Aiming for Safe, Stress-free Cargo Handling

TOKYO-Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) yesterday (Mar 11) announced that, in partnership with MOL Coastal Shipping, Ltd., and MOL Information Systems, Ltd., it will start a demonstration test of a mooring rope with a built-in sensor, along with a rope status monitoring system.

Caption: Outline of the system

The project focuses on the mooring ropes that connect vessels to piers and other port facilities.

In general, the tension on mooring ropes is hardly determined inaccurate, except at certain ports equipped with tension monitors. So ropes may break because crewmembers do not take effective measures against external forces that are stronger than anticipated due to weather and sea conditions. In addition, visual inspections alone cannot always identify ropes that are damaged or deteriorating faster than expected, even if they are at the proper tension, and this may lead to premature breakage.

Broken mooring ropes pose a risk of serious accidents that may damage port equipment and facilities, not to mention vessels. To address this issue, MOL, Teijin Limited, and Tesac Corporation jointly developed a mooring rope with a built-in sensor, as well as a status display system that allows crewmembers to readily determine the tension and strength of the rope. In addition, the mooring rope adopts Teijin's "Technora®" para-aramid fiber, which offers excellent dimensional stability*. This test marks the first use of this rope aboard MOL Group.

Caption: Mooring ropes under development

The demonstration test will be conducted with MOL Coastal Shipping-operated dry bulkship Cedros, which will be equipped with the ropes and monitoring system.

Caption: Dry bulk ship Cedros, used for the demonstration test

Based on the results of the demonstration test, MOL plans to adopt the mooring ropes and status monitoring system to enhance safety during cargo handling operations in port and onboard. And in the future, it plans to leverage this experience to developing a more advanced mooring monitoring system to achieve even greater safety and effectiveness in cargo handling.

This effort is a part of MOL's technological development initiative, the "ISHIN NEXT - MOL SMART SHIP PROJECT." MOL will draw upon the knowledge and expertise gained through the development process for various ship types, while taking a proactive stance in adopting the Internet of Things (IoT) to enhance safe operation and reduce vessels' environmental impact.

* Dimensional stability refers to the ability of the fibers to return to their original dimensions even after repeated expansion and contraction due to tension.

Source: MOL