Digitalization Activities

We promote "Digitalization" initiatives for solving the various issues faced by our sites by making use of digital technologies and analyzing collected data to create new value. The Group has on-site employees that turn their ingenuity into actions, and our four labs (i.e., Monohakobi Technology Institute (MTI), Japan Marine Science Inc. (JMS), NYK Business Systems Co. Ltd., and startup Symphony Creative Solutions Pte. Ltd.) work together with one another and external partners to create solutions.

Implementing Ship Information Management System [SIMS]

Through the implementation of SIMS (Ship Information Management System) in 2008, the NYK Group has been able to share data among workplaces on land and sea in real time, including detailed hourly updates on shipping operations and data related to fuel consumption. Optimized economic vessel operations and energy-saving operations are realized by visualization of information and close information-sharing among crew members, shipowners, ship operators, and ship managers. SIMS has been installed on 199 of our operating vessels (as of the end of December 2021).

<Vessels> Launching Shipmanagement Platform [NiBiKi]

The NYK Group developed the shipmanagement platform for data sharing called "NiBiKi" and launched services in December 2018. In accordance with the Safety Management System (SMS) manual, onboard crew are required to file reports about safety management to the shipmanagement company. However, the conventional operation flow had some inefficiencies. Crews would have to draft various reports and applications, and then send emails with attachments to the shipmanagement company to obtain approval. Afterward, crews would need to file printouts of the reports to retain on board. Moreover, the information reported by the ship was not being used efficiently to analyze this data, etc., because each vessel and shipmanagement company would file the data independently. Given this issue, the NYK Group developed the NiBiKi system, which digitalizes SMS manual documents and the application and approval workflow, thereby making it possible for crews to report and request approval accurately in a short period of time by simply completing the prescribed forms following the instructions. Furthermore, the data accumulated in the NiBiKi system will be shared with ship operators and shipmanagement companies for high-quality big data analyses, enabling linkages with conventional safety and crew health activities. Going forward, we plan to build a more comprehensive system and further utilize data for crew training and drills.

Issues in Shipmanagement Operations Benefits of NiBiKi

<Operations Management> Establishment of Remote Diagnostic Center (RDC)

Remote Diagnostic Center

As a part of efforts to digitally manage ships, in August 2020 the Remote Diagnostic Center (RDC) was established inside NYK-FIL Maritime E-Training, Inc. Seafarer Training Center in the Philippines.
From onshore, the RDC monitors the engine plants of approximately 200 vessels equipped with SIMS.
The RDC will contribute to fuel conservathion and the prevention of
incidents of serious engine troubles for NYK fleet.

<Construction Sites> Building Environmentally Friendly Vessels [High-efficiency Propellers]

Testing a model propeller in a water tank (left) and observations of an actual vessel (right)

NYK, together with MTI Co., Ltd. and Furuno Electric Co., Ltd., has developed sensors to measure the flow of water around ship in opeation. The collected data is shared with Japan Marine United Corporation for analysis and utilization. Using the simulations reflecting actual ship, we have designed a more efficient propeller that reduces CO2 emissions by about 2%. Plans call for performing the same measurements on a large crude oil tanker built in 2020, and then deploying the technology to other types of vessels. We will utilize this full-scale simulation technology to designing hull forms as lower resistance toward 2050.

Taking Part in "i-Shipping," a Japanese Government R&D Project for Advanced Safety Technology

IoT and other information technology are showing enormous potential to transform the shipping industry. Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) is promoting research and development projects in this new technical area for a "productivity revolution in the maritime business" (i-Shipping). NYK, MTI, and other industry partners are now cooperating and pursuing technological development initiatives on four i-Shipping projects, including "vessel machinery plant trouble-prevention" and "collision avoidance and autonomous operation."

Promoting Innovation in the Maritime Industry

Investment in fundamental big data technology and involvement in active development are indispensable for achieving safe, economical, and environmentally friendly operations. The Group will promote a safe and efficient onboard IoT platform, in addition to digitalization initiatives, for innovation with shipbuilding companies, equipment manufacturers, ship classification societies, and various partners.