Wharf Impact Monitoring

Port Wharf Monitoring

Berthing Impact Monitoring

Port Wharf Monitoring


Smart Fender System, is a new cost realistic fender movement monitoring technology, that revolutionizes harbor fendering with sensor based / software aided Fender Design Weakness & Imminent Fender Failure Warnings, real time Berthing Accident & Fender Damage Alarms, and berthing impact statistical utilities.  The many new capabilities made possible by the invention of the Smart Fender System will promote better berthing & fendering practices, and elevate harbor safety & maintenance standards.

The Smart Fender technology was developed from aviation inertial guidance technologies, through close collaborations between the world’s top marine monitoring experts and marine fender specialists.

Real Time Accident & Damage Alarms Functions

Fender Damage Alarms

By monitoring fender movement range and static recovery posture, Smart Fender System can detect fender system permanent deformation, fender panel permanent deformation, and fender restraining device damages

Ship Berthing Contact Speed & Energy Amplitude Alarms

Smart Fender System monitors ship berthing contact speed, calculates ship berthing energy amplitude, and generates alarms when berthing energy amplitude exceeds fender system design capacity

Ship Berthing Impact Load Alarms

Smart Fender System monitors the Combined Instantaneous Reaction Load of all fender elastomers on the pier and generates alarms when it exceeds preset pier structural limit

3D Fender Excessive Movement Alarms

Smart Fender System monitors fender 3D movements and generate alarms when excessive displacement (such as fender over compression), speed (such as berthing speed) or angle (such as berthing angle) is detected.

Advance Fender Design & Maintenance Warning Functions

Insufficient Fender Design Warnings

Smart Fender System automatically detects most common fender system design weaknesses.  This allow Preemptive Fender Design Optimization be performed to avoid fender permanent damages and consequential damages on ship and dock structures.

Imminent Fender Failure Warnings

By following long term fender deterioration trends, Smart Fender System can predict imminent fender failures due to natural deterioration, which allows Preemptive Fender Maintenance be performed to minimize adverse influences of emergency fender maintenance.

Fender Statistical Design Optimization & Investigation Utilities

Historical Berthing Impact Distribution Graph

Visualization of berth historical ship impact statistics allows easy optimization of berth fender system design, through fender asset reconfiguration and redistribution according to the actual demands of the application.

Historical Data Replay

The recorded historical fender movement / berthing impact data can be replayed on demand on the Smart Fender System GUI, for fender design optimization or accident / damage investigation purposes.

System overview

Waterfront components to be installed on EACH fender system:

  • One LIS Local Interface Station with wireless antenna
  • A number of PSU Positioning Sensor Units connected to the LIS
  • A quick exchange battery to power LIS / PSU, if shore power is not used
  • All field components enclosed in submersible housings, installed on fender system rigid frontal structures, such as a front panel.

Onshore / control room components

  • A  CS Central Station running Smart Fender central software
  • Wireless access points / bridges connecting field components to the CS

General Principles of Operation

  • The Smart Fender System uses motion sensors and other auxiliary sensors to track the position and attitude of a fender system, using a modified Inertial Guidance algorithm.  3D dynamic model of the fender system is generated on a computer to measure the fender motions ( displacement / velocity / rotation ) in six degrees of freedom.  Based on measured motion data, ship berthing energy amplitude and combined berth fender reaction load are derived in real time.  Furthermore, by tracking historical fender motion statistics, in comparison with fender design criteria and principles, Smart Fender System can detect fender under design and predict imminent failure.
  • A number of Positioning Sensor Units ( PSU ) are installed on the predetermined locations on the rigid fender frontal structure.  By tracking the 3D coordinates of the PSUs through their local LIS, the Smart Fender System can also track position and attitude of the fender frontal structure.
  • Based on the geometrical relations between the fender elastomers and their frontal structure, Smart Fender System can also track the spatial coordinates of the fender elastomer centers and calculate the corresponding fender compression values.  Reaction forces of each individual fender elastomer are then retrieved from fender compression – reaction database, and summed into the Combined Fender Reaction Load on the berth after applying appropriate angle / speed / temperature correction factors.
  • Ship Berthing Energy Amplitude is calculated using traditional ship berthing energy formula, based on known ship weights / correction factors, and the Initial Ship Berthing Contact Speed detected upon each berthing impact.
  • If the static recovery posture of the fender system changes significantly before and after each impact, Fender System Permanent Deformation alarm or Fender Panel Permanent Deformation alarm will be triggered.  When fender motion envelope, as determined by fender restraining devices, is breached, Smart Fender System will initiate Fender Restraining Device Damage alarm.
  • Fender system motion envelope design, based on worst case berthing impact scenario plus proper safety factors, is an integral part of fender system design process.  While every event of fender motion envelope breach means an accident, frequent approaches to the fender motion envelope is a signature of fender capacity under design.  Smart Fender System keeps track of the approach frequency of fender motions towards its design envelope, and generate Insufficient Fender Design warnings when fender movement envelope is approached at unusually high frequency.  The probable causes of the detected fender design weaknesses are shown for reference, so that Preemptive Fender Design Optimization can be performed before permanent fender damages and other consequential damages occur.  For instance, if fender rated compression is approached more than a few times a month, it would be a clear sign of fender energy absorption under design.
  • Each fender system, in its fixed location on the berth with a fixed set of berthing vessels, usually has statistically stable “general compression range” and “static recovery posture”, both change gradually over time as fender deteriorates under natural conditions.  By following the long term trends of fender deterioration signatures, Smart Fender System can predict imminent fender failures due to natural fender deterioration.  This allows Preemptive Fender Maintenance be performed to minimize costly emergency fender maintenance.
  • Many new possibilities arise from the invention of Smart Fender System, such as fender assets reconfiguration / redistribution based on historical berthing impact distribution, or accident / damage investigation using historical data replay.

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