Switzerland-based technology group ABB has revealed its intention to adopt a new electric, digital and connected approach for its shipping operations.
ABB seeks to use the new approach to fulfil the full potential of its power, control and automation solutions via a digital integration programme, which is expected to improve the company’s vessel and fleet management activities.
ABB Marine & Ports managing director Juha Koskela said: “We are living through one of the most exciting periods in the history of the maritime industry.
“We believe the next generation of ships will be electric, digital and connected as the industry moves towards the use of new energy sources and automated ship operations.
“’Electric. Digital. Connected.’ encapsulates ABB’s drive to deliver solutions that make the maritime industry safer, more efficient and more sustainable based on a holistic perspective.”
ABB further noted that vessels employing pure electrical power and propulsion systems are simpler in terms of layout than those operating on combustion engines alone, as well as being generally less exposed to wear and tear.
More than 1,300 ships are currently equipped with ABB electric systems, which are claimed to achieve up to 20% efficiency gains over traditional shaftline systems.
The widespread adoption of hybrid electric and autonomous control systems within the automotive industry is paving the way for future developments in the maritime industry, said ABB.
The use of electric propulsion systems such as batteries and fuel cells are also expected to help vessels optimise their fuel consumption and maximise operational flexibility.
According to ABB, shipyards also play an integral role in the development of more electric, digital and connected ships, as they can reduce the cost, schedule and risk related to vessel development.