rudder and bow thruster. A multi-function display, a workstation that can conduct some tasks at the same time, such as checking and operating navigational information, the radar, and ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System), is also located on the wings.
J-Marine NeCST, which was jointly developed by NYK, MTI, and JRC to make briefings among the officers and the pilot more efficient, has also been installed on the bridge. This will help NYK improve bridge resource management even when many officers are on the bridge conducting navigational watches during heavy vessel traffic.
NYK has decided to adopt this new bridge on other vessel types including PCTCs and crude oil tankers, and is currently considering other types of vessels. NYK also plans to make use of this advancement as the company looks ahead to manned autonomous ships.