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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Maritime Logistics Professional

October 26, 2021

Sumitomo Selects Light Structures Hull Monitoring for Aframax Tanker Pair

A unique fiber optic measurement technology specified for hull stress and fatigue early warning system, and long-term design verification, was specified for a pair of Aframax tankers being built in Japan at Sumitomo. Photo courtesy SHI-ME

A unique fiber optic measurement technology specified for hull stress and fatigue early warning system, and long-term design verification, was specified for a pair of Aframax tankers being built in Japan at Sumitomo. Photo courtesy SHI-ME

Light Structures AS and Japanese shipbuilder Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering (SHI-ME) entered into an agreement for delivery of comprehensive hull stress and fatigue monitoring systems on two newbuild 115,000 DWT Aframax crude oil tankers due for delivery in Q2 2023 and Q3 2023.

Hull stress monitoring is usually the preserve of larger ships and platforms, or very specialized vessels, but its deployment on Aframax vessels reflects a growing interest in long-term structural monitoring due to the safety and financial benefits it can enable, for instance, by helping to extend the operational lifespan of a ship.

Leveraging Light Structures’ established SENSFIB technology portfolio, with solutions already deployed on more than 300 large and specialist vessels, the adopted customized hull stress monitoring system will provide precise and actionable real-time data that will empower the Aframax captains and navigators to reduce the impact of dynamic forces such as whipping, slamming and shearing while underway.

The SENSFIB installations are designed to help SHI-ME verify its latest Aframax design by measuring stress loading over time and comparing it to design values. When integrated with a Condition-Based Monitoring (CBM) system, long-term stress and fatigue measurements can enable servicing regimes designed to add years of useful life to a ship.

“We believe that we should keep ships healthy because it improves the ship charterer’s reputations, increases resale values and reduces the pain-points such as insurance costs," said Yoshinori Tagaya, senior engineer, SHI-ME. "Our target is to supply more healthy ships to our clients using our in-house ship monitoring system AVEDAS (Automatic Voyage and Engine Data Acquisition System). By adopting a structural health monitoring system like SENSFIB from Light Structures, AVEDAS will become even more valuable to our clients.”

“We are delighted that SHI-ME has recognized the advantages of our fiber optic measurement technology and tasked us to deliver, install and commission turnkey solutions for its new mid-sized tankers,” said Goetz Vogelmann, Sales Director, Light Structures. “Japan is an important market and we’re confident we can demonstrate the understanding, trust and ‘kaizen’ that are vital for our future growth in the country.”