ERJ staff report (DS)
Tokyo - The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., said it has developed a Fender Monitoring System for pneumatic fenders used to shock absorber the docking of large ships.
Field-testing has been completed at a port in South Africa. Yokohama Rubber plans to put the system on the market in fiscal 2012. This will mark the first commercialisation of a remote, comprehensive, wireless fender-monitoring system anywhere in the world.
The system can wirelessly monitor the condition of fenders by gathering information on air pressure inside them, away from the jetty. Motion of ships moored at a jetty can be estimated by converting air pressure data into data on deformation, reaction force, energy absorption and more.
As a result, dangerous situations, including excessive ship motion, can be detected in advance. This can contribute to preventing damage to ship, jetty, loading arm and other cargo operations equipment, as well as oil leakages and other major accidents caused by such damage.
In the Fender Monitoring System, a transmitter with a pressure sensor installed inside a fender sends data on internal air pressure to a receiver. Pressure, deformation, reaction force and energy absorption are then displayed on the screen of a monitoring computer.
With use of optical fiber transmission, etc., it is also possible to monitor remotely at, for example, an integrated operations center at a location several kilometers away. The system is equipped with alarm and recording functions that not only facilitate safe loading operations, but establish operational standards as well as accurate analysis if an accident does occur.
The company has also adapted the system to provide ship-to-ship data communication and location data. The system incorporates technology from the design of pneumatic fenders and the numerical simulation analysis of dynamic ship motion.
This is a comprehensive monitoring system for offshore STS operation, such as when two tankers come alongside to transfer cargo such as crude oil or liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Yokohama Rubber has been marketing pneumatic fenders since 1958 . With characteristic aeroelastic softness, pneumatic fenders can be utilised for cargo work at ports/harbors and offshore STS operation, even during severe sea condition. Hereafter, Yokohama will enhance its product range by this advanced monitoring system, endeavoring to further differentiate itself in the pneumatic fender market.
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Press release (Dock Fenders) from Yokohama
Press release (Ship-to-ship comms) from Yokohama