Tugnology 19 Liverpool | Post-event Report

Sponsors & supporting media

Record numbers attend Tugnology 19 Liverpool

A record-breaking Tugnology 19 saw 405 delegates register for the unique in-depth technical conference about tugs and tugs alone held in Liverpool, UK.

Top level executive decision-makers and leading technological experts and innovators attended the two-day event at the ACC conference hall beside the River Mersey in the historic port city.

Among key themes discussed at Tugnology 19, organised by the ABR Company Ltd - publisher of International Tug & OSV, which also organises the industry-leading ITS Conventions around the world - was the importance of collaboration, which was highlighted by several speakers.

Inaugural speaker John Pearn made a strong case for better understanding between tug masters and pilots, including spending time on each other’s vessels. Pearn is a highly experienced marine pilot and is chairman of the UK Maritime Pilots’ Association and
vice-president of the International Maritime Pilots’ Association. He told delegates that spending time on tugs had given him a better understanding of the issues faced by tug masters. “I would encourage tug skippers to go on a trip with pilots to see things from their perspective,” he urged.

Collaboration was also at the heart of the presentation by Dr Thijs Hasselaar, project manager at MARIN, who presented the findings of the joint industry project (JIP) on bollard pull (BP), set up to establish a common international standard for determining BP in trials. His paper was the culmination of four years of work among over 30 leading industry partners and class societies which was launched at Tugnology 15 in London with further meetings held at ITS 2016 in Boston, Tugnology 17 in Rotterdam and ITS 2018 Marseille.
The resulting standard has been agreed and will be available to adopt from 1 July, with several companies already committing to it.

The opportunities and challenges arising from the growth of big data were addressed in a trio of papers, followed by an extended joint Q&A session. Florus Wilming, of Netherlands-based Onboard, and Yilmaz Salman and Siebe Rooijakkers of Damen, spoke about industry applications of big data analytics, while Eva Peño, global market leader for OSV and tugs at Bureau Veritas, presented a thoughtful and thought-provoking paper on moving safely into the digital age, with particular reference to cybersecurity and the importance of contingency planning.

Safety was again a major theme at the conference with Robert Allan, executive chairman of naval architects Robert Allan Ltd, and Brendan Smoker, a mechanical engineer at the company, presenting a well-received paper entitled Escort Tug Safety: Accounting for Dynamic Scenarios.

Other subjects covered included ultrasound antifouling systems, towing rope connection technology, tug manoeuvrability and the latest in winch design and technology.
The concluding session ended the conference on a forward-looking note, with Tobias Oser of Schottel introducing the latest developments in mechanical hybrid tug design, and Tatsuya Ohno of Kawasaki Heavy Industries presenting a fascinating and well-received paper on the company’s plans and predictions for the future of tugboat propulsion.
Alongside the conference, 57 companies at the heart of the tug, towing and salvage industry had table-top displays of their latest products and innovations. Tugnology has always provided a platform for doing business, lots of business, and an ideal opportunity for networking with decision-makers, and this year was no exception, with many reporting a significantly more optimistic outlook than this time last year.

Garth Manson, managing director of The ABR Company Ltd, said: “We are absolutely delighted with how the event went. Once again, Tugnology has built on its previous success. I would like to thank all those who attended and took part, because this is your event. You are what makes it successful. I would particularly like to thank our sponsors and speakers, without whom the event would not happen.”

At Tugnology 19, Sanmar sponsored the welcome reception, IMS sponsored the early morning Run Crew; MTU all the coffee and tea breaks; Uzmar sponsored lunch on both days; Samson sponsored the pre-dinner drinks; Damen sponsored the dinner; Wärtsilä sponsored the delegates’ web app; JonRie sponsored the delegate lanyards and Caterpillar sponsored the conference photographer.