New Advanced Condition Monitoring Technology to Be Released in 2020

The subject of condition monitoring has been on everyone’s lips for the past few years, especially as the marine industry is faced with the challenges of increasing fuel costs and implementation of new and stricter environmental regulations.

To reinforce this situation, a new chapter to the IMO MARPOL regulations is making the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) mandatory for all ships, starting from the 1st of January 2020. These measures are aimed at improving the operational energy efficiency of existing ships, in an attempt to reduce global emissions, created by the shipping industry.

For the past 15 years, Datum Electronics has been providing Marine Shaft Power Meter systems that accurately measure torque, power and speed, generated by engines and used by propellers. Early systems used average data over long voyage cycles and only look at simple efficiency changes. This data has been used by our customers like Oldendorff Carriers to improve efficiency and validate changes to their operations and ships.

Over this period, Datum has been collecting and analysing data, looking at the signal data more in depth, at much higher sample rates and resolutions. From these studies, Datum have recognised that changes to engine and propeller performance can be identified much earlier, if measured in a dynamic way. And that’s how our new solution was born. Datum Hawk, an advanced condition-based monitoring (CBM) system, uses state-of-the-art condition-based monitoring technologies in order to maximise performance in all conditions, under all loads, providing the true engine performance, at all times.

By delivering dynamic data at rates of up to 2000sps, Datum Hawk offers a unique insight into the entire shaft line, while producing averaged data for SFOC in parallel. Unlike other CBM systems on the market, Datum Hawk is installed directly on-shaft as part of the vessel’s shaft line, providing significantly earlier detection of any potential failures or downtime, well in advance of any off-shaft sensors (such as vibration or optical sensors) and at much higher amplitudes.

Additionally, by using the latest Artificial Intelligence (AI) & machine-learning techniques, the system can observe every cylinder strike through the ground-breaking dynamic torque data profile and deliver the engine condition diagnostic in real time. This data, presented in a visual format on board of the ship, as well as on shore, enables ship owners and fleet operators operate a vessel to its ultimate potential.

Mark Gladdis, Marine Product Manager at Datum Electronics explained: “Over the past 30 years, Datum Electronics has become the world leader in torque & shaft power measurement solutions. In the automotive industry, we have been sampling torque signatures at speeds in excess of 20,000sps and now Datum Hawk is bringing our advanced technology and years of sensor knowledge to the marine marketplace. By transferring the dynamic profiling technique to our already highly successful Marine Shaft Power Meter systems, we can give a completely new insight into vessel performance. The dynamic torque sampling enables us to observe what is happening with every cylinder stroke, monitor the condition of the engine and predict events before they occur. Being an integral part of the shaft, Datum Hawk is able to detect changes in the live rotational torque signal significantly earlier than any off-shaft sensor.”

These features make Datum Hawk the ultimate shaft power measurement solution for the marine industry, delivering all the benefits of the world’s only fully modular system, whilst enhancing the dynamic response from the engine’s unique torque signature, enabling insights that have never been accessible previously.

“Following years of research and development and working closely with our partners from the University of Strathclyde in conjunction with the world’s leading engine modelling specialists, Datum Electronics has developed an innovative solution that is a quantum leap in engine health monitoring and vessel optimisation. We believe Datum Hawk is the future of real-time condition-based monitoring & failure prediction for the marine industry. We look forward to being a major part of maritime history, working towards providing a cleaner, more efficient and more sustainable future for the shipping industry”, commented James Lees, Managing Director at Datum Electronics.

“Datum Hawk has already received positive feedback from a number of our existing customers, who are very keen on achieving significant fuel savings in 2020. In fact, the demand & interest has been so great that we decided to open Datum Hawk for pre-orders in January. We already have 40 vessels enrolled & fuel savings that could be generated from these vessels alone could exceed 28,000 tons in the first 12 months.” added Mark Gladdis, Marine Product Manager at Datum Electronics.

For more information on Datum Hawk, please head to our website: and book your call with our Technical Team to find out more about how Datum Hawk can help optimise the maintenance schedule and improve the performance of your fleet.