Among the key service and support developments at WinGD over the past year has been the strengthening of WinGD integrated Digital Expert (WiDE). The remote diagnostics platform has been claimed to reduce time spent troubleshooting by crew by around 50%, thanks to its ability to detect engine issues early and provide actionable insights on root causes and optimisation options.
Using the system, crew on the vessels are informed of potential engine issues, provided with the possible causes and prompted to add relevant maintenance tasks.
“We are continuously enhancing the capabilities of WiDE, which is now deployed on well over 200 vessels,” says René Baart, senior product manager, digital operations, WinGD. “One example is our pilot with Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, starting with one and now extended to three of the company’s managed LNG carriers powered by twin X-DF dual-fuel engines.”
The pilot has enabled WinGD to develop WiDE to deliver real-time condition-based maintenance capability, taking a step away from conventional fixed-term maintenance intervals and towards predictive maintenance.
“We have also extended our service offer to WiDE customers to a global, around-the-clock emergency hotline. WinGD 24×7 is based on data analytics from the WiDE monitoring package that is available by subscription for all new WinGD engines and can be retrofitted to electronically controlled engines already in operation. By identifying deviations from each engine’s unique reference operation model, WiDE provides the hotline team with the insight needed to help ship crews resolve issues long before they trigger vessel alarms,” Baart adds.
Remote support is provided from WiDE centres in Switzerland and South Korea to ensure global coverage. According to Baart: “In the case of unexpected engine trouble, WinGD 24×7 can guide crews to a safe and rapid resolution. The robust connectivity of WiDE means that our team can respond to emergency situations instantly wherever the vessel is, tracking the issue and notifying local support if issues cannot be resolved remotely.”
WinGD believes that, as introducing new technology and fuels becomes commonplace, there will be a broader need for this kind of diagnostics and support services. The company says it is already seeing a strong uptake, particularly from owners of high-value, sophisticated vessels. In December 2022 two orders from LNG carrier operators, Knutsen OAS Shipping and CoolCo, saw diagnostics support delivered to a total of 17 WinGD X-DF engines.
“Looking ahead, we see this trend continuing as we deliver our new dual-fuel engines for methanol (X-DF-M) and ammonia (X-DF-A). Our current projects in these areas already provide evidence that the increased support that advanced diagnostics and rapid troubleshooting can bring will be highly appreciated by operators of these vessels,” says Baart.
Recently, WinGD signed a memorandum of understanding with Korean shipowner KSS Line to explore X‑DF‑A engines for future newbuild projects which includes investigating how WiDE can support these vessels in service. The aim is to not only ensure access to optimise performance and support troubleshooting, but also to make sure early operating experience is harnessed to deliver long-term safe and reliable operations on ammonia.
While developing LNG, methanol and ammonia-fuelled engines, WinGD says it has always had the philosophy that its engines should be retrofittable between fuels. Furthermore, as it takes its X-DF-M methanol-fuelled engines to market, it is making sure that retrofit packages will be available in a timely manner, in line with market demand and ahead of widespread green fuel supply.
In one early methanol project with Cosco Shipping Lines, it will deliver four X92DF-M engines for a series of new containerships. The last of these will be a newbuild methanol engine while the first three will be built as X92-B diesel-fuelled engines and then converted to methanol before entering service. “That gives us a great opportunity both to advance the development of our methanol retrofit concept, and to build experience in the integration of methanol conversions,” Baard concludes.