Hotbeds for Innovation

Have what it takes to be a winning marine innovator? Find out how ST Engineering nurtures the skills and entrepreneurial instincts of its engineers.

ST Engineering’s InnoChamps Award creates a platform for the recognition of ideas and concepts that have transited into successful products and services. Initiated by the Group’s Technology, IPR and Innovation Committee, the annual innovation competition also serves to sustain a vibrant environment for creative innovation.

In March 2019, the Marine team led by Principal Engineer, Ms Yue Siew Peng, bagged the second prize at the InnoChamps competition, under the NRE >S$2 million category.  The team’s winning project was entitled “Ship Management System (SMS)”.

Better known to customers as NERVA, this automated SMS allows ship operators to remotely monitor and control various ship systems from a centralised location. It features a sensemaking module and intuitive guide to provide ship operators with enhanced situational awareness. It also draws on data analytics and machine learning to add intelligence to ship operations.

As a result, NERVA is able to offer predictive diagnostics, condition-based maintenance, and reliable decision support. With its in-built self-learning feature, NERVA is able to refine and adapt the machine learning models based on newly logged data. With NERVA, ship operators can expect to achieve reduced unplanned downtime, better decision-making support, and improved machinery lifecycle cost.

Siew Peng revealed that the development journey started back in 2012. “The SMS was initially deployed on a specialised marine craft, but we had continued to improve on the system and scale-up its capabilities. That the NERVA SMS was able to achieve class certification from the American Bureau of Shipping in 2017 was truly the icing on the cake!” she shared.

This year, the NERVA SMS will be deployed on the Singapore Police Coast Guard Patrol Boat. More innovations will also be added to achieve greater vessel autonomy, fuel efficiency and fleet management capabilities.

Likewise, the Smart Maritime Autonomous Vessel (SMAV) project between Marine and Electronics has been made the winner of ST Engineering’s Cross-Sector Collaboration Award at the Business Excellence (BE) Seminar in March 2019. The project was led by Mr Ng Tee Guan, Vice President at Marine Technology & Solutions, ST Engineering Marine, with support from Mr Alex See and Mr Chan Chee Wai, the project leads from Marine and Electronics, respectively. The project entailed the retrofitting of an existing manned tug with Marine’s proprietary SMS and Sensemaking System (SMS2) and Electronics’ autonomous navigation system.

According to Tee Guan, the event has brought together engineers from different disciplines and challenged them to leverage each other’s domain knowledge, networks and customer base in pioneering innovations. “The SMAV collaboration project is a good example. Not only have we achieved considerable savings in terms of engineering costs, we also managed to pool our resources and defend our market share against potential competitors,” he said.

The technologies and knowledge from the SMAV project can be scaled to suit domestic mid-sized vessels such as  garbage collection craft, anchor handling tug supply vessels, offshore support vessels and ferries, as well as ocean-going Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS).

The team behind the winning SMAV project.

Main picture:(L-R) Marine’s InnoChamps for 2019: Mr Quek Wee Ping, Mr Alex Ting, Ms Tammie Ooi and Ms Lee Shu Min and Ms Yue Siew Peng.