NYK, MTI and Nabtesco develop new tech for engine abnormality detection

Japanese companies Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), MTI Co., and Nabtesco Corporation (Nabtesco) have developed an electric diagnostic tool that records, visualizes, and analyzes the operational sounds of a vessel’s engine plant for early anomaly detection. 


The device has been named Kirari Muse and can store operational sounds from plants as data and use it to diagnose ship-equipment conditions. 

Kirari Muse comprises an electric listening rod, a dedicated smartphone as an operation device, and PC software.

The electric rod has a recording function, and the PC software enables the recording, analysis, and sharing of sounds by seafarers during patrols as chart and graph data. An alarm appears on the software if the sound data deviates from the set reference data.

The dedicated smartphone is utilized for operations such as selecting the device to be inspected, recording memos during inspection, and transferring the data to the software.

By accumulating sound as data, Kirari Muse can help the firms to compare the sound data with threshold and past data without being affected by the experience and knowledge of individual seafarers, leading to early anomaly detection.

In addition, it enables us to share the accumulated big data with ships and shore, such as operating companies, ship-management companies, classification societies, and equipment manufacturers to enhance support for diagnosis and repairs from the shore.

The device does not require connection to external software and can be used for non-marine equipment. Users can easily set target devices and threshold values on the software and start sound analysis immediately, according to the partners.

Listening rods made of elongated metal are widely used for diagnosing equipment conditions, such as in ships and factories.

By placing a listening rod on a turbine, motor, or other equipment, the operational sound of the object can be captured without being affected by ambient noise, and invisible abnormalities can be detected. Listening rods, however, present difficulties because the sound cannot be accumulated as data and shared with third parties.

NYK, MTI, and Nabtesco plan to use the knowledge and technical strength cultivated over many years through ship operations to encourage greater safety operations.