Digital monitoring project trials AI plus big data for marine plant12 February 2021

The Innovate UK-funded Digital Monitoring of Ships (DiMOS) Project ( has been working to create a digital monitoring system for ships.

The project, which has seen TWI collaborate with Vibtek, CMServices Global and Brunel University, has received around £2 million of funding from Innovate UK.

The project has now seen the creation of a prototype, which has been undergoing beta testing at sites around the UK with the aim of creating a system that can be used for maintenance planning for a ship’s structure, engine machinery and auxiliary systems. The use of real-time sensor data and AI-based models will take account of risk levels, costs and timings for maintenance and place them into a single platform.

“The DiMOS system will increase the user interface, with operators being directed to machine defects instead of general inspection. The DIMOS software will take the data and produce works orders to quicken repairs, as they will be labelled with a severity rating,” says Matthew Gill, Technical Director at Vibtek.

Adds Simon Edmondson, director of CMServices Global: “The benefits of the DiMOS system are that it brings not only the maintenance system but also the condition monitoring system into the one platform. The system looks holistically at the methodology, strategy and prescriptive diagnostic information in the FMECA for each individual machine. The software uses artificial intelligence near real time data and prescriptive diagnostics in a fully automated global accessible system to give the owner a condition monitoring report of individual machine components.”

He adds that the expected reduction in inspection and maintenance could save more than £700,000 per ship per year.

Although originally intended for maritime use, the system has wider applications. Edmonson says: “The potential applications are global i.e. in any industry that uses machinery, for example, fans, pumps, compressors, gearboxes etc. including, but not limited to, any process data. Although the software was primarily developed in conjunction with condition monitoring vibration analysis in mind, any big data processed, etc, can be used to run through the software.”

Live on-site testing is taking place at Royal Mail, Toyota, and at Grants Distillery, with plans for roll-out this spring.

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