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What is UMS ship and Its SOLAS Requirement

What is UMS ship and what are its requirements? UMS stands for Unmanned Machinery Space, which means that the ship’s engine room does not require constant human supervision or attendance. UMS ships are designed to operate with automated systems that monitor and control the machinery, such as propulsion, power generation, ventilation, fire detection and suppression, etc. UMS ships can reduce the crew size, operational costs and human errors, as well as improve safety and efficiency.

What is UMS ship

UMS ship is a type of vessel that has a marine automation system for its engine room. It means that there are no engineer officers on watch in the engine room during certain periods of time, and any malfunction or alarm is notified to the duty engineer who has to investigate and rectify it. UMS ship has to meet certain requirements for fire protection, flooding prevention, bridge control, alarm system, emergency generator, etc. to ensure safety and efficiency of operation.

However, UMS ships also have some special requirements that need to be met in order to ensure their reliability and performance. Some of these requirements are:

– The ship’s automation system must be able to perform various functions, such as starting and stopping the machinery, adjusting the speed and load, switching between different modes of operation, detecting and isolating faults, initiating emergency procedures, etc. The automation system must also have a backup power supply and a manual override option in case of failure.

– The ship’s crew must be trained and qualified to operate and maintain the UMS ship. The crew must be familiar with the automation system and its functions, as well as the procedures for normal and abnormal situations. The crew must also conduct regular inspections and tests of the machinery and the automation system to ensure their proper functioning.

– The ship’s owner must establish a maintenance plan that covers the preventive and corrective maintenance of the machinery and the automation system. The maintenance plan must include the frequency and scope of the maintenance activities, as well as the spare parts inventory and documentation. The maintenance plan must also be approved by the classification society and audited periodically.

UMS ships are becoming more common in the maritime industry, as they offer many benefits for both ship owners and operators. However, UMS ships also pose some challenges and risks that need to be addressed by following the appropriate requirements and regulations. By doing so, UMS ships can achieve their full potential and contribute to a safer and more efficient shipping sector.

SOLAS Requirement for Unmanned Machinery Space

In this blog post, I will explain what are the essential requirements for unattended machinery space (UMS) ship according to the SOLAS convention. UMS ships are those that operate with periodically unattended machinery spaces, which means that the engineers do not need to be present in the engine room at all times. This reduces the manpower and increases the efficiency of the ship, but also requires more stringent measures to ensure the safety and reliability of the machinery.

According to SOLAS 1974 Chapter II-1, regulations 46 to 53, UMS ships must comply with the following requirements:

– Protection against fire: UMS ships must have a fire detection and alarm system that can quickly and effectively alert the crew in case of fire in the machinery spaces. The system must cover the boiler air supply casing and uptake, the scavenge space of propulsion machinery, and any other areas that are prone to fire. Additionally, engines of power 2250 kW and above or cylinders having bore more than 300mm must have oil mist detectors for crankcase or bearing temperature monitors or either of two .

– Protection against flooding: UMS ships must have bilge wells that are located and designed to detect the accumulation of liquid at normal angle of heel and trim, and to accommodate the drainage of liquid during unattended period. If the bilge pump starts automatically, an alarm must indicate that the flow of liquid pumped is more than the capacity of the pump.

– Control of propulsion machinery from navigation bridge: UMS ships must be able to control the speed, direction of thrust, and pitch (in case of controllable pitch propeller) of the propulsion machinery from the bridge under all sailing conditions. An emergency stop must be provided on the bridge, independent of the bridge control system. The remote operation of the propulsion machinery must be possible from one location at a time, and the number of consecutive automatic attempts that fail to start the propulsion machinery must be limited to safeguard sufficient starting air pressure.

UMS ship

– Centralized control and instruments in machinery space: UMS ships must have a centralized control room that is easily accessible and equipped with adequate instrumentation and equipment to monitor and operate all main and auxiliary machinery. A system must be provided to call the engineers to the machinery space in case of emergency .

– Fire extinguishing system: UMS ships must have a fire extinguishing system other than conventional hand extinguishers that can be operated remotely from outside the machinery space. The system must give control of emergency fire pumps, generators, valves, extinguishing media etc.

– Alarm system: UMS ships must have a comprehensive alarm system that covers all aspects of machinery operation and safety, and that can alert the crew in control and accommodation areas .

– Automatic start of emergency generator: UMS ships must have an arrangement for starting the emergency generator and automatic connection to bus bar in case of blackout condition.

These are some of the essential requirements for UMS ships according to SOLAS. By following these regulations, UMS ships can ensure a safe and efficient operation of their machinery spaces without compromising on performance or reliability.

MG Staff
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