Bakker Sliedrecht’s Integrated Monitoring and Control system, also known as BIMAC, is marking its 20th anniversary this year. A special milestone for the system that plays a central role in managing the alarm, monitoring and control of vessels. However, the story of BIMAC has only just begun. With the increasing importance of data acquisition and data-usage, BIMAC will have an important position as main data broker in the upcoming years.
20 years of innovation
On the brink of this century, Bakker Sliedrecht started the in-house development of the software solution. Throughout the years BIMAC has grown in functionality and capacity, in close cooperation with Bakker Sliedrecht its customers, to facilitate the growing demands and developments in the maritime industry. Nowadays, BIMAC has all the required features to operate as the heart of any vessel and has done so under all the major class societies.
A central position in vessel data landscape
Over the years, BIMAC its capabilities have grown with the requirements of the maritime industry, now controlling a wide range of vessel types and sizes. From fast surface vessels to inland shipping; from DP2 offshore service vessels to DP3 crane vessels and from hopper dredgers to the largest cutter dredgers ever built. Being a leading electrical system integrator for the dredging & offshore industry, Bakker Sliedrecht has already installed the BIMAC system on many existing vessels. Hence the high data intensity, which will continue to grow with the increasing number of IOs on board new vessels.
The communication protocols combined with the capability to store vast amounts of data in a redundant configuration places the BIMAC software in a central position in Bakker Sliedrecht’s Condition Based Monitoring solution. Acquisition, storage, access, visualisation and sharing of vast amounts of data has been a focus point in the recent developments, providing a solid foundation for future requirements of customers. For access to these vessel data, BIMAC can act as collector, making all data available on a single interface for the operator. Trending and analysis can also be done on the Vessel Management System directly, assisting in making maintenance decisions.
Harmonisation of the (visual) front-end
Another development is the harmonisation of the (visual) front-end of the various automation solutions supplied by Bakker Sliedrecht, reducing the number of dependencies. One example is the combination of Drive Systems, where the visualisation of both the remote operation and the local control will be unified, while maintaining autonomous operation of both systems. Besides the central position on data processing on-board the vessel, remote access functionalities are also being further developed, creating and managing the infrastructure on-board to be able to access all connected equipment via one secure remote access point.
The backbone for Bakker’s automation solutions
BIMAC is also the platform on which several of Bakker Sliedrecht’s specialized automation solutions are hosted. One of them being the Common Diesel Generator protection system (CDG-protection). CDG-protection enables DP approved closed ring operation of the power plant and is the first to receive DNV approval for dual fuel (diesel and LNG) application. Combined with a Power Management Solution a robust power plant operation is ensured, with advanced power limitation and all the regular functions such as black-out recovery.
Another in-house developed application is the Dredge Profile Computer (DPC), which brings the cutter dredger to a higher level of automation by translating a desired cut profile to all the required operations of the dredger. Optimising swing movement without exceeding machine limits and optimising flow without manual intervention all arranged by the Dredge Profile Computer. The operator can monitor the process carefully via the user friendly HMI, with the option to manually intervene when desired.
In a nutshell: BIMAC has evolved itself the past 20 years into a mature vessel management system, but above all is ready to be the vessel’s heart for another 20 years.