Hessle firm's tech will predict faults on ships before they happen

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 21 Jan 2019

A business has secured £200,000 of funding for a ground-breaking project which aims to help predict and locate faults on commercial ships.

Hessle-based Relmar has developed technology known as MRCM (Marine Reliability-Centred Maintenance), which can detect equipment on ships which is not performing as expected, and prioritise repair tasks.

Similar technology is already used in the aviation industry, along with the Royal Navy, but Relmar is leading its field in the commercial shipping world.

Dr Mark Horton, chief technical officer at Relmar, was heavily involved in bringing the technology to the Navy. Today, the system is used by almost the entire UK fleet.

He said: “When I worked in the Navy it was trying to reduce its maintenance spend. We created a model which looks at every part of the ship, and decides whether work is needed and how best to do it.

Kenneth Shakesby (left) and Dr Mark Horton, of Relmar (Relmar)

“It makes perfect sense, and the strange thing about commercial shipping is that this is not already used.

“The programme reduced spend on the ships by more than 30 per cent.”

Relmar recently received a huge boost when it was awarded £200,000 of funding from Innovate UK.

Read more: Humber could miss out on becoming a free port under 'soft' Brexit

The funding will help the business continue to develop its programme, as it looks to plug an important gap in the shipping sector.

Kenneth Shakesby is the CEO at Relmar.

Relmar's tech can detect faults on ships before they happen (Relmar)

He said: “If this programme works in the Navy, why should it not work in commercial shipping too?

“The difference between our programme and others if we have a set of rules that start to work from day one. Using these rules, the programme knows how all the different components of the ship should be working, and can identify when anything changes.

“We thought setting Relmar up in the region was particularly interesting, due to Hull’s maritime history. We also think the programme could be used in the future in other sectors such as offshore wind, and be fitted into turbines.”

The programme would work using sensors, which would be fitted to components of the ship.

The tech could also be used in the offshore wind sector, Relmar has said (Relmar)

A central server would then process information from the sensors, and send it onshore.

Data would then be analysed using the set of rules which have been devised, and raise any faults or concerns.

Read more: ABP seals 10-year Thor Shipping deal after £6m Hull investment

Dr Horton said: “It is so much better to know about any problems while you are in a port, where you can decide if any work needs doing, than for something to go wrong when you are out at sea and hours away from help."

Relmar is also on the lookout for potential investors or partnerships from businesses with expertise in the field.

For more details, visit its website here .



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