Safer Shipping | Smarter Ports

Safer Shipping |
Smarter Ports

OMC is the world’s only provider of independently validated and widely operational real-time under keel clearance technology, the proprietary Dynamic Under-keel Clearance System (DUKC®). DUKC® is the standard underkeel clearance management tool adopted by more than twenty ports within Australia and internationally, and is recognised as the leading UKC management system in the world.

In addition to DUKC®, the services and systems provided by OMC to our clients include:

  • Optimised channel dredging design and planning
  • Under-keel clearance studies
  • Horizontal navigation and vessel manoeuvrability studies
  • Fast time simulations using SimFlex4 from Force Technology
  • Full scale vessel motion measurement and analysis
  • Probabilistic analysis and risk assessments
  • Operational static UKC management (KeelCheck)
  • Measured & forecast environmental data displays (PortWeather)
  • Optimisation of Port throughput using our Dynamic Port Capacity Model
  • Mooring analysis – deep sea, CBM, conventional and suction pad mooring systems
  • Moored vessel motion and mooring line warning systems (Berth Warning System, BerthAlert)
  • Hydro/meteo analysis, modelling and forecasting
  • Hydro/meteo data processing and quality assurance

The optimisation of waterways is a cost-benefit exercise that balances safety, economics and environmental concerns.

OMC’s cutting edge DUKC® technology can be used to minimise dredging volumes and thereby minimise both the capital and maintenance costs of dredging operations and the environmental impacts associated with these operations.

Millions of dollars in extra costs and possible environmental damage have been saved by the conjunctive use of DUKC® optimised dredging and a DUKC® operational system.

OMC waterway design engineers are world leaders in the development and implementation of channel design and depth optimisation technology. Our unique understanding of port operations, statistical modelling techniques and UKC analysis enables us to present an accurate picture of cost-benefit to the client. Our optimisation methods enable dredging to be targeted, ensuring maximum return on investment and minimum environmental impact.

OMC has extensive experience in modelling the motions of moored ships exposed to various environmental conditions, resulting in unparalleled expertise in mooring design and ship motion modelling. OMC developed the numerical model, SPMS (Simulation Package for the Motions of Ships), for the analysis of various problems associated with the motions of vessels, either moored, towed or free moving along channels or in deep water.

The SPMS model is the only comprehensive ship-modelling package developed in the Southern Hemisphere, and is one of only a handful in use in the world. It has being extensively used in the Australasia region for moored ship problems where long waves/seiching are prevalent.

Since development commenced in 1962, it has been extended to solve a wide variety of maritime projects in Australia and overseas. This includes analysis of motions, line tensions and fender forces of bulk carriers, oil tankers, container vessels, frigates, submarines, Ro-Ro vessels, general cargo ships and tugs at a wide variety of berths, including spread moorings, swamp moorings, fendered jetties and single point moorings. The model has also been used for the analysis of the relative motions of a transhipment facility involving ship to barge transfer of bulk cargo.

The SPMS numerical model includes the capability to model the slow drift oscillations of moored vessels due to long waves (periods greater than 30 seconds), as well as the wave frequency oscillations caused by sea and swell waves.

These oscillations occur at frequencies similar to the corresponding natural frequencies of the ship/ line/fender system, leading to possible resonance amplification of the moored vessel motions, breakage of mooring lines and damage to berth and fenders – unlike wave frequency motions which are relatively highly damped, low frequency motions are only lightly damped, hence the great danger of resonance amplification arising from any significant long wave excitation.

OMC has also carried out full scale measurement validation exercises on over 600 vessels at over 40 different ports globally. This includes all major vessel types with varying depth/draft ratios, stability characteristics and transit speeds, channel configurations, tidal patterns and wave climates. This data is analysed to validate the SPMS numerical model predictions utilising the measured wave, current and tide data against the ship particulars, thereby verifying the moored vessel motions.

OMC has extensive experience with passing vessel interactions, and was an Industry partner in the Marin Research Institute Research on Passing Effects on Ships (ROPES) research project.

ROPES was a joint industry project and included development and validation of a computer tool to predict the effect of passing vessels for existing and new port and terminal developments. The project included extensive scale model testing and full scale monitoring campaigns in the Port of Rotterdam. Participants in the project included Ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp and Amsterdam, ExxonMobil, Cavotec, KRVE, and Deltares. As a partner OMC holds and has full rights to the developed IP which has used to both validate the OMC passing vessel model and to complement it for ongoing projects.

OMC has undertaken passing vessel mooring studies at Fremantle (2017), Gladstone (2017, 2016), Port Hedland (2014, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006) Newcastle (2011, 2010), Brisbane (2012), and Cape Lambert (2010). For these studies, OMC has used modelling to determine optimum vessel passing speeds and distances given the prevailing environmental conditions, tidal levels and characteristics of both the moored and passing vessels. The Port Hedland study also involved validation of the model against full scale measurements, with excellent correlation between measured data and model outputs.

In addition to mooring studies, OMC has also developed the Dynamic Berth Warning System (BWS) to improve port operating safety.

The BWS is a real-time berth warning system designed to provide assistance to terminal operators in making decisions as to the operating safety of berthed vessels. BWS assesses both the vessel motions and the loads placed on moorings, lines and fenders by ocean swells, currents, and wind to provide produce a rating of port operating safety.

The BWS can incorporate wind, wave, and current forecasts from the National Weather Service, or private forecast providers, giving the potential to provide dynamic berth operability forecasts up to a week in advance, improving berth safety and performance.