NYK creates electronic checklist to enhance condition-based maintenance

An electronic checklist that collects and manages a variety of data through the use of tablet computers is now being used on 50 vessels operated by Japan’s Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and will continue to be introduced on more vessels in the future.

This system enables efficient data management of onboard equipment and the sharing of that data with offices on land. In collaboration with other systems, the system is expected to contribute to condition-based maintenance (CBM) as a data collection and analysis tool to enhance preventive maintenance.

As a background explainer, NYK stated in a release that the majority of engine rooms on large vessels are operated unmanned at night. During voyages engine rooms are often referred to as M0 (machinery space zero people). And before conducting operation in an M0, crewmembers in the engine department must conduct an M0 check to confirm and record items such as the temperature, pressure, vibration, and leakage of equipment in accordance with a checklist containing up to 2,000 items.

Conventionally, the enormous number of checked items are recorded by hand on paper, which creates many organisational issues. For example, it is necessary to share data for some items with the office on land, and the crew must then conduct searches through large amounts of paper files to find the needed information.

To rationalise this work, NYK and Japanese tech firm MTI jointly developed an Unmanned Machinery Space (UMS) check system that uses a tablet computer. After trials and improvement, the functions of this system were expanded to include an electronic checklist and thus manage data other than M0 checks, and onboard usage of the electronic checklist began to be implemented from September 2017.

Some onboard devices automatically collect operating data, but the operating condition of many devices still needs to be checked manually. By gathering data daily about the condition of all equipment, and making use of the experience and knowledge that NYK has cultivated to date, NYK says it will be able to achieve more advanced operational management and preventive maintenance for further CBM.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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