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Monday, November 1, 2021 

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, ('K' Line) and Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) have concluded a co-development contract for an Artificial Intelligence-based Marine Machinery Operation Support System that is expected to be part of the future core technology to achieve autonomous vessel operation.

The System will have such functions as failure prediction/diagnostics, CBM (Condition-Based Maintenance), and optimum operation support, based on data analytics of marine machinery operation data using AI. In view of safer operations at sea, improvement of working environment for seafarers, and higher pressure for industrial competitiveness, the expectations for autonomous operations for ships is increasingly growing. Through this co-development project, they aim to complete the System by combining 'K' Line’s data on vessel operation and marine machinery operation collected from Kawasaki-Integrated Marine Solutions and its experience in operation and maintenance of onboard machinery, and KHI’s technology and expertise in building ships and propulsion plants, and by having AI learn these data and knowledge.

The System manages not only a specific piece of equipment but marine machinery onboard as a whole, including main engine and power generator. The System will first target those vessels with diesel propulsion plants, and then those with various types of propulsion systems such as steam turbines and electric propulsion systems in the next phase.

The System will be beneficial for crew onboard as well as ship management personnel on land, providing information on failure predictions and failure diagnostics. This not only enables users to prevent major engine troubles from occurring but also assists planning effective maintenance schedules and advises optimum engine operation based on the condition of the plants ultimately to improve fuel consumption and to contribute to the greenhouse gas reduction.

Preferred Networks, known for cutting-edge technologies on deep-learning and machine-learning, is joining development of Marine AI, the core of the System that executes failure prediction and operation condition diagnostics.

The Marine AI will be implemented both onboard and in the cloud. The onboard system learns the vessel’s operation data and uses them to diagnose on a real-time basis. The cloud system periodically collects the data accumulated on each vessel, and centrally uses them for further learning, allowing itself to become smarter and offer failure prediction and diagnostics as well as optimum operation support for any type of vessel. A proof-of-concept has been established for the core technology of the Marine AI for failure prediction and diagnostics.

With abundant data collected from various ships via Kawasaki-Integrated Marine Solutions, as well as data obtained from the latest sensors that were not previously available, 'K' Line and KHI will further proceed on developing Marine AI that is versatile enough to be applied to any type of vessel.

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