Thanks to research and data analysis for our upcoming mobile app MaritimeApp.com, we have identified a few commonly searched for innovation trends that are driving the industry. This post is not meant to be extensive and we may have left out other trends so do share with us if you know some interesting innovation in the industry!
1. Airbag ship launching & hauling method.
Rubber airbags are sometimes referred to MAX airbags, rubber inflatables or marine air bags, and has long been the popular choice for ship launching in Asia. Featured on gCaptain, MaritimeJournal and other media outlets, it seems such launching method is making its way to the West, especially Canada, United States and Europe.
The main idea is to inflate “air bags” under the vessel and be allowed to slide into the water with the assistance of gravity. Shipyards claim that such technology provides great versatility and very effective cost management. Especially when rails and other sliding methods require upfront installation (and extremely high costs when compared to airbags). With airbags, shipbuilders are able to build & repair in massive scales without having to turn down businesses & stay extremely competitive without having to build costly docks/rails to increase their capacity. Moreover, their versatility can also be used as buoyancy bags for mobilisation of heavy equipment.
More about the airbag product at http://max-groups.com/products/rubber-ship-launching-airbag-marine-airbag/
More about airbag ship launching at http://www.shiplaunching.org/
2. Advanced outfitting.
In recent years, shipyards have been starting to implement more of this concept. When we look at conventional shipbuilding processes, the vessel hull is first fabricated on the dock and the outfitting is started only AFTER launching the hull from the berth. This costs a lot of time that can be minimised with the concept of advanced outfitting.
Advanced outfitting concept involves assembling the outfit components like machinery, seating structures and piping etc into a small unit, that is then fixed at the planned position in the hull block itself.
The main time and cost saver? Steel structure & outfit component units are developed at the same time rather than waiting to complete the erection the vessel hull before outfit components can be installed.
Shipyards who practise this innovative concept claim that building cycle time can be substantially reduced and save a tremendous amount of costs, other advantages can be found at http://www.marineinsight.com/marine/marine-news/headline/advantages-of-advanced-outfitting-shipbuilding/
What is advance outfitting? at http://www.cnss.com.cn/html/2015/updates_0317/171194.html
3. Green ship technology & reducing carbon footprint.
This is the biggest area of them all. From ultra efficient propeller designs, to no-ballast systems and efficient solar cell integration, it is undeniable that shipbuilding industry is constantly breaking through in terms of building the GREENest ship possible.
Here are a few popular searches from our data:
- Greener engines that minimises Nitrogen Oxide output and strives to achieve zero Sulphur Oxide output
- Ultra-efficient optimised cooling systems
- Exhaust scrubber
- Minimal friction hull paint to boost fuel efficiency
- Advanced ultra-efficient propeller designs
- No-ballast systems to protect marine biology
- Solar cell hybrid system
- Diversification of the fuel mix
We hope to urge that going green for ship tech is NOT a fad, in the long run, the efficiency will prove to be great cost savers and environmental savers. And we are absolutely grateful for those who heavily invest in this area of R&D.
Green innovation in marine industry articles at http://www.nortrade.com/sectors/articles/green-innovation-in-maritime-technology/ http://max-groups.com/future-maritime-shipping-green-ship/