As the Port of Singapore’s ambitions continue to become clearer with the construction of Tuas Mega-Terminal, a combination of technologies and innovations will increase the efficiency and safety of operations at the world’s busiest container transhipment hub. Wärtsilä responded to this by opening up a Wärtsilä Acceleration Centre (WAC).
Namely, MPA Singapore and Wärtsilä agreed to jointly focus on developing intelligent vessels, connected smart port operations, cyber-physical security, and digital acceleration with start-ups.
Now, the first project to be co-produced at the Centre is the Wärtsilä IntelliTug. By partnering with PSA Marine and MPA, Wärtsilä has started a venture to improve the capabilities of the harbour tug.
With over 90,000 towage jobs in each year, the PSA Marine tug operations are important for Singapore. To meet the demands of the expanding port, the collective is cooperating to bring to life a smarter tug that will perform a range of routine missions in order to further improve tug safety and efficiencies, while also reducing operator workload and pressures in the port.
- Smart navigation assists the Tug Master with passage planning by plotting an optimized route while dynamically maintaining safe distances during navigation, detecting and preventing potential collisions.
- The sensor fusion technology behind the IntelliTug will also provide the crew with an extra set of eyes, enhancing situational awareness and improving visibility in challenging conditions.
- Virtual Anchoring will help to relieve the Tug Master from executing manual standby manoeuvres, making it possible for the master and his crew to focus on other tasks at hand. The Guard Circle will alert the Tug Master should anything enter his safe zone.
"With IntelliTug we are creating a technology that will find a real application in the commercial maritime market. We want to help the industry improve by leveraging the use of automation technologies on ships to boost safety and efficiency, while at the same time augmenting the human’s role within the loop. This solution will empower Tug Masters by actively assisting the crew in different situations, allowing them to focus on critical tug operations whilst dynamically maintaining safe distances during navigation and preventing potential collisions."
Marco Ryan, Chief Digital Officer and Executive Vice President, Wärtsilä Corporation, commented.
For his side, Peter Chew, Managing Director of PSA Marine, said that MPA and Wärtsilä will explore and testbed new technologies, in order to improve the Tug Masters’ situational awareness so that they can navigate the busy port waters in Singapore more safely.