Research and development, product launches
Wärtsilä placed strong emphasis on R&D activities during 2014, the key focus areas being efficiency improvement, fuel flexibility, and the reduction of environmental impact. The R&D related expenditure totalled EUR 139 million, which represents 2.9% of net sales.
In November, Wärtsilä announced that its Aquarius EC Ballast Water Management System had been granted Alternate Management System acceptance by the United States Coast Guard. This allows all US and foreign flag ships fitted with this system to operate in US territorial waters, and to discharge treated ballast water for an interim period of up to five years from the ship specific implementation date.
In October, the DNV GL classification society approved the design of the Wärtsilä WST-14 thruster, thus indicating that the design fully complies with the classification rules. The approval also confirms that the design calculations meet the classification society’s requirements regarding standard operations, as well as for operations in ice conditions.
Wärtsilä was active in terms of bringing new products to the market during 2014. During the first quarter, the Wärtsilä 46DF engine offering lower fuel consumption in both gas and diesel fuel modes, higher output, and attractive lifecycle costs was introduced. In February, Wärtsilä’s Propulsion Condition Monitoring Service received service level recognition from DNV GL.
During the second quarter, a new, highly efficient, Aframax tanker design offering practical and viable solutions that meet current and forthcoming emissions legislation was launched. In May, Wärtsilä received an important service level recognition for its Wärtsilä Airguard and Wärtsilä Oceanguard propeller shaft sealing systems from Lloyd’s Register.
In the third quarter, Wärtsilä launched its latest development of large controllable pitch propellers featuring increased load capability, high propulsive efficiency, and a reduced environmental footprint. A new Low Loss Hybrid innovation was introduced to the market, offering annual fuel savings of up to 15%, depending on the type and configuration of the engine and mission profile, as well as a substantial reduction in exhaust gas emissions. Wärtsilä also introduced its new LNGPac, which was granted AIP (Approval in Principle) Certificate from the DNV GL classification society in September. Wärtsilä’s propulsion condition monitoring services offering was expanded, enabling the extension of overhaul intervals and promoting optimal equipment condition. Dynamic lifetime prognosis, a new functionality in the upgraded offering, fulfils the need for certainty of operations and long-term maintenance planning.
During the fourth quarter, Wärtsilä announced that it had extended its range of duplex and super duplex stainless steel valves to cover higher pressure ratings, enabling Wärtsilä to provide customers with single source supply of all the corrosion resistant valves needed for an entire project.