NYK Develops Original Software That Diagnoses Combustion Chamber Problems

October 16, 2018

NYK and MTI have jointly developed new original software that uses photo data to prevent accidents by quickly determining the causes of failures at an early stage. The images are provided by Kirari NINJA*, an NYK Group–developed device that can photograph the interior of a vessel engine’s combustion chamber. The new diagnostic software allows NYK to prevent accidents by quickly determining the causes of failures at an early stage. The NYK Group has also developed a smaller version of Kirari NINJA that can take photos inside smaller cylinders and thus improve operability and convenience.

1. Background

In the combustion chamber surrounded by the cylinder liner and piston, low temperature corrosion and abnormal abrasion can cause serious troubles. To address this issue, in 2015 NYK developed Kirari NINJA, which enables users to realize the precise condition of the combustion chamber interior and thus eliminate the need for the long, hard process of disassembling the chamber to examine the interior condition.

The NYK Group has combined this photo data with operational data collected by the ship information management system (SIMS) and engine data collected by an electronic checklist to developed software that can diagnose internal chamber conditions. Moreover, the NYK Group now has a smaller version of Kirari NINJA — named “Kirari NINJA-DS" — to improve the use and convenience of the device.

2. Characteristics of Software for Combustion Chamber Diagnosis

(1) Displaying photos in chronological order allows changes in cylinder condition to be visually confirmed.
(2) Merging the photos into one image allows the entire condition of the cylinder to be realized at a glance.
(3) Displaying the operation data and other data together gives clues to the relationship between the cause of condition change and the operation data.
(4) Reviewing the photos allows for an appropriate determination of the amount of lubricating oil, oil film, etc.

Using this software, the NYK Group can take appropriate precautionary measures before the development of major trouble, as well as perform maintenance that is based on the actual condition of the chamber (i.e., condition based maintenance), thereby reducing maintenance cost and maintaining safe operations.

Software Screen

3. Upgrades and Size Reduction

Kirari NINJA comprises a 360-degree panoramic camera and lighting. Once installed on the upper part of the piston in the combustion chamber, photographs in all directions of the interior can be taken during one round of vertical piston movement (approximately 10 minutes). The NYK Group has improved Kirari NINJA’s heat resistance, reduced its power consumption, and improved data transmission and charging power, in addition to reducing its size so that it can be used on engines having diameters of 50 cm or less.

Blue: the former Kirari NINJA

4. Future

In its medium-term management plan “Staying Ahead 2022 with Digitalization and Green” released in March, NYK announced a strategy to achieve sustainable growth. The NYK Group will continue to advance digitalization by collaborating with various partners and making use of the group’s operational expertise and accumulated data to create new value.

* Kirari NINJA
This device is jointly manufactured with Daitron Co., Ltd. (head office: Osaka; president: Isayuki Mae).
Announcement on September 3, 2015, “NYK and MTI Jointly Develop Industry-first Automatic Camera Device for Monitoring a Vessel's Engine,”

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