New trends continue to emerge in all sectors of the economy. The marine sector has not been left behind. Marine engineering services have also recorded many changes that are driving the marine industry to levels that have never been seen before. The changes are intended to help solve problems such as environmental pollution and enhance efficiency. They are also intended to help curb the ever-rising cost of fuel. Here are the most critical trends in the marine engineering or industry.
Trends in Marine engineering are –
1. Liquefied Natural Gas and turbine generated electricity.
As the cost of quality fuel goes up, there is a need to think of alternative fuel that can be used to propel ships. Liquefied Natural Gas and turbine generated electricity are some of the options available. Research on electricity powered vessels is ongoing while LNG is already being used to power ships and other vessels. LNG is inexpensive and environmentally friendly. Also, the amount of CO2 released when burnt is minimal. It explains why the production of LNG fuelled engine is on the rise. Also, LNG engines do not emit SOx gas and have reduced the emission of NOx gas by 92 %.
2. 3D Printing Technology
Other industries have for a long time enjoyed the benefits associated with 3D printing. The technology has made it possible for engineers to construct real objects. This is the technology that is currently employed to produce scientific equipment. Furthermore, it can also be used to create structures for numerous applications. In the marine industry, technology has made it possible to design-build advanced and efficient naval vessels. The ships feature complex geometries and electrical circuits. Very soon, technology will be used to help in repairing marine vessels. Also, it is hoped that the continued use of this technology will bring about the third industrial revolution.
3. Use of Robots
For many years, many sectors have benefited from using robots to perform specific tasks. It has helped to enhance efficiency in those sectors. Unfortunately, the marine industry was left out of this. But the shipbuilding industry has started using robots to perform tasks like inspecting electrical components and blasting. They are also deploying robots to perform dangerous tasks like weld and lift heavy materials. The robots are also being used to find and repair faulty circuits in ships and other naval vessels
4. Integrated Electric Propulsion technology
The technology allows the turbines to generate three-phase electricity. The electricity is then used to power motors that turn on water jets. The system uses electric transmission and not the traditional clutches and gearboxes. With time, this technology will allow for designing and constructing ships that are less in volume and weight. Designers are working hard to use the technology to manufacture less noisy ships which can be deployed to military purposes.
There are plenty of trends in the marine engineering field. They are intended to make the industry safe and efficient. But the use of robots, deployment of 3D printing and generation of electricity from turbines are among the leading ones.