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WinGD opens new virtual reality engine room facilities

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LNG Industry,

Winterthur Gas & Diesel (WinGD) has announced that it has inaugurated the installation of its W-Xpert Full Mission Simulator (FMS) at the Marine Power Academy Training Centre of Hudong Heavy Machinery Co. Ltd (HHM) in Shanghai, China.

The FMS will be used for training complete engine room crews, and will join 20 further installations at strategic locations globally. It is the first installation of WinGD’s dedicated, multi-touchscreen simulation hardware in China. It is also the first to be pre-programmed with specially adapted versions of the engine-specific W-Xpert simulation software that WinGD develops with its Poland-based partner, UNITEST Marine Simulations Ltd.

The FMS training facility at the Marine Power Academy (which sees approximately 500 crew trained each year) is shared by WinGD and HHM. In order to cover large training courses in which entire engine room crews can work at the same time, the FMS hardware system makes use of 18 touch screens, which are located in up to four different classrooms. Combined with the W-Xpert engine simulation software, it creates a multi-interface virtual environment, which not only includes the main engine, but the auxiliary systems of a typical engine room as well.

The W-Xpert software was originally designed for use on laptops, notebooks or personal computers as a versatile and portable tuition tool. It uses sophisticated thermodynamic models of diesel and gas engine processes to provide high levels of virtual reality. To date, the range of engines that can be simulated by the W-Xpert software comprises the X35, X62, and X72 models the WinGD X-generation of diesel engines, as well as the RT-flex50DF dual-fuel engine models. The X82 and X92 will be added in 2017, followed shortly after by further dual-fuel engine software versions.

The General Manager Technical Experts at WinGD, Gregory Sudwoj, said: “The advanced features of the W-Xpert software, like our proprietary thermodynamic simulation algorithms which are capable of calculating accurately engine performance parameters including fuel consumption and emissions levels, mean that the FMS system enables high fidelity simulations of functional and thermodynamic factors.

“The extensive, multi-interface virtual environment we can create also includes all the auxiliary systems of a typical engine room and enables a team to experience a wide range of simulations. To encourage decision making and to promote sharing of responsibility, these include both routine and distress situations. Overall, the scope of the FMS gives WinGD unique opportunities to familiarise engine crews with all the systems involved in operating an engine in a ship.”

In alignment with IMO STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) regulations, classification societies for Marine Crew Training and Competence Assessment have fully approved the W-Xpert FMS.

WinGD is able to provide operational training on the engines and ancillary equipment found in the engine room for a ship’s crew and technical staff whenever new two-stroke engines are delivered.

Sudwoj went on to say: “During 2016, WinGD trained more than 350 personnel and the most popular tool for WinGD trainees is the W-Xpert virtual engine room simulator because it mimics very realistically situations happening on the bridge, in the control room and in the engine room at the same time.

“Previously, WinGD relied on a standard twin screen training but now, with the support of UNITEST, we can use the FMS for navigating around the engine and control room. This enables numerous trainees to replicate and rehearse very real operating sequences, conditions and emergency situations.”

In the statement, WinGD claims that it is planning to offer high definition digital simulation training in strategic shipping industry locations globally. WinGD trainers have been located permanently in Shanghai at the HMM Marine Power Academy since Summer 2015, and the W-Xpert FMS has been fully utilised ever since its inauguration. WinGD claims that, in June 2017, the simulators will also be commissioned in Busan, South Korea, and Athens, Greece, to provide virtual training possibilities to crews in these two important shipping locations.

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