Ecoships, a fully owned subsidiary of Newport Shipping Group, has introduced a customised version of the Six Sigma DMAIC approach to process and performance evaluation in order to optimise the energy-efficiency of the vessels under its management.
The technique has already resulted in Ecoships’ managed ships benefiting from up to 15% greater fuel efficiency, resulting in substantial reductions in CO2, NOx and SOx emissions.
“We specialise in eco-friendly and fuel-efficient shipping tools, techniques and technologies,” said General Manager Captain Aykut Yilmaz. “This is our core strength.
“Our three primary goals are safety, fuel efficiency and minimum ecological impact. Through our suite of software tools, we can achieve these goals.
“For us, ‘eco’ refers to both ecology and economy, so being ‘eco-smart’ really pays off. We provide ship owners with the most economical solution for optimising their operations.”
One of the first vessels to benefit from Ecoships’ eco-smart approach is the 25,000dwt bulk carrier Bulk Rose. The vessel, delivered from Turkey’s Cicek Shipyard in 2011 and taken under Ecoships management in January 2014, was initially consuming 840g/dwt of fuel per day but now consumes 750g/dwt/day.
Ecoships used the DMAIC technique to identify the best technical and operational energy-efficiency solutions available, such as trim optimisation and weather routing software, along de-rating engines and retrofitting hardware such as rudder fins, shaft generators and waste heat recovery systems.
“Bulk Rose was fitted with a shaft generator and we had access to most of the signals and measurements. But we identified that a minimum 10% reduction in fuel consumption could be achieved by operational optimisation,” explained Mr Yilmaz.
“After analysing the data, we decided to retrofit a shaft power torque meter and monitoring solution for better analysis of the data along with optimal voyage planning and weather routing systems. We then fed all of this data into our software for real-time analysis of fuel consumption. The result was that we were able to improve energy efficiency by 11%,” confirmed Mr Yilmaz.
“Our focus is firmly on safety and operating the vessels with zero harm to the environment, at all times maintaining the integrity of the hull and machinery, keeping a close hands-on approach to OPEX, and chartering the vessel in the most profitable trades. Our DMAIC approach achieves this.”
Six Sigma DMAIC, a set of techniques used to Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control operational performance and processes, was first developed by Motorola in 1986 and has now become central to a wide number of companies’ business strategies.