The Propeller Boss Cap Fins (PBCF) sold through Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) group company MOL Techno-Trade has been rated as the “Best-selling Energy-Saving Shipping Appendage brand” (Cumulative) through Guinness World Records.

PBCF was co-developed by MOL, West Japan Fluid Engineering Laboratory Co., Ltd., and Nakashima Propeller Co., Ltd. (called Mikado Propeller Co., Ltd. at the time) in 1986, and went on sale by MOL in 1987. In 2000, sales operations were transferred to MOL Tech, which has been selling the PBCF.

propeller cap
PBCF installed on a propeller Credit: MOL Line

It was the first device in the world to be commercialized to recover the energy wasted in the vortex that forms behind a rotating propeller and increase the thrust by breaking up this vortex. Analysis has shown that equipping a vessel with PBCF results in energy savings of 3% to 5%.

Since its introduction, as shipowners and operators in Japan and around the world have recognized the device’s performance, sales rose steadily. Orders reached 1,000 in 2006, 2,000 in 2011, and topped 3,000 in 2015. In 2017, based on the joint research results of MOL Tech, MOL and Akishima Laboratories (Mitsui Zosen) Inc., an upgraded PBCF, offering further improvements in energy-saving (Note 2), went on the market.
By 2021, PBCF cumulative sales exceeded 3,800 (the number of vessels equipped with PBCF exceeded 3600). Even now, about 35 years after its launch, PBCF is still selling exceptionally well as an energy-saving device for ships and has established itself as a bestseller.

Credit: MOL Line

PBCF installation improves fuel efficiency, which in turn reduces CO2 emissions from vessels, reducing the environmental impact of ocean shipping (Note 3). MOL Tech calculated that the expanded use of PBCF has contributed to a cumulative 46-million-ton reduction in CO2 emissions worldwide.

PBCF installed on a propeller
Presentation ceremony

MOL Group continues to study hybrid combinations with other energy-saving devices such as stern fin, duct and rudder bulb and confirmed the synergistic effects in tests using a model. PBCF continues to evolve every day as MOL Group leverages this reliable technology, backed by about 35 years of refinement and accumulated expertise, to further improve propeller efficiency.

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