- Dry dock management
- Marine electrical design
- Vessel inspection service
- Marine automation service
- Asset protection inspection
- Marine protection inspection
- Specialist marine project management
- Design and development of marine control system
- Installation of instrumentation and navigation systems
S MEC Automation Pvt. Ltd. was started in 2001, and has since developed into a world leader in maritime automation. Today the company boasts an engineering team with exceptional skills and experience in maritime electrical and control engineering. Our primary maritime activities are:
- Design and manufacture of vessel motion control systems
- Design and manufacture of integrated maritime alarm, monitoring and control systems (IMACS)
- Service and maintenance of vessel automation and electrical systems
- Upgrades to motion control and automation systems
- Ship electrical and automation engineering consultant services
T wo considerations dominate the evolution of cruise vessels today: the size and the complexness of the ships, both of which are increasing every day. This results in a striking increase in the measure of electrical power installed and the number of systems to be controlled. Aside from these prerequisites, others arise, such as environmental issues, safety considerations and matters of economy.
However, both of the aspects mentioned above indicate that approaches in the direction of all electric ships and total ship control are needed, because environmental issues lead to requirements of low emission and restrictions on anchoring; and total ship control will enable a safe and economical control of all installations on board. This article will provide an insight into both of these aspects and highlight the products offered by SMEC Automation that fulfill these requirements.
Ever since the introduction of steam engines and transatlantic challenges such as the Blue Ribbon, cruise ships have grown larger, more refined and increasingly complex and sophisticated, thus presenting an exciting environment to both passengers and crew. However, a number of associated developments have also taken place:
- Power consumption, including electric power, has risen dramatically, both at sea (as a result of the propulsion of faster and larger ships) and in port (due to domestic consumption).
- Not only has the size of the systems on-board increased, but their number and variety as well, incorporating propulsion, electrical generation, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, hotel services (many small sanitary units), intra-ship communication systems and many new emergency and IT applications.
- Due to the rising costs of crew, a large amount of pressure on a small crew creates the need for a high degree of autonomous automation and remote control and supervision.
- Operating costs must be kept at a minimum, requiring very reliable systems with minimal maintenance that can be executed within designated periods of time, due to the ship’s operational profile or, better, its schedule
- Environmental attention, both in ports and in delicate and beautiful places (such as Alaska and the tropical reefs) leads to a focus on a ship’s emissions in certain locations and to restrictions with regard to damaging the ocean bed. In order to fulfil the owner’s or operator’s wish for a vessel compliant with all aspects mentioned, the latter must be covered by the ship’s design and build. In the following, the two most relevant aspects will be covered and the resultant requirements on ship’s installations and systems will be indicated.
Maneuverability and Energy Consumption, at Sea and in Harbour
With the increase of a ship’s size and speed, the propulsion power required rises accordingly. At the same time, the internal power consumption becomes substantial and, in certain cases, more than significant in relation to the level of direct propulsion power. Propulsion power may be required simply for propulsion at sea, or be split between propeller power and bow/stern thruster power when maneuvering. The latter means that if each unit (propeller or thruster) had its own (mechanical) power supply (like a diesel engine), the total installed power would have to be at least the sum of all the individual maximum power units. This would result in an enormous installed power base. At the same time, since diesel engines are not at their best on low power, fuel consumption and emission quality at low speeds (maneuvering) will be far from optimal.
This can all be optimized by switching to a system of electrical propulsion and, if this is extended to include domestic users, the result will be an all electric cruise ship. This will lead to an installed base of, for example, four or six large generator sets
An all-electric ship concept as described here will require the following:
- A number of (large) generators, controlled by a power management system and propulsion control system
- Usually, a medium-voltage distribution system, because of the high power transferred from generators to propellers (or podded drives –PODs) and thrusters
- A low-voltage distribution system for other consumers or local distribution
- A propulsion system, usually with fixed propellers (either on shafts or on PODs), which are controlled by variable frequency drives
- Thruster units controlled in the same way
- A dynamic positioning system, connected to propulsion, thrusters and rudders (or PODs)
The resultant system will provide the following advantages in comparison with conventional systems:
- Flexibility in ship design and in the allocation of large equipment
- Reduced fuel consumption (reductions of up to 8% or more have been measured)
- Reduced emissions
- Increased total availability and the redundancy of the ship’s prime functions (propulsion and electrical power supply)
- Reduced maintenance on prime movers (diesel generators), because they will nearly always run at the correct power rate
- Route planning and automatic route keeping
- ECDIS/Radar shared video and track presentation
- Joystick and DP control
- Radio and inter-communication
- Manual steering, propulsion and thrusters control
In general, maintenance on electrical equipment such as switchboards, frequency drives and associated equipment is very low, so the total maintenance effort is not likely to increase; and together with the data processing system, a very high maneuverability, which may go as far as no tugs being required in harbour, again saving costs.
SMEC Automation has a long-standing experience in this field and can supply all the products mentioned in an integrated approach, resulting in a total system that will fit the bill perfectly.
Container & Cargo Vessels
S MEC Automation has vast expertise and knowledge in propulsion systems. Container and Specialized Cargo vessels are distinctive targets for Electric Propulsion.
With electric propulsion, a common Medium Voltage power plant is shared by both propulsion and cargo handling. Since cargo unloading and propulsion are never performed together, the total amount of installed power can be decreased - typically by more than 10%.
Our Power Systems are the favoured choice if more cargo space and easy maneuvering are the main objectives, whereas our Economy systems are the answer for fuel savings on fast and long distances.
Our systems ameliorate the hydrodynamic propulsion efficiency by 10%.
T he demand for drilling vessels is booming worldwide as oil companies search for new fields in ever-deeper waters.
The high price of oil and the low level of surplus capacity are spurring oil companies and offshore drilling contractors to search for new reservoirs in deepwater locations that were previously considered inaccessible or economically unviable.
The world's surplus capacity - oil that can be brought online within 30 days and sustained for at least three months - has declined by 75 per cent since 2002, to 1.5 million barrels a day from six million.
The price of oil has risen in its turn. Since June 2005, when the price first hit $60 a barrel, demand has boomed for semi-submersible drilling rigs and drill ships, with orders flowing into shipyards at the average rate of two a month.
These vessels will be equipped with electrical, thruster and drives systems. SMEC's scope of supply includes complete power generation and distribution systems; thruster systems; and AC variable speed drives for the thrusters, drilling systems and anchor winches.
The drives and thruster systems enable vessels to remain in position over drill sites thousands of feet below, even in harsh weather and heavy seas. The latest generation of deep-sea drilling vessels is able to operate at seabed depths of up to 13,000 feet (approximately 4,000 meters).
Field support Vessels
W e have produced or reviewed many specifications for vessel designs, modifications and upgrades. Vessels considered include semi-submersibles, anchor handling vessels, field support vessels and supply boats.
We have earned the respect and recognition for our dedication to provide innovative and reliable marine electronics that ensure optimal operation at sea. By utilizing and integrating our technology, experience and competencies in positioning, hydro-acoustics, communication, control, navigation, simulation, and automation, we aim to give our customers The Full Picture. The Full Picture yields professional solutions and global services that make a difference enabling you to stay ahead of the competition.
The unique combination of navigation, maneuvering, dynamic positioning and automation opens a new dimension in vessel operation. We provide stand-alone and integrated solutions that are tailored to field support vessels, for retrofit and new building projects. Both products and integrated solutions are designed to meet individual vessel requirements, with dedicated functionalities that will further the operational efficiency. We design our systems and operator workstations with people in mind. Armed with the full picture of how operators interact with their environment, we have developed the best possible design for maximum safe and efficient operation.
Our ergonomic design blends the best abilities of the operators and the computer user interface for optimum performance, including well proven solutions that focus on marine operations, operational consistency and intuitiveness, and common technology.
Navigation and ship handling
Our integrated navigation bridge is not only embodied in form and color co-coordinated consoles, but offers a truly integrated and class compliant system with integrated navigation and maneuvering capabilities. The bridge is designed for one-man operation, with functionality that allows maximum time for observation and decision-making.
The navigation bridge equipment can be scaled to requirements and extended with bridge wing consoles, and a planning and survey centre.
N ot all kind of ships can be addressed as passenger vessels, tankers or cargo vessels. Special ships for special purposes are always necessary. Examples for such types of ships can be semi-submersible heavy lift carrier (HLC), Ice going vessels, large yachts and cable or pipe layer, etcetera.
Special ships need special arrangements of their machinery due to their purposes. Or they need a lot of electric power for a production on board. Whatever the reasons are, SMEC Automation is capable of meeting our customer's requirements of economy, availability and a good price/performance ratio. That assumes systems engineering tailored to providing maximum customer benefit, which begins with in-depth consultation by specialists experienced in marine applications.
W e provide turnkey solutions for both marine and offshore operations. The scope of our services includes all the instrumentation aspects of ships regardless of manufacturer, including engine room controls, boiler controls and cargo controls. In addition, we provide turnkey engineering packages for upgrade and retrofit work on existing tankers and particularly gas carriers through to packages for FSO, FPSO and FSRUs. We also supply gauging systems for LNG carriers plus extensive land-based LNG and LPG terminals.
Passenger & RoPax Ferries
F ast RoPax ferries are conventional ferries with a large garage intake and a relatively large passenger capacity, with conventional diesel propulsion and propellers that sail over 25 knots.
SMEC Automation serves the cruise and ferry industry with innovative and high performance design and systems solutions. Our breadth of expertise and wide range of quality products enables us to develop fully integrated systems solutions designed to maximize performance and operational efficiency over a vessel's lifetime.
Special Purpose VesselsSpecial Purpose Vessels
S pecial ships need special arrangements of their machinery due to their purposes. Or they need a lot of electric power for a production on board.
Whatever the reasons are, SMEC Automation is capable of meeting customer's requirements of economy, availability and a good price/performance ratio. That assumes systems engineering tailored to providing maximum customer benefit, which begins with in-depth consultation by specialists experienced in marine applications.