Wilhelmsen signs four operators to digital mooring system

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Four ship operators;  Synergy Ocean, Viking Cruises, Berge Bulk and Finnlines have all signed up to be first to utilise Wilhelmsen’s one of a kind digital mooring system aboard their vessels.

Developed and refined over the past three years, Wilhelmsen’s Smart Ropes system aims to dramatically improve mooring safety onboard vessels. Based on the experience from rigorous testing aboard a working ro-ro vessel, all parts of the system have been refined and improved in readiness for the next phase of installations.

Comprising a patent-pending measuring unit, embedded within the mooring rope, the ‘smart’ unit transmits key tension, time, temperature data in addition to a combination of parameters that make up the proprietary system design. Using the latest wireless communication, the data is sent to a command module located on the bridge, designed to work even under the most challenging mooring conditions typically experienced in poor weather. This data is processed and transferred to a live feed, running on a tablet, or computer on the ship’s bridge, backed-up in the cloud.

Utilising the latest wireless protocols optimised for low battery usage, the sensor, its outer casing and the command module elements have all been improved over several iterations, in collaboration with engineering partner Hugg. Housed in a cigar-shaped, heavy duty metal baton, the final version of the sensor and battery unit weighs just under 1kg and has no influence or impact on the handling of the ropes it sits within. 

Helping to ensure mooring ropes have the right tension, in the right place, at the right time, all the time, Wilhelmsen’s system, has been specifically developed in order to relegate over tensioned lines, premature wear of ropes and in the worst-case scenario unexpected rope failures, to history.

Magnus Dickens, Venture Lead in Wilhelmsen Marine Products’ recently established Open Innovation function, said, “This isn’t a gimmick or another piece of badly thought out maritime bloatware. We have spent years developing a completely new technology, which brings accuracy, transparency and consistency to a task which is currently haphazard and fraught with risk. We are thrilled to partner up with these four, forward-learning companies who share our vision of safer, more effective, data-driven mooring operations”.  

Capt. Shivram Volety, Director of Synergy Ocean Maritime said, “Seeing the tension of a vessel’s mooring ropes for the first time, in real time, via an app is a novelty. But it absolutely shouldn’t be, it should be necessity. Wilhelmsen are determined to push the boundaries and we Synergy Ocean Maritime are proud to be one of the first companies to be able to benefit from their Smart Ropes system”.

He added, “Safety is at the forefront of our operations, at sea and in port and we are always looking for new systems, products, and processes that can further improve how we work. At Synergy Ocean we are wholeheartedly committed to technology-enabled ship management for safer and efficient ship operations. That is why we are keen to explore and analyse Wilhelmsen’s Smart Ropes mooring system and want to be one of the first companies to have the system installed. It has the potential to totally revolutionize vessel mooring, making our port calls quicker, more efficient and most importantly safer”. 

The first installations of the system will begin in Q3, with four vessels using SmartRopes onboard. The four vessels represent very different vessel segments with unique challenges, and Wilhelmsen will work closely with the customers to solve any specific pain points.

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