Chris Wiernicki, CEO of ABS, discusses the evolution of multi-physics simulation and its importance in meeting decarbonization targets by 2050.
As the pace of technological change accelerates, shipowners are increasingly forced to embrace change to ensure their fleets stay in compliance with new regulations and avoid obsolescence.
In the future, efficient and cost-effective delivery of cargo from ‘point A to point B’ must be done in a more environmentally friendly manner, as shipowners and marine technology companies are leaning on the barrel of the ship. global decarbonisation with new strict emission limits coming into force by 2050, limits that are currently inaccessible with current technology.
âI think we’re going to see more innovation over the next 10 years than in the last century,â said Chris Wiernicki, CEO of ABS, in a recent interview with Maritime Reporter TV. While trends in digitization and decarbonization are certainly not new, Wiernicki sees the last 18 months of COVID-19 – especially with regard to digitization – as a catalyst to accelerate development increasingly rapidly.
Wiernicki believes that the maritime industry needs “radical technological advances” to meet the demands of decarbonization mandates, and that one of these radical advances is multiphysics simulation (MPS) and its potential to help unlock the next generation of vessels and technology.
What is multiphysics simulation (MPS)?
To begin with, it is important to understand that MPS and âdigital twinsâ are not the same thing, as MPS is a technique that integrates multiple engineering strands with 3D tools to transform a design into an active digital model that reflects physical realityâ¦ the ability to model various systems and understand their inoperability. âThe simulation actually comes before a digital twin: the digital twin connects to reality through Y data, whereas simulation is a representation of reality,â Wiernicki said. What is important for simulation is verification and validation in the future.
âWhen you take a simulation and combine it with an engine fuel consumption simulation, and then you combine that, say, a power limiting simulation and a weather planning and seakeeping model, it becomes a multi-physics model, âWiernicki said. The multi-physics model allows the designer to understand how each of the variables impacts the design as a whole. âMore importantly, as the industry examines where we are now in relation to sustainability, it allows us to examine the impact of electrification, for example, or an alternative fuel. This allows us to look at the impact of the batteries. Examine the impact of certain decisions made on the performance of the trip, in relation to the strength of the hull, compared to alternative fuels. MPS is therefore a technology that allows us, with confidence, to digitally touch where things are, which allows us to shape a framework and a path for the future. “
The value of MPS increases exponentially as it allows new design, engineering and operating concepts to be evaluated while a vessel is in its formation phase, helping to make design changes – from the simplest to the bottom. at most radical – very early in the process. Logically, this significantly reduces development costs and speeds up design time from start to delivery. Additionally, coming full circle and into the wheelhouse of classification, MPS is an enabling technology that will completely eliminate paper drawings from the workflow, allowing for fully digital classification.
Although MPS is a digital solution, it is also at the center of the ‘food of the future’ conversation. Wiernicki explains that alternative fuels are at the heart of any future ship design, and the ability to effectively test the final impact of different fuels on a ship’s final design appearance and function will be significantly enabled by MPS, for understand not only the modification requirements of the vessel, but also understand in advance any unintended safety consequences based on the choice of fuel.
âWhen you look at the complexity and the significant increase in interconnectivity of the system, you start to ask yourself: how am I really going to understand and start to rationalize what is going on? Said Wiernicki. âThis is where simulation comes in. It is an engineering technology that allows us to visualize the interconnectivity of various physical cybernetic systems.
âWe can all understand the potential of alternative fuels in pushing shipping to achieve a sustainable base,â Wiernicki said. âHowever, at ABS, we see the potential of MPS, sitting as it does at the intersection of data, digital and decarbonization, as another, less heralded advancement with the potential to make a significant contribution. “
2050 or Bust
Wiernicki and his ABS team are optimistic about the potential of the MPS to have a significant impact in helping shipowners meet the challenges ahead.
âImagine being able to run a digital model of an asset through a digital model of an experiment and, informed by an immense amount of well-chosen, complete, and appropriate data on many factors such as vessel structures, machine behavior and ocean forces, get a rigorously accurate picture of what’s most likely to happen to that asset in real life, âWiernicki said. âToday, MPS is at the forefront of solving decarbonization and efficiency issues, but in the not-so-distant future it will be a legacy component of new technology that can provide such a level of understanding and understanding that it will allow us to truly maximize vessel efficiency, environmental protection and safety at sea.
He said meeting the emissions reduction challenges of 2030 is doable with today’s technology, but 2050 is “a story that hasn’t been written.”
And even though the technologies and fuels do not exist today to meet the emission levels of 2050, ships that are currently designed and built using, for example, liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel, must be looked at through the objective of making them sustainable for conversion to hydrogen, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), ammonia or biodiesel.
“I am confident that in the future the CTO and CFO will be sitting next to each other in the boardroom, really trying to assess the business risks of the development. more technology than ever before. “
Ultimately, MPS, fuels of the future, digitization and everything else intertwined comes down to managing risk effectively and efficiently. âSo what we’re really looking for is to find a little more clarity, a little more definition in some of these swimming lanes, so that we, as an industry, can collectively start to really focus. on making good investment decisions in the future. “said Wiernicki.
Rather than physically testing everything, you are able to form an âultimate test envelope,â Wiernicki said, and this virtual test envelope is especially important when talking about technologies that have not been developed or are not being developed. not yet scalable. âWhat simulation does is it gives you a very cost-effective way to start figuring out where you should be focusing your priorities. In the case of ABS, it will be about helping us understand where these unintended consequences are on safety. It will no longer be component by component. The simulation gives you that framework to be able to do it.
Calling it a “digital sixth sense to help us keep doing what we do well,” noted Wiernicki, “we are a safety-centric organization.”
Simulation is an investment point for ABS today and in the future, with a new Simulation Center of Excellence in Singapore underway, and more to come around the world. âPretty much every one of our joint development projects, whether with a yard, an owner or an equipment manufacturer, has some level of simulation built in,â Wiernicki said. In fact, he sees simulation and MPS as central to the evolutionary role of ABS. âThis allows us, to a certain extent with our data analysis capability, to even predict things in the future. This allows us to begin to expand our role of classification to something like an integrator, an evaluator, a predictor, this benchmark solutions advisor to help the industry.
And with the myriad of challenges ahead, shipowners will need all the resources they can muster.
âAs we head into 2050, that story has yet to be written. We’re going to have to visually simulate to figure out what’s going on. The automotive and aerospace industry has taught us the science of simulation. What we want to do right now in the marine industry is start to apply that. “