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Viking Cruises ties up with Wilhelmsen’s Smart Ropes system

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New technology, which brings accuracy, transparency and consistency
Viking Cruises is among a list of ship operators which has signed up to be first to utilize Wilhelmsen’s Smart Ropes system.

Based on the experience from rigorous testing aboard a working ro-ro vessel, all parts of the system have been refined and improved in readiness for the next phase of installations, informs the company.

Comprising a patent-pending measuring unit, embedded within the mooring rope, the ‘smart’ unit transmits key tension, time, temperature data in addition to a combination of parameters that make up the proprietary system design.

Using the latest wireless communication, the data is sent to a command module located on the bridge, designed to work even under the most challenging mooring conditions typically experienced in poor weather. This data is processed and transferred to a live feed, running on a tablet, or computer on the ship’s bridge, backed-up in the cloud.

Right tension

Helping to ensure mooring ropes have the right tension, in the right place, at the right time, all the time, Wilhelmsen’s system, has been specifically developed in order to relegate over tensioned lines, premature wear of ropes and in the worst-case scenario unexpected rope failures, to history.

Magnus Dickens, Venture Lead in Wilhelmsen Marine Products’ recently established Open Innovation function, says, ‘This isn’t a gimmick or another piece of badly thought out maritime bloatware. We have spent years developing a completely new technology, which brings accuracy, transparency and consistency to a task which is currently haphazard and fraught with risk. We are thrilled to partner up four forward-learning companies, including Viking Cruises, who share our vision of safer, more effective, data-driven mooring operations.’

Wireless protocols

Utilizing the latest wireless protocols optimized for low battery usage, the sensor, its outer casing and the command module elements have all been improved over several iterations, in collaboration with engineering partner Hugg. 

Housed in a cigar-shaped, heavy duty metal baton, the final version of the sensor and battery unit weighs under 1kg and has no influence or impact on the handling of the ropes it sits within.   

The first installations of the system began in Q3, 2020.
 

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