Rolls-Royce and ZF team up to improve ship reliability and efficiency

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche
ShipInsight

23 May 2019


Rolls-Royce Power Systems is developing a new electronic monitoring system together with German transmission specialist ZF to achieve maximum availability for ships, while keeping fuel consumption and CO2 emissions to a minimum. The system will be tested by ferry operator Förde Reederei Seetouristik (FRS).

The Equipment Health Management System (EHMS) collects and analyses data from the MTU engines, ZF transmission systems and other key components on a vessel, taking into account additional factors, such as wind, waves and currents. As of 2021, the system will ensure that fleet managers are able to operate their fleets as efficiently and as environmentally friendly as possible and will allow them to monitor and align that in real time.

“Reliability is what we value most of all,” said Tim Kunstmann, Managing Director of FRS Helgoline. “When you have 680 passengers standing on the St. Pauli Piers in Hamburg waiting to board the Halunder Jet ferry to Helgoland, the reliable ship operation is of top priority”

As a result, the shipping group is very interested in participating in the development of the new electronic monitoring system from Rolls-Royce and ZF to meet its own specific requirements. FRS attributes significant priority to the availability of vessels and their efficient and environmentally friendly operation.

The international business group has a total of 58 vessels operating ferry services and crew transfer services for offshore wind farms in Europe, North Africa, the Near East and North America, and currently has 40 MTU engines in service. FRS has put its trust in MTU engines since 1997. “The large number of vessels, the variety of vessel types operated and their areas of operation make the FRS fleet particularly interesting for the development project, as it enables us to develop a product designed specifically to meet the demands of a large fleet operator,” explained Bartosz Kowalinski, project manager at the Power Systems business unit of Rolls-Royce.

The next steps will be to set up an interface from the ZF transmission systems to the EHMS, collect data from the various components of the powertrain on the Halunder Jet and then to analyse the data obtained. With the aid of agile working methods, interim results are repeatedly examined by the customer in order to determine to what extent they meet requirements. On the basis of this collaborative arrangement, Rolls-Royce and ZF hope to be able to offer maritime customers optimised and integrated propulsion solutions. To date, 70% of MTU’s marine engines have been delivered with ZF transmission systems.