The smart technology group Wärtsilä is at the forefront of harnessing the changes taking place in the shipping industry to deliver value and optimisation for its customers. By orchestrating these developments through the use of high levels of connectivity and digitalisation, Wärtsilä intends to lead the industry’s transformation towards a Smart Marine Ecosystem.
“The world is moving towards a future that is more and more connected, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the shipping sector. The opportunities offered through smart technology will foster a new era of collaboration and knowledge sharing with customers, suppliers and partners,” says Roger Holm, President, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions.
Marine industry players are faced with major sources of inefficiency that impose a significant negative impact on business operations and profitability. These inefficiencies can be considered as ‘waste’; the three most notable sources of such waste being overcapacity, inadequate port-to-port fuel efficiency, and time wasted waiting when entering ports and other high traffic areas. Eliminating this waste forms the basis of Wärtsilä’s strategy towards ecosystem thinking.
Wärtsilä sees four primary forces that will re-shape the industry. Shared capacity will improve fill rates and reduce unit costs; Big Data analytics will optimise both operations and energy management; Intelligent Vessels will enable automated and optimised processes; and Smart ports will result in smoother and faster port operations.
“Wärtsilä is ideally positioned, together with our customers and partners, for positive disruptive development and to lead the transformation into a new era of shipping. Building on our strong existing portfolio of products, systems, and solutions, the broadest in the marine sector, and on our vast installed base and industry know-how, we shall continue to develop the smart technologies, business models, and competences needed to create a Smart Marine Ecosystem,” adds Roger Holm.
“Servicing our customers means supporting them throughout the lifecycle of their installations. This means that we are looking at the smartest way of operating and maintaining assets, as well as optimising performance in order to have the safest, and most environmentally sound and efficient operating profiles. In the future, we shall be looking more holistically at customer business operations. Instead of optimising a single vessel, we may be optimising a fleet, or even the customer’s business. In the long term, vessel-as-a-service becomes the ultimate means of providing asset and lifecycle management services.” continues Pierpaolo Barbone, President, Wärtsilä Services.
One of many examples of important steps being made towards the future was taken when Wärtsilä, in collaboration with the vessel owner, successfully tested the remote controlling of a ship’s operations by satellite from a distance of 8000 kilometres. The test was carried out using standard bandwidth, and no land-based technology was used for communications between the vessel and the remote operator work station. Other notable examples include the Wärtsilä HY, a fully integrated hybrid power module combining engines, an energy storage system, and power electronics optimised to work together through a newly developed energy management system, and Wärtsilä’s wireless charging innovation for battery powered vessels.
Wärtsilä has already opened one Digital Acceleration Centre (DAC), located in Helsinki, to speed up innovation and to co-create with customers a range of new business models and solutions. These include the industry’s most advanced intelligent vessel and other ground-breaking projects. A second DAC is scheduled to open in Singapore in December, and during 2018 two more will be opened in Central Europe and North America.
By applying smart technology to serve customers in a more sophisticated way, Wärtsilä aims to deliver greater efficiencies that lead to increased revenues and profitability for owners and operators around the world. The ultimate goal is to enable sustainable societies with smart technologies.