Doha-based Nakilat, the classification society DNV, and a group of leading shipyards and system suppliers have teamed up in a project aimed at improving software reliability and maintenance during vessel operations.
Today, critical vessel functions rely heavily on computerised software-based systems that are becoming more complex, automated and integrated. Software failures or reliability issues can result in significant safety risks, as well as lost revenue due to off-hire days. To help address these risks, DNV and Nakilat have come together with ABB, Honeywell, Kongsberg, Wärtsilä and Hudong-Zhonghua, to contribute to the development of enhanced solutions.
Nakilat Chief Executive Officer Eng. Abdullah Al-Sulaiti, commented: “With one of the largest LNG shipping fleets in the world, we are intimately aware of the importance of Information Technology (IT) integrity in ensuring safe, sustainable and reliable vessel operations. With the experience gained from completing our own fleet-wide digitalisation exercise, we are pleased to be partnering with key players in the industry to share our insights and contribute towards the improvement of vessel IT and computerisation reliability and quality.
DNV’s recently published Recommended Practice (RP), one outcome of the joint development project, provides guidance on the handling of complex software and computer-based systems throughout a vessel’s life cycle. By focusing on system integration and software change handling, the RP aims to improve software reliability and quality.
Furthermore, the RP may be used as a contractual element/requirement in newbuilding or conversion projects, and/or as guidelines for suppliers, system integrators and owners/operators to check compliance and the ongoing status of systems. The RP can also assist in establishing maintenance plans, service level agreements and life cycle warranties for software, provides a process to assess project timelines and risks, including alignment across sister vessels, and provides recommendations to increase the interoperability and integrability of vessel software and systems to vessels at both the newbuilding and operational phases.