Operate Computers and Computer Networks on Ships

Course Topics

  • 4.1 Main features of data processing.
  • 4.2 Construction and use of computer networks on ships-communication.
  • 4.3 Bridge-based, engine- room based and commercial computer use.
  • 4.4 PMS.
  • 4.5 Engine Monitoring Systems.

4.1 Main features of data processing.

4.1 General Computer Usage:


1. Ships contain a wide variety of machinery and equipment which are running literally round the clock. Since it is critical that these machineries keep running smoothly, it is utterly necessary to keep a close check on the various parameters which could blow the whistle if anything seems to be going wrong. There are hundreds of such parameters such as range of temperatures, pressures, flow rates, level changes and so forth. Earlier such records used to be recorded manually in books and it is still the practice in most cases. Over a period of time computers would take over and it would be much easier to store, retrieve, transmit, analyze and interpret this data for later purposes with the use of computers and related paraphernalia. This would increase reliability and efficiency of record keeping and in turn would improve performance.


2. Similarly non-technical data exists in abundance such as inventory of spares, spares used, spares changed, consumables purchased, lubricating oil inventory and usage, fuel oil usage and inventory. This data can also be stored with ease and can be visualized graphically in the form of graphs and charts which would give the trends in utilization over a period of time. Likewise spares parts inventory control can be done much more effectively when computer power is utilized for the purpose.


3. PMS stands for planned maintenance system and refers to the process of carrying out routine maintenance operations on various machineries based on different parameters such as manufacturer’s instructions, running hours, timeframe and past experience. Since the list of small parts which need to be serviced can easily run into thousands, it would be very difficult if not impossible to remember each and every part. In a computer based PMS application, the system itself generates a list of items that are due for maintenance and any other reminders. Apart from that the parts which have been serviced are documented in the PMS with any relevant comments/suggestions which could be of immense use when the next opportunity arises and new staff is on board.