Stabilizer system solution provider, Pinfabb SRL’s POSEIDON system has been chosen by ferry and ro-ro operator DFDS to be fitted on board two ropaxes.
Existing stabilizers control systems will be replaced with the POSEIDON solution starting with the ropaxes ‘Princess Seaways’ and ‘King Seaways’, operating between Ijmuiden, near Amsterdam and North Shields, Tyneside (UK).
Founded in 1866, today, DFDS operates a network of 25 routes with 50 freight and passenger ships in the North Sea, Baltic Sea and the English Channel, as well as operating a large logistics arm.
Pinfabb explained that the reasons behind DFDS decision to upgrade the ships’ stabilizers were to:
– renew the plant in the most optimised way
– take measures to ensure the stabilizers long working condition and avoid downtime
– simplify crew operations
– reduce maintenance costs
– modernise and digitalise the stabilizers to take advantage of strategical benefits, including remote monitoring, predictive maintenance and energy/CO2 emission reductions.
Before the installation of the two systems on board the ropaxes, DFDS and Pinfabb planned the work and logistics with care and attention to detail, the company claimed.
The idea was to execute the two installations with the same Pinfabb service engineering team boarding the ‘King Seaways’ in North Shields (UK), performing the installation, the commissioning and also the sea trials before joining the ‘Princess Seaways’ in Ijmuiden.
This was undertaken while keeping the stabilizers functioning for the maximum possible time, while executing the retrofit, to ensure the comfort of passengers and safety of the freight.
The plan demanded a high level of co-ordination and no room for technical issues or unexpected events in installing/commissioning the stabilizer plants.
Despite the stabilizers’ machinery being 36 years old, everything ran smoothly, Pinfabb said. Behind this success was a detailed plan engineered by Pinfabb and DFDS in advance, but also the skill of the Pinfabb engineers and the support and co-operation received from the DFDS’ officers and crew during the whole project from planning to sea-trials.
During the entire installation and commissioning process on both vessels, the comfort and stability of the ship was a priority to the satisfaction of the crew and passengers.
The work involved installing a a new touch screen panel to replace the old bridge analog control unit, providing a complete set of information and KPIs to the operator, which were previously not available as a real-time ship motion with roll and pitch axis, comfort index, stabilizers drag consumption and speed variation.
POSEIDON provides analytical data about the stabilization and suggestions to obtain the optimal use of the fins. During the vessels’ officer training, a session was dedicated to its ECO MODE software, given the DFDS team a goal of optimising the ships’ propulsion and reducing the possibility of carbon emissions.
A new 10 inch touch panel was installed, including on the engine control room (ECR) console. On one ship, the control panel was vertical installed, while on the second ship it was horizontally installed, thanks to the system’s high flexibility and its ease of installation.
In the ECR, all the stabilizer information is displayed, including the status of the machinery and the future maintenance tasks that need to be undertaken.
Plant health information and automatic maintenance advice are at now the operators’ fingertips to ensure a long life of the whole plant – electronic, hydraulic and mechanical – and avoid disruption time and/or breakdowns.
New and compact digital automation units were installed near the existing hydraulic power unit (HPU) on both the vessels.
These units contain the information about the status of the stabilizers and when to manoeuvre the fin locally with the simple touch of two buttons, if needed.
Full compatibility and integration with alarms and alerts was provided to the ships’ AMS to share information about the plant status in real-time.
As with all the other POSEIDON installations, ‘King Seaways’ and ‘Princess Seaways’ new stabilizer systems now have the possibility to optimise the stabilizers’ drag, thus reducing the power consumption and friction under the water. This is possible by using the system in ECO mode.
The energy absorbed by stabilizers can be cut by an average 50% compared to the absorption rate of a non-ECO system under the same conditions.
Depending on the on board comfort and dynamic situation, POSEIDON automatically selects different stabilization algorithms with the aim preserving comfort with the most efficient angles of attack, always taking into account the best mechanical plant compensation.
The last point is an important factor when dealing with machinery, which has had more than 15 years of service and could make the difference to ensure a longer equipment life and avoiding disruption, Pinfabb said.
Matteo Fabbricotti, Pinfabb’s CEO, said; “To be honest, it has been a challenge to execute the retrofit of both these two units in a raw, as even small unexpected events could lead to a schedule delay.
“This is the case when the team work makes the difference, and we have been proud to co-operate with DFDS in that sense: the co-operation with DFDS and especially with the ships superintendent Claus Byder, with the two Chief Engineers and their crew has been professional and very positive,” he said.
Claus Byder, added; “In DFDS, we constantly searching for new possibilities to reduce our consumption by implementing fuel saving initiatives on board our vessels. Therefore, I found the
Pinfabb POSEIDON very interesting, and we decided to make the upgrade of our existing stabilizer control system on board two of our passenger vessels.
“The job was completed in a very professional manner and without any interference in our daily operation. There was a good co-operation throughout the entire planning and installation of the new Pinfabb POSEIDON and I only received a positive feed-back from the crew on board both vessels.
“The system is running without any problems, and we are now looking forward to reap the rewards of the investment,” he concluded.