SMM '18: SKF unveils new software for optimising fin stabilizer operation

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    2018 September 05, 14:00 CET

    SKF launches new software to improve a vessel’s energy efficiency when fin stabilizers are in use.

    Gothenburg, Sweden, 5 September 2018: SKF will be taking a booth at the world's leading international maritime trade fair SMM, where it plans to launch a new software product for optimising the deployment of retractable and non-retractable fin stabilizers based on weather conditions and retrospective ship’s movement analyses. Taking place in Hamburg, from September 4-7, SMM 2018 will be the launch venue for SKF's new EcoMode software, which allows up to three additional modes of fin stabilizer operation, each designed to optimise a vessel's energy consumption commensurate with prevailing sea conditions.

    Fin stabilizers help reduce a vessel’s rolling movement thereby improving passenger comfort and enhancing the level of cargo restraint. When not required, retractable fin stabilizers are stored in a fin box. During use, however, they create drag, thereby increasing the vessel's fuel consumption. Normally, these types of fin stabilizer are either retracted or fully extended. Non-retractable fin stabilizers, on the other hand, are permanently extended, thereby creating drag but requiring less space inside the vessel at the same time.

    SKF's new EcoMode software provides up to three additional 'modes' of operation to cope with varying levels of ship movement and sea swells. Each mode ensures optimised energy efficiency commensurate with sea conditions, while still ensuring a safe passage.

    The EcoMode software delivers real time recommendations in three modes for retractable fin stabilizers: 'passive', where both fins are swivelled out of the fin box but not in a moving (e.g. zero) position; 'single fin operation', where one fin is retracted and the other is extended and operating (to avoid uneven wear in this mode, starboard and portside fins are used alternately); 'reduced operating mode', where the working angle of the fins is reduced based on a ship's specific settings.
    For non-retractable fin stabilizers the software provides real time recommendations in two modes: "passive" and "'reduced operating mode'".
    With all of these settings both the drag and the hydraulic energy required for operation are reduced.

    A control panel with new energy cockpit is installed on the bridge and in the engine room. The EcoMode software settings can be adapted individually, for example allowing the crew to accept or decline the software's recommendations – no further programming or adjustment from the crew is required. In the event of no response from the crew and the current sea conditions persist, the system will issue a reminder after a defined period of time. New operating modes activate instantly on acceptance of the recommendation by the crew.

    Using SKF's EcoMode software can reduce a ship's fuel consumption by up to 2%. It is available for new builds and may be retrofitted to all SKF fin stabilizers as well as third party stabilizing systems.

    “SKF helped us implement the new SKF EcoMode software on one of our vessels in April 2018. We expect that the solution will support our crew in making smarter, eco-friendly decisions, while reducing our OPEX. We’ve already had very positive feedback from our crew: not only was the solution easy to implement, but it is also simple to use", says Jacob Johannesen, Newbuilding and Major Conversions Project Manager at DFDS A/S

    SKF will be exhibiting in Hall A1, booth 210 at the Hamburg exhibition halls from 4 to 7 September 2018 and welcomes visitors to the booth to view demonstrations of the EcoMode software, along with many other innovative marine sector solutions.

    Aktiebolaget SKF

    For further information, please contact:
    Press Relations: Nia Kihlström, +46 31-337 2897; +46 70-6672897;

    SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 17,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2017 were SEK 77 938 million and the number of employees was 45 678.

    ® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.

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