The last few years have witnessed a proliferation of specialized software and hardware packages for shipboard applications. Many of these products take advantage of the new generation of small, relatively low-cost personal computers.

To bring our readers up to date on the latest developments in this rapidly growing industry, Maritime Reporter recently surveyed leading manufacturers and suppliers of shipboard computer systems. Here is a company-by-company report.

ANCHOR MARINE (INTERNATIONAL) LIMITED Circle 1 on Reader Service Card Formed into a company in 1978 from a partnership, Anchor Marine has supplied more than 150 ships with loading instruments, their original product. By using a multipurpose marinized micro instead of a single function machine, Anchor Marine has developed a large range of on-board/shore-ship management tolls for cost saving through efficiency improvements. There is also a range of port-based products, which range from VTMS to terminal planning, to hydrographic survey and chart production. Under the Oceanmaster name, Anchor Marine produces for shipboard use sophisticated cargo management systems, which, in addition to the normal stability/stress functions, include cargo lashing (LWP) and stow planning for containerships, tanker planning/reporting, safe stability for gas carriers, damage stability, tank gauging and optrim for all ships, as well as systems for oil rigs, offshore structures and semi-submersibles.

Apart from cargo functions, the Oceanmaster range also covers navigation cost savings, with the new NAVEY system, and energy efficiency, through the DECAMS and MEPS systems. On-board monitoring and control combinations of all of these, plus many more, have led to Oceanmaster Automation Systems, which can cover single systems (deballasting, air conditioning, tank gauging, etc.) right through to complete ship systems. Ship management on board is covered by Oceanmaster products such as stock control and planned maintenance systems, plus budget monitoring and master's/passenger accounts.

On-board data can be quickly and economically transferred ashore from Oceanmaster computer to another, and at the same time, receive shore data with automatic updating of databases at each end, plus transfer to mainframe systems.


Circle 2 on Reader Service Card BSRA Systems has drawn upon the background technology skills of British Maritime Technology to develop and supply innovative solu- tions to vessel and fleet management computer systems. Full Lloyd's Classification Society approval has been gained for the marinized IBM PC-AT in consultation with existing approval for hardware from Data General and Olivetti.

Ship management software systems plus full implementation services are available. The software modules cover analytical, procedural, financial and office automation tasks and are written for Unix MS-DOS and AOS operating systems. Specific software skills with proven applied products are available within the following areas: loading computer systems, service performance monitoring, cargo operation training aids, engineering spares stock control and budgeting, planned maintenance, and victualling accounting.


Circle 3 on Reader Service Card John Fluke Mfg. Co., Inc., has developed the ProLogger, a new software package that links an IBM PC, XT or AT with the Fluke 2280 SERIES Advanced Data Loggers.

ProLogger software turns the IBM PC into a high-accuracy data acquisition system, simplifying control and report generation.

The package enables Fluke 2280 SERIES data loggers to be operated from an IBM PC. The operator can create and edit application programs on the IBM PC and download them to either the Fluke 2280B or 2285B. The data logger then handles all A/D conversions, linearizations and control functions, freeing the PC for other tasks. Programs can be developed in BASIC, or by responding to the friendly, menudriven prompts of the Fluke 2280 SERIES. To help simplify programming, the PC's screen displays a likeness of the 2280 front panel display during program development.

ProLogger software facilitates report generation, by automatically retrieving data and storing it in a report format of the user's choice.

The new package allows an IBM PC to retrieve data from a 2280 SERIES data logger and store it in a LOTUS 1-2-3 format.

ProLogger allows an IBM PC to communicate with two versatile and reliable data loggers. A Fluke 2280 SERIES data logger will satisfy virtually every input requirement: DC volts, AC volts, current, thermocouples, RTD's, strain, resistance, frequency, event totalizing, BCD, binary and contact closures. The 2280B and 2285B can be operated from a 12-volt DC power supply or applications when line voltage is not available.

The 2280B is expandable to 1,500 channels using several extender chassis. A-to-D conversion is done at each extender chassis for faster and more reliable data acquisition, even in noisy environments.

Fluke 2280 SERIES Advanced Data Loggers feature high total instrument accuracy, with 16-bit A-to-D conversion and 0.005 % DC volts accuracy.

INFORMATION MARKETING INTERNATIONAL Circle 4 on Reader Service Card A large portion of the government's spare parts procurement problem is the staggering amount of data, documentation and paperwork involved.

Anyone who wishes to do business with the government must cope with a bewildering array of specifications, standards, commercial and federal part numbers and various types of vendor and pricing information that is necessary for the procurement of spare parts. The result can be ridiculously high costs for parts and/or long delays in procurement.

For example, the USS Yellowstone, a Navy tender, was spending over $30,000 per year gathering and processing data required for the procurement of spare parts. Installation of an advanced, computerbased product-information system— aptly called "Haystack"— doubled the amount of information available to logistics personnel and cut their research time in half. The Yellowstone saves $14,130 annually in costs of just its logistics information.

Additional savings in procurement activities are accruing every day.

The Haystack system was developed by Information Marketing International (IMI)—a Ziff-Davis information company. Louis B.

Nelsen, president of IMI, explains, "Haystack provides a complete cross-reference system that stocks vital government and industrial information in an integrated electronic database. Users, working with computer terminals or personal computers, can quickly identify parts, search out sources of supply, find names and addresses of manufacturers, and check prices and product descriptions. Haystack also locates full text vendor catalogs and military/federal specifications and standards on microfiche or microfilm." IRD MECHANALYSIS Circle 5 on Reader Service Card IRD Mechanalysis, Inc. has recently developed a computer-based shipboard machinery predictive maintenance program which provides benefits of increased machinery life, reduced downtime, lower maintenance costs, earlier detection of machine defects and elimination of many ABS Special Survey openand- inspect requirements. The program includes three components: (1) software suitable for operation with shipboard personal computers, (2) a handheld portable data collector and (3) a vibration analyzer.

The data collector is automatically programmed by the computer to gather vibration, temperature, pressure, load and other operating parameter information from the ship's critical machines. It then guides the operator by LCD prompting messages as to what measurements to take. After taking the measurements, the data collector is offloaded to the computer, which automatically analyzes the results and advises shipboard personnel as to the condition of each machine by means of printed or CRT display reports. Should a report indicate that a machine has a problem, the vibration analyzer is used to pinpoint the cause (e.g., unbalance, misalignment, defective bearings) and indicate its severity.

KEEL MARINE LIMITED Circle 6 on Reader Service Card In response to the requirements for the provision of Ship Loading Calculators on many types of ships, Keel Marine offers their on-board type-approved Keel Mariner 2. This is a rugged and entirely self-contained unit, with a customized keyboard, display screen and printer, all housed within a "briefcase" unit, which can be either portable or fixed in position. The normal calculation functions of draft, trim, stability and longitudinal strength can be extended to cover grain cargo, containers and RO/RO, as well liquid, dry bulk cargo and most additional customer requirements. External communication links are provided to enable direct input from tank level gauges or direct output to SatCom or printer as required. Being a dedicated instrument, Keel Mariner 2 is extremely fast and easy to use and requires no special training.

For the multi-ship requirements of the shipowner's office or the Nautical Training College, Keel Marine also offers a Ship Loading Calculator software package, called Keel Mariner 1, which can be supplied to run on most commonly available microcomputers. Founded in 1962, Keel Marine's staff of naval architects, designers, marine engineers and surveyors carry out work on a worldwide basis, and clients include government agencies, shipbuilders, shipowners, oil companies, civil engineering companies and others. The company's services are supported by full drawing office and in-house computer facilities.


Circle 7 on Reader Service Card In August 1985, Marine Computer Management, Inc. (MCM) re- leased its Cargo Management/Hull Loading program. This program performs and displays stability, trim and allowable bending moment calculations automatically, as cargo data is entered. It can be used independently or in conjunction with shoreside computers. The system produces numerous reports and has full editing features. It stores past computed stability and trim calculations for future reference. Screen graphics are displayed for cargo management and stability analysis.

The system automates many manual calculations, saving time and improving efficiency. It is effective in cargo preplanning and tank management underway. It allows quick and accurate cargo identification and locating on-board. MCM also has programs available for vessel administration and payroll and spare parts inventory control, with enhanced versions of personnel rotation and history, planned preventive maintenance, chart and publication maintenance and stores and provisions available soon. Custom software service is also available.

Inventory data collection and engi- neering services are available through MCM's affiliates.


Circle 8 on Reader Service Card Founded in 1970, MMS develops and markets computerized management information systems for the maritime industry worldwide. MMS software applications are provided both as standardized and custom software packages relating to the complete spectrum of marine management functions, including vessel operations, fleet management, planning and accounting from shipboard to shoreside. MMS currently offers standardized ship management application systems designed to operate on the IBM personal computer, in the areas of maintenance management, vessel performance and vessel administration. The maintenance management group includes the Spare Parts Inventory Management (SPIM) and Planned Maintenance (PMS) systems, together with Condition Monitoring applications.

Under vessel performance, MMS currently offers Cargomax, a trim/ stability and stress calculation system.

Future additions will include vessel performance and voyage reporting systems. With regard to vessel administration, MMS markets the Fleet Payroll/Personnel Management (FPMS) System, which meets the shipboard and shoreside administrative requirements of the industry. All systems are fully integrated to provide a state-of-the-art ship management tool. MMS systems are installed and operating successfully for several major domestic shipping companies, including AMOCO Transport, S.P.C.

Shipping (SOHIO) and ARCO Marine.


Circle 9 on Reader Service Card MCTS specializes in the design and production of robust computer systems for the marine industry.

The company was formed in 1982 and evolved from the Shipboard Computer Group, a university research team at the Department of Maritime Studies, UWIST, Cardiff, Wales. The company offers a range of software design services for both ship and shore-based computers, covering applications such as stores and maintenance monitoring, performance monitoring and shipboard management. MCTS has developed an expandable shipboard software package centered on the TASKMASTER cargo management system.

This interactive package can be tailored to suit any vessel of any type. It is modularized to meet individual requirements and includes voyage cargo records, longitudinal strength, transverse intact stability, transverse damaged stability, Grain Rules requirements and MARPOL requirements. TASKMASTER is fully approved as a loading instrument by Lloyd's Register of Shipping and Det norske Veritas. The system can operate on either the Commodore 8296 Business Computer System or on the IBM PC-AT personal computer. The TASKMASTER (AT) Damage Stability Module has been implemented for four classes of OCL container ships covering nine different vessels.

McNAB INCORPORATED Circle 10 on Reader Service Card McNab's Fuel Management System is a self-contained, microcomputer- based package of hardware and software designed to allow vessel operators to maximize profits by minimizing fuel costs. The system incorporated shoreside accounting and scheduling information along with automatically monitored vessel performance data to arrive at a reliable analysis of per voyage profit versus vessel speed. Shaft torque, shaft rpm, propeller thrust, fuel consumption and voyage speed are continuously monitored and fed to the system, which accurately calcu- lates on the basis of that information and financial data the voyage speed to produce the greatest profit or even minimize a loss. U.S. government studies have concluded that fuel savings of up to 30% may be achieved in this manner. The McNab Fuel Management System also gives valuable insight into vessel drag, hull and propeller efficiency.

This allows the operator to determine when it is most cost-effective to recoat the hull or clean the prop. McNab, Inc., has been a marine instrumentation manufacturer since 1909 and is recognized as a leader in the industry.

NAV-COM INCORPORATED Circle 11 on Reader Service Card BUSISHIP is an advanced computer- based shipboard management information system developed by NAV-COM Incorporated for operation on the popular and powerful IBM PC-XT and PC-AT microcomputers.

NAV-COM is an official value- added dealer for IBM, and has enhanced the basic IBM hardware with extensive ruggedization for the marine environment and with integrated software packages for marine management. BUSISHIP is a "family" of data systems and solutions, which offers a total solution to the overall information and reporting requirements of ships and shoreside offices. The basic building block for BUSISHIP is the shipboard workstation, an IBM PC/XT with 10MB hard disk and cassette back-up, a monochrome monitor, a high-speed dot-matrix printer with graphics capability and a modem for data communications.

A similar computer, without the shipboard ruggedization, can be used in the shoreside office, and extensive capabilities have been built into BUSISHIP for data communications between ship and shore. The system incorporates a 2,400-bps modem and built-in error correction capabilities, and is compatible with most standard European and U.S. medium-speed data protocols, including CCITT V.22 bis, to exchange files, reports and messages rapidly and accurately between computers. BUSISHIP is designed to permit users to realize the full benefits of modern electronic mail techniques for sending and receiving text through satellite voice channels. This can produce savings of $8,000 or more per year for typical commercial ships in reduced satellite calling charges. NAV-COM, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Magnavox Government and Industrial Electronics Company, offers a turnkey package that includes system design, software development, systems integration, installation, documentation, training and worldwide service.

OCEAN MOTIONS COMPANY Circle 12 on Reader Service Card Over 240 ships have installed Ucean Motions Company software and hardware for tasks ranging from traditional trim, stability and strength to very sophisticated stability calculations in wind and waves. Ocean Motions offers Ship Loading Programs for operation on all IBM PC, PC-XT and PC-AT computers, with fully illustrated user manuals, and also a series of Ship Loading Computers, which are fully marinized against shipboard shock, vibration, power transients and line noise. All Ocean Motions software is menu driven with simple prompts and complete input error checking. Six loading conditions are preprogrammed for immediate retrieval, and tonnage, ullage, specific gravity and percent-full changes to bring the nearest condition in line with the user's required load out. In containerships, the stowage/load/ discharge sequence is continuously tracked and presented to the user so that he retains the most practical and efficient container distribution.

Sophisticated calculations of any stranded, damaged, flooded and intact ship are made easy for the loading officer/master/shore manager by very carefully written minimum input algorithms. Also available from Ocean Motions is the new Stability Alarm, which is absolutely unique and a definite breakthrough in shipboard computer technology. It continuously and automatically senses ship stability. Not to be confused with a traditional loading computer, the Stability Alarm is entirely automatic with no user inputs. It is in effect a navigation feedback device, telling the helmsman how his heading and speed increase or decrease the vessel's stability. Recent installations and orders for Ocean Motions include the General Dynamics Maritime Prepositioning Ships, Avondale T-AO 187 fleet oilers, Sohio West Coast tankers, USCG barge monitoring, Western Geophysical and many other commercial vessels from 30-295 feet.

A.S. SKARPENORD Circle 14 on Reader Service Card A.S. Skarpenord is manufacturer of Cargomaster computerized tank monitoring systems for closed level gauging, temperature monitoring and inert gas pressure monitoring in one system. The system will also measure the density/specific gravity of the cargos and present the volume and weight in each tank, groups of tanks or all tanks jointly. An online/ off-line loading computer, draught measurement, cargo line pressure and automatic pump and valve control can be integrated in Cargomaster. The system is based on a specially designed pressure/ temperature sensor. The installation has no moving parts and can withstand all types of tankwashing.

The materials selected for the sensor are of highest quality nickel alloys, resisting the most aggressive acids. Cargomaster has since 1979 been installed on chemical, products and crude oil tankers with excellent results. The system has also been installed on semi-submersible rigs under the name Rigmaster for ballast control, draught measurement and stability calculation.


Circle 15 on Reader Service Card The AMOS-D marine maintenance program has been developed by SpecTec A.S., the daughter company of Arnesen, Christensen & Co., one of Norway's oldest and most respected shipping consultant firms. The system is based on Arnesen, Christensen's 70 years of experience in the field and has been developed through intimate cooperation between SpecTec's own inhouse maintenance engineers and computer specialists. Most recently, the AMOS-D system was installed on the M/S Mariella, Viking Lines' luxury passenger ferry. AMOS-D provides the user with full control of maintenance planning and reporting while simultaneously winning the struggle for coordinated spare parts administration. With AMOSD, a complete overview of what needs to be done, what has been done, who did it, when and where, plus the kind of "bird's-eye view" of parts inventory that maintenance supervisors need, are all available at the touch of a key. Automatic and selective parts requisitioning, onekey search for components and spare parts, full library of vendors, detailed information at all levels and statistic routines for spare parts consumption and maintenance expenses are standard features. The system is based on a logically structured menu interface which guides the user to the desired operation with clear instructions, written by maintenance experts instead of computer programmers. This menu interface has grown and matured through the several months of testing on actual installation sites and through feedback from users working with AMOS-D daily. SpecTec has installed over 50 systems and instructed some 100 maintenance engineers.

STANWICK CORPORATION Circle 16 on Reader Service Card The Stanwick Maintenance Management System integrates preventive maintenance and repairs with a management information system. It provides preprinted maintenance work orders and collects cost and repair data for each item of equipment maintained. Complete machinery histories can be printed on command. Other reports include executive summaries of maintenance not accomplished, maintenance labor and material and material expended and repair labor and material expended. Stanwick's programs are designed to run on IBM-PC microcomputers. Stanwick offers programs for onboard inventory control and preventive maintenance.

The Spare Parts Inventory Program prints a list of spare parts according to a shipping company's numbering system, cross-referenced to a manufacturer's or vendor's part number, associated costs, quantities on hand, on order and order date.

The listing provides an interface between the ship's crew and the purchasing department ashore. Reports include stock status, reorder reports, excessive parts on hand and inventory value.


Circle 17 on Reader Service Card Three Quays Marine Services range of shipboard computer uses have been developed over many years of onboard experience. A data communications system is in service transmitting ships' performance data, accounts, reports and routine mail from IBM PC to PC via satellite. This has more than halved costs compared with telex. Three Quays will convert current paperbased reports and analysis forms to a computer format and integrate with performance monitoring and communications. The hull, propeller and machinery performance of 100 ships is being monitored by a Three Quays program which analyzes routine log book data. This software provides a continuous assessment of vessel performance and the ability to predict future performance using alternative hull maintenance options. Hitherto, this has been done ashore, but the availability of onboard micros allows data to be inputted onboard and only the condensed results transmitted to shore. Monitoring the performance of diesel engines has also received Three Quays attention.

DECAMS is a computer based system using a custom-made computer as a data acquisition and the shipboard micro as the analysis unit.

This enables the combustion parameters of all engines onboard to be measured, recorded and compared with a calculated standard for the current operating conditions.

This allows the engine to be kept to the peak of fuel efficiency while avoiding damage due to burning fuels of variable ignition and combustion quality. The key is to be able to compare performance fully, correcting for current service power, ambient conditions and fuel characteristics.


Circle 18 on Reader Service Card TIMSCO, Inc., of Mobile, Alabama, offers shipboard computer applications for any type and size of vessel using IBM PC XT/AT or 100 % compatible computers. Package currently available includes the Fleet Management System for shoreside users, Spare Parts Inventory Control System, Stores & Provisions Inventory/Requisitioning System, Planned/Preventive Maintenance System, Regulatory Body Inspection System, Transport Analysis System and Rig Management System. Through a cooperative marketing agreement with Marine Computer Management, Inc., of Martinez, California, TIMSCO offers the additional software packages, including vessel administration and payroll, cargo management and hull loading, voyage planning and navigation system. As a representative of Palomar Technology International, TIMSCO provides hardware, software and field services for vibration monitoring and vibration analysis of rotating machinery.


Circle 19 on Reader Service Card Veson, Inc., showed a wide variety of shipping computer programs at the recent International Maritime Exposition at the New York Hilton.

Veson has pioneered the development of super-microcomputer applications for the shipping industry.

The company combines the current hardware and software technologies with extensive business management experience to create what is termed "The Shipping Office of the Future." The company's systems reach well beyond the era of the personal computers. They are multiuser, modular, expandable systems accommodating from one to 120 users.

Installations have been made in companies ranging from four-person offices to Fortune 100 corporations.

On display at the SNAME exposition were applications relating to operations planning and control, charter management and voyage estimating, accounting, crew information and payroll, vessel spares and maintenance management, information analysis for decision support, telexing and word processing, connection to data base networks and international office communications.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 58,  Dec 1985

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First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.