How does generate value and save costs / Why is BIM necessary / What
does BIM do
A: By providing real time
monitoring data, early accident detection and fender preventive maintenance
For terminal owners / operators, the BIM system
provides a tool to obtain real time terminal fender status - berthing impact
data, immediate berthing accident warnings and automatic fender maintenance
guidance. This will elevate terminal maintenance and safety standards and
generate value by reducing risks and down time. BIM can also be used
as an berthing accident analytic tool. Under extreme circumstances, early accident warning could save
lives for hazardous material or critical application terminals.
For consultants and fender professionals, the BIM
system can significantly change how fender systems are designed, by
providing a tool to actually measures, rather than assumes, fender design
criteria and validate / invalidate the adequacy of existing fender design.
Speaking for ourselves, we can honestly say the data collected with
BIM system brings our understanding of fender behavior into a whole new
From academic point of view, the BIM system will
be the first affordable dock based long term ship berthing impact / fender -
dock fatigue load data collection tool of its kind, that can provide new
support for marine studies in dock / ship structure design and navigational
For further information on cost saving, see
"Fendering & Significant Cost Savings "
Q: How is your
BIM system different from your BSM system / Is the BIM system necessary if
we already have the BSM system
The BSM is
a system designed to provide visual aide for berthing navigation. It utilizes a few laser distance measurement to locate an
approaching vessel. ( BSM-S utilize a few curves. ) It can predict berthing
accidents but not able to
provide details, such as location and amplitude, of the
The BIM system is a passive monitoring system that is
specifically design to detect berthing accidents by quantizing the actual
impact amplitude and evaluating fender damage with actual impact speed /
angle / displacement data on fender systems. The BIM can serve as a
confirmation of the accident predictions by the BSM.
The BIM and BSM
are all designed for berthing safety but approach the task from different
angles -- accident prevention for the BSM and accident measurement for the
BIM. On our MMCS software, BIM and BSM are just two different sets of
indications under the same interface.
Can BIM monitor underwater fender movements?
Absolutely. BIM are designed to be submerged.
Before your BIM, technology already exists to monitor
fenders. How is your fender monitoring system a new invention?
We believe you are referring to a technology
using laser distance sensors to measure the distance between the fender
frontal structure to the pier. While this technique can monitor the fender
movements towards the pier, it is not able to detect the fender movements
parallel to the pier. As fender professionals, we know fender damages are
more frequently caused by excessive lateral motions. Hence 3D motion
monitoring is a essential for successful fender monitoring. BIM is the first
3D fender monitoring system that we know of.
Moreover, the laser
positioning technique is not realistic because of three reasons:
Costs of high accuracy laser sensors, plus the costs of installing them on
the pier will amount to an unrealistic level, especially for large scale
--- Laser requires a clear
line of sight. When installed on the waterfront at fener system elevation, marine growth, mineral
crystallization, and other build ups will make this a luxury.
Zalda BIM utilize aviation inertial guidance
technology free from all theselimitations. ( This is the technology that guides airplane pilots before GPS
came into dominance.) Industrial grade components for this technology were
too expensive until now and we can reasonably assume these costs will
continue to drop, make our systems even more cost efficient in the near
Q: How is your BIM different from aviation inertial
--- Marine grade enclosure
--- Quick exchange
--- Elaborate power saving strategy tailored to fender movement
--- Fender damage and berthing accident criteria strategy based
on our experience in fender system design, laser sensor based berthing
monitoring and mooring pattern design.
--- Software integration into our
--- Cost optimized to fit in the budget of typical harbor
construction projects, with sufficient functionalities and accuracy
How much does BIM cost
A: Far less than $5000 per fender system
and dropping ( Plus a project base costs )
Q: Can BIM be installed on existing fender system
Small brackets are to be welded onto existing frontal structure. BIM
enclosures can then attach to these brackets. Our fender experts will
ensure the BIM enclosures cause no interference to existing fender function.
Also note our BIM enclosures are designed to avoid tangling mooring line.
Q: Dose BIM field equipment weaken fender front panel in an internal
installation on new fender systems, BIM components are embedded in fender
panel and might weaken fender panel. Our structural expert will ensure
panels are properly reinforced in such cases.
Q: What kind of fender systems are not suitable for
A: Small craft fenders and fenders without frontal structures
Q: We would like
to use your system on continous monitoring.
already within our design but it requries either low voltage shore power
cable dangling beneath the fender system, or a fender panel stuffed with
multiple batteries. We reserve these option for fields that requires
long term continuous fatigue movement monitoring.
components be replaced upon malfunction?
A: Yes. All BIM enclosures
are modular / interchangeable and bolt attached. To replace, simply remove
bolts, detach cords, replace with new enclosure. All software setup
can be done over wireless network.
Q: I presume BIM
components do not tangle mooring lines?
A: That is one of our
basic design target.
Q: What operating system does BIM software support
A: Like all MMCS software, BIM is cross platform. So it is compatible
with all major OS, including MS Windows, Apple IOS, Google Android, Nokia
Symbian, and so on.
Q: How does
BIM detects berthing accident and fender damage
A: There are several
criteria that could trigger berthing accident and fender damage warning.
--- If fender panel is at abnormal orientation for a
prolonged period of time
--- If preset 3D displacement / angle / movement
speed limits are breached
--- If fatigue criteria are met
Q: How does BIM determine amplitude of berthing impact
compounding the reaction force of all fender systems and locating the "peak"
values during berthing process. The result are then displayed as video on a graphic interface for
customer to visualize.
Q: How does BIM integrates with
your other MMCS
A: BIM appears as additional windows / views when integrated
with other MMCS systems. These windows / views can be displayed
simultaneously or individually switched off.
How long does it take to calibrate the BIM
Initial calibration requires a manual process to include scenarios with a
docked ship and without. The process takes about 5 hours total.
After initial calibration, recalibration in general less than 15
minutes per system, through wireless network.
the wireless protocol that BIM field equipment uses. How do you
A. BIM field equipment uses 806.11.x protocol.
Our main inteference strategy is to make the Theoretical communication range is far greater than ealistic distance to
AP. Hence realistic range will normally be adequate even when reduced
by interference under typical conditions. We can not rule out extreme
cases where we will use alternative strategy such as increasing the number
of APs or bring them closer to the BIM field components.
How long does it take to exchange the battery.
A: Less than 10 minutes per fender system with proper training and tools.
Q: It appears that the
BIM only monitors berthing impacts because you want to save the battery.
Have you thought of other power generation such as solar, wave, micro
vibration, and peltier units? Iíve provided catholic protection cables on
many panels and these seem to last well, so a low voltage cable supply could
give you unlimited power, perhaps with an alarmed UPS as a back-up. Have you
thought of reducing the wireless communication range by increasing the AP on
A: The BIM is fully capable of long term continuous monitoring, if we
were not restricted by the trade off between battery capacity and ease of
maintenance. Obviously shore power will make everything easy for our system
designer in terms of power supply and is already within our design. But the
market seems to demand the BIM system to be stand alone for a year without
requiring shore power and this is how we decide to publicize the BIM. ( Our
main clientele, the terminal operators, do not really care about the fatigue
data collected during continuous monitoring and would expect our system to
stand alone. ) But we do reserve shore power option for fields that requires
long term continuous monitoring, mostly academic though.
We have considered all the power generation methods mentioned above. Solar
-- not place to mount the solar panel and realistic to maintain. Wave --
requires generator in the water. Micro vibration -- not yet mature. Peltier
units -- not enough temperature variation. Maybe a combination of various
methods could generates enough power but the cost increase and system over
complication does not seem to be worth the trade off, yet. We are watching
out for all new developments in mobile power generation and will update our
design as soon as we could find a feasible solution.
We concur reducing wireless range could conserve power. But that requires
more AP on the pier and again, due to market consideration, we want our
product to place less burden on the customers.
Fendering & Cost Savings /
Q: How does BIM
improve fendering and provide significant cost saving?
BIM system can improve fendering in everything conceiveable way. With
BIM database, we can clearly see the impact distribution amongst each fender
system along the berth so we can position fender systems based on necessity
rather than arbitrary "fender pitch"; we can see fender abnormal movements
as they happens so fender system design improvement can be quickly
implemented before permanent damages occur; we can see fender performance
deterioration trend over time and perform preventive maintenance before
imminent fender failure could occur and shut down the terminal; we can
design better fender systems and develop better fender elements using BIM
From cost saving perspective, the BIM system allows for better fendering with
less fender systems, as well as preventive design improvement and maintenance that
minimizes fender maintenance costs and unnecessary fender related terminal
down time. These cost saving features alone will more than justify the initial
and long term costs of the
BIM system. But these are not amongst the central values of the
BIM system, which is to facilitate quick elavuation and response during
crisis situations to reduce human and property damages on larger scale.
We have a new / bigger vessel coming in and it
will dock on our existing fenders. Can your system to used to determine
fender design criteria so we can use the data to support the design of our
new fender system?
BIM is designed by the fender people and for the fender people. So
Q: From a fender manufacturer's prospective, how
does BIM help advance your understanding of fender behaviors?
A. The data
collected by the BIM so far is simply overwhelming. Many questions
that were previously based on assumptions in the fender community can now be
answered with concrete data. Examples:
--- Correlations between
actual ship contact speed and fender compression / deflection speed
Actual fender compression ratio under multi fender compression scenario
--- Actual fender panel rotation under flare / belting contacts
Rubber fender normalization cycle information for aged fenders over time
--- Answers the age old question, chain or no chain
And so much more.
Other Marine Application for BIM Technology /
Q. What other applications in the marine sector
does BIM Technology have?
A. BIM is essentially a multi layer wireless positioning technology,
that is suitable for any 3D wireless positioning applications with 0.5m-2m
movement envelope, <60cm movement speed, and <30 degree tilting angle.
Some of the interesting application that we have looked at are quick release
hook, marine pile and marine structure movement monitoring.