R&D department of TSI addresses one of the horizons of the company's strategy, focused on research and development of different research lines, market innovations, product developments as well as state of the art processes with the main objective to maintain TSI in a leading position of this specialized engineering sector. This position is of vital importance for the company with a view to be competitive in the market and offering quality engineering solutions to our customers following the latest trends in the sector.
R&D and innovation are an essential part of TSI’s philosophy, which since its foundation propose engineering solutions one step ahead of the current state of the art. This has been possible thanks to the actions carried out in the R&D department. All the knowledge and experience in the field of Noise and Vibrations accumulated over the years through the execution of projects to a large number of customers enabled the creation of an R&D department to fulfil with the medium and long-term objectives of product development, engineering services, technological advances, and technical capabilities with high added value.
These actions allowed to the company to access new markets and expand the capabilities of their internal network of multidisciplinary experts, which facilitates the development of new technological challenges of innovation.
Thanks to this work philosophy and its broad knowledge base, a perfect symbiosis is promoted between the R&D Team and the Engineering Team within the company. On one hand, this symbiosis supposes for the R&D team a deeper understanding of the market needs as well as the latest engineering problems and technical solutions offered in our industrial activities. On the other hand, this symbiosis is essential to updated the Engineering Team with the latest innovations, advances, and products developed by the R&D department, which can be included in the company engineering services.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT LINES
All this background and experience mentioned in our R&D vision, it is essential to define the main research lines of the Strategic Research Plan, which evolves in line with the market needs and the achievement of strategic results. The current research lines of the department are focused on the following activities:
Underwater Radiated Noise and its Mitigation:
- Continuously expanding knowledge of URN and the behaviour of noise sources on board ship.
- Optimisation of the methodology for predicting URN emitted by ships. Extension of knowledge related to the emission of noise generated by the propeller.
- Continuous improvement and optimization of the URN measurement system and noise sources on board.
- Obtaining transfer functions between the offboard URN acoustic signature with respect to the main onboard noise sources by means of an on-board monitoring system.
- Extension of URN database of ships, extending it to floating and fixed offshore structures.
- Promotion of the harmonisation of measurement methodologies and post-processing of data provided by regulatory bodies.
- Engage maritime stakeholders in this technology to make them aware of this issue and the impact that it is producing in the marine fauna.
Cavitation Detection by Vibration Monitoring:
- Improvement and refinement of the system to obtain the identification of the type of cavitation according to the level of vibrations.
- Optimization of the cavitation detection system installation.
- Optimization of user interface and other possible improvements based on feedback from current customers.
Monitoring of Industrial Assets and Application of Industry 4.0:
- Optimization of industrial asset monitoring methodology based on industry 4.0 tools and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.
- Design optimization of structural health monitoring (SHM) systems and rotating machines. Application to industrial facilities, ships and renewable floating offshore platforms.
- Improvement of the methodology for obtaining and selecting data (KPIs) for Digital Twin Models
- Leveraging the knowledge base of monitoring and application of innovative industry 4.0 and Internet of Things tools for the development of new maintenance methodologies.
- Optimization of data analysis and condition-based maintenance (CBM) methodologies for main machinery and auxiliary equipment.
- Development of predictive maintenance (PDM) applied to ships (vessel 4.0), shipyards (shipyard 4.0) and other industrial facilities.
Composite Materials Based on Fibre:
- Optimization of structural design processes of fibre-based vessels.
- Development of design methodology of renewable floating offshore platforms.
- Use of acquired knowledge for the optimisation of structural health monitoring (SHM) methodology. Optimisation of delamination identification by means of vibrations.
- Expansion of knowledge derived from the use of composite materials
- Engage maritime stakeholders in this technology to make them aware of its benefits and the positive impact that it can produce to shipbuilding and shipping according to the European Green Deal and the objective of Zero-Emission by 2050.
TSI has been involved in several European projects funded by the FP7 and H2020 framework programs. These projects have been beneficial to increase TSI’s visibility in Europe and Spain through their execution and dissemination in a large number of conferences, seminars and fairs.
The first three R&D projects in which TSI was involved, BESST, SILENV and AQUO, were mainly related to underwater radiated noise (URN) from ships and on board noise and vibration propagation. The fourth one, INCASS, was focused on the analysis and improvement of condition-based monitoring, inspection and maintenance methodologies for ships. And the last one, FIBRESHIP, a project that has been led and coordinated by TSI, has been a milestone for an SME such as TSI. This last project has been focused on the study of the feasibility of using composite materials in large-length vessels, addressing the problem from different points of view (both technical, business and regulatory), trying to lay the foundations for the creation of a new market. Many efforts have been made to disseminate and promote the project. A clear example is its presentation at IMO (International Maritime Organization) with the idea of promoting regulatory evolutions in the SOLAS regulation, and enabling the use of this type of material in ships of more than 500GT (i.e. approximately more than 50 metres in length).
The projects referred to are briefly described below:
European FP7 programme, Ships oriented Innovative soLutions to rEduce Noise & Vibrations was led by Naval Group (France, company previously known as DCNS) and was focussed to the definition of an acoustic green label of Noise & Vibration (N&V) to minimize the environmental impact of all sort of ships. The rest of the Consortium was integrated by universities and research centres (such as Cehipar, UPC, VTT, University of Strathclyde, etc.), classification societies (Bureau Veritas) and other engineering companies such as CETENA, INSEAN, ACCIONA and TSI, among others. This project provided an holistic approach not only on the N&V energy onboard but also on the noise radiated in the air affecting the harbours and other coastal surroundings, along with underwater radiated noise by ships and its effects on the marine fauna TSI led one of the Work Packages of the project, which was focused in the elaboration of a N&V database carrying out onboard measurements in several sort of vessels and in the definition of design requirements to decrease N&V levels and keep them under the defined limits.
European FP7 programme, Breakthrough in European Ship and Shipbuilding Technologies was led by Fincantieri, STX-Europe, Meyer Werft and TKM Group; the rest of the partners were the most important Classification Societies and Noise & Vibration engineering companies in Europe. BESST aimed to achieve breakthroughs in competitiveness, environmentally friendliness and safety of European passenger ships, ferries and mega-yachts, analysing the life cycle impact regarding the conventional vessel designs and the main sources (propellers, engines, etc.) and their direct effect on N&V onboard. TSI, among other tasks, was in charge of the radiated noise emitted by ships to the harbour, both airborne and underwater.
European FP7 programme, Achieve QUieter Oceans by shipping noise footprint reduction. Was led by Naval Group (France, previously known as DCNS). The rest of the consortium was participated by several companies, universities and research centres such as QuietOceans, Bureau Veritas, University of Strathclyde, UPC, Cehipar and TSI, among others. The main objective of the project was the assessment and mitigation of noise impacts of the maritime transport on the marine environment, being this topic within the framework of “The Ocean of Tomorrow Projects” and in accordance to the European Directive 2008/56/EC (Marine Framework Strategy Directive), in which the underwater noise is widely considered. The project was supported by relevant innovative methods and tools, which have been used so far to assess the effectiveness of noise mitigation means and enabling the selection of the most appropriate ones depending on the vessel. TSI led the Work Package related to noise on-site measurements, developing a unique class notation of URN measurement along with Bureau Veritas (BV-NR614), which addresses a proper methodology as well as a recorded data post-process and its possible uncertainties. In addition, TSI also designed a buoy to perform URN tests of the vessels considered in the project. During the project, it was developed and managed a end-user committee with 23 stakeholders of the shipping industry, academic community and policy makers.
European FP7 programme, INspection CApabilities for Enhanced Ship Safety. Was led by University of Strathclyde and participated by a set of partners such as BV, TSI, RINA, LR, DANAOS, among others. The challenge of the project was to deal with different solutions for efficient monitoring and ship inspections activities bringing together a set of experienced partners in order to address the issue of identification of risks and the access to information related to ship surveys independently of the ship flag state and inspection regime: The project attempted to enhance and harmonised cooperation among maritime stakeholders in order to avoid ship accidents, promote maritime safety and protect the environment. INCASS consortium aims to bring an innovative solution to the integration of monitoring, inspection, data gathering (including real-time information), risk analysis/management and Decision Support for ship structures, machinery and equipment in an efficient and collaborative manner. In addition, a non-intrusive cavitation detection system was developed by means of a vibration analysis algorithm.
European H2020 programme, Engineering, production and life-cycle management for the complete construction of large-length FIBRE-based SHIPs. is led by TSI. The goal of FIBRESHIP is to enable the design, construction and operation of large-length vessels in fibre-reinforced polymers (FRP) through the overcoming of several key technical challenges. To achieve this objective, the project is developing and qualifying innovative composite materials for marine applications, establishing new design and production guidelines and procedures, analysing life cycle strategies and methodologies of monitoring and inspection; and developing new validated computational analysis tools, among other activities related to the shipping market. The different technologies generated in FIBRESHIP have been validated and demonstrated using advanced simulation techniques and experimental testing. In addition, TSI designed a ship block of a fishing research vessel fully in composites, and it was built as a demonstrator by one of the shipyards involved in the project (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO9S1uSPehg&t=2s). In this project it is also analysing the behaviour of a composite vessel in terms of URN and N&V on board. FIBRESHIP project is still in progress and it is expected to be finished by the mid of 2020. The FIBRESHIP project consortium developed an Advisory Board engaging the most important companies, public entities and research centres in the maritime sector, and also prepared 3 public workshops all around Europe to show the progress and conclusions of each of the work packages (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vqdEkZIVxk).
PROMOTION OF SYNERGIES AND NETWORKING
From the point of view of promoting synergies and contact networks, the actions of the R&D department are essential to increase the impact of TSI in the sectors in which it participates, creating and maintaining relations of interest with other companies, promoting national and international business, present our researches in international conferences and publishing scientific articles in multiple engineering and scientific dissemination channels.
After decades of work in the Shipping and Shipbuilding sector with outstanding results for different sort of clients, TSI have been broadening its network of companies as a valuable and trusted partner to develop specific and innovative engineering solutions to overcome the challenges of the industry. TSI and its partnership network have been continuously active in R&D activities and projects, thanks to their common strategy in being innovative and disruptive with the idea of improving its industrial and research capabilities.
This result-oriented capability of TSI has allowed it to participate in several R&D consortiums as key partner; engaging stakeholders and regulatory bodies in order to increase their own expectations and pull the right triggers of change to move forward efficiently in innovative technologies for the maritime and industrial sectors. Engaging actions have been carried out disseminating R&D results through conferences, specialised magazines, commercial fairs, among other fora of the engineering sectors.
TSI has actively participated in several initiatives and events all over the world related to its research lines, authoring and co-authoring several publications & presentations in various conferences and workshops such as:
- International conferences: OMAE, TRA, OCEANS, OCEANOISE, COPINAVAL-CIDIN, etc.
- Fincantieri URN workshops – Trieste, 2014 – April & November 2018
- IMO URN Workshops – Transport Canada – London & Vancouver, Feb & November 2019
- IMO SDC7 – London 2020
- E-LASS seminars – Vigo & Bremen, April 2019 & January 2020
Several Spanish conferences and seminars engaging policy makers and stakeholders in Spain regarding the need of control N&V and URN of vessels
TSI is used to collaborate with different organizations (large companies, SMEs, research centres, universities, etc.) in order to search for European funding to address R&D projects and promote competitive consortiums. These consortiums must be able to fulfill the selected scope of the project in the best way, which gives an idea of the importance of the proper selection of partners. Knowing R&D programs, its mechanisms and how to obtain the approval of the proposals to carry out projects is mandatory to prepare winning projects. TSI is capable to perform these actions and participate in European funding projects.
LINKS OF INTEREST
GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS / INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS / SPANISH ASSOCIATIONS