At the prestigious Marine trade show Nor-Shipping in Oslo customers were looking this month for anything presented with one of two “D’s” in front of it: ‘Digital’ or ‘Disruptive’ and ideally both. AkzoNobel, with its leading brand International, is an enthusiastic part of this trend. We launched our ‘Digital Voyage’ concept including four new digital solutions that help make smarter, more economical and environmentally friendly decisions. This is a key element of our Sustainable Shipping vision. But what does this mean in practice? And how can it help the industry in the here and now?

The digital revolution is taking hold of the marine industry

The increase in the amount of data traffic in the marine industry proves that the digital revolution is well on its way. According to COMSYS, the number of active maritime VSAT installations quadrupled from 2008 (6,001) to 2014 (21,922), and it is predicted to exceed 40,000 by 2018. What this means is that the amount of data being transferred to – and from vessels is rapidly increasing.  Classification society DNV GL estimates that in two years the data capacity of the VSAT communication network will nearly double from 8.7 Gbps (Gigabits per second) to 16.5 Gbps. If this trend continues – and there is no reason to think it won’t – this capacity will reach 217 Gbps by 2025.  On the back of this infrastructure digital tools are proliferating to e.g. monitor each aspect of the vessels operations in order to improve safety, efficiency and productivity.

Digital tools that are being implemented

Software providers such as NAPA and BMT provide software system to monitor the power consumption and to benchmark this against the global fleet. This can also shine a light on, and hopefully suggest solutions to, phenomena such as ‘Rush to Wait’, which currently costs the industry US$18bn in fuel costs.

Increased transparency and trusted communication using e.g. blockchain technology reduce the need for an intermediary to verify reams of documentation. Maersk for example sees this as a chance to track and time stamp changes in the custody of a shipment. The time, and money saved here has the potential to be immense – in this instance, bypassing the thirty pieces of documentation that are needed to process an export consignment across multiple supply chain steps.

The Digital Voyage by AkzoNobel Marine Coatings

At Nor-shipping AkzoNobel launched its ‘Digital Vision’ which brings together digital technologies that will increase efficiencies, economies of scale, and enhance transparency and accountability. This allows users to make smarter, more ecologically friendly decisions.

We recently launched four digital tools which are part of this exciting journey: Intertrac OBM, Intertrac Vision Lite, Intertrac Perform, and the International Marine Coatings app.

Intertrac On Board maintenance (OBM)

The priority for Intertrac OBM is to give users actionable tips and hints that will help out ship owners in the here and now. Imagine if, when you are out shopping, someone had analysed where you usually went, what you bought, and benchmarked it to what others were doing.  That’s exactly what Intertrac OBM does for sea stores coatings. Intertrac OBM is an online tool that records, visualizes and analyses OBM coating purchasing patterns by vessel and fleet. It uses the AIS data, taking advantage of the increasing satellite coverage, to record the port where paint is being delivered to the vessel. Intertrac OBM offers various levers how the total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) can be reduced. This allows managers to benchmark – and streamlines their coatings purchases. If you’re frequently buying at a port where you’re not getting the best rates, it’ll show you where you could buy cheaper. And it can also show you how you could eliminate small-quantity ordering, and save by buying in larger batches. The data that supports these decisions has existed for a while – what’s new is our ability to process it and turn it into valuable information. Overall, the efficiencies generated could save OBM coatings costs by up to 20%.

The predictive power of Intertrac Vision at your finger-tips: Intertrac Vision Lite

In 2015 AkzoNobel’s Marine Coatings business launched the first – and still only ever digital tool for the shipping industry that can accurately predict the potential fuel and CO2 savings offered by fouling control coatings. With more than 3.5 billion data points, Intertrac Vision is the first “Big Data” solution to accurately predict the performance of a coatings technology – before it has been applied.

We have now launched Intertrac Vision Lite, a new iPad App which offers a lite version of Intertrac Vision. Intertrac Vision Lite enables ship owners and operators to explore the role of big data in supporting hull performance predictions and purchasing decisions. Intertrac Vision Lite has been developed to showcase key features of the full Intertrac Vision tool. Users can input data covering a sample selection of vessel types, fouling routes and generic hull coating choices to create different coatings scenarios, and then compare variations in the effect on power requirements, fuel costs, and CO2 emissions. It also includes tips and commentary to explain the methodology that underpins Intertrac Vision, which includes the full range of parameters, and can be used to make comprehensive economic and environmental decisions. Intertrac Vision Lite can be downloaded from the App Store: http://bit.ly/IVLite

From predicting to proving the performance of marine coatings

Prediction of performance is one thing, but nothing beats continuously monitoring the true performance of your own vessels. This is where Intertrac Perform comes in. Co-developed with the University College of London (UCL) this software is currently being trialled. It measures and monitors hull performance data and (can) validate it against predictions made by Intertrac Vision. By analysing power and speed profiles in accordance with the ISO 19030 standard, users will be able to identify whether coatings are performing as they should, and whether extra maintenance or service may be necessary. The Intertrac family of tools allows for seamless access to our wealth of marine coatings knowledge.

The International Marine Coatings app

The International Marine coatings app provides customers with increased convenience and flexibility in accessing the company’s wealth of coatings data. It has been specially designed to provide access to application guides, technical datasheets, product brochures, information cards and regional contacts.

In addition to technical datasheets, application guidelines and material safety datasheets (MSDS), the app also contains a full version of the most up-to-date cargo resistance guide. This information is essential for chemical tanker operators who need to know which coatings are suitable for specific products. The glossary of terms will be invaluable in helping users keep track of the assortment of acronyms and technical terms used in the world of marine coatings, particularly those new to the industry.

The International Marine Coatings app can be downloaded from the App store: http://bit.ly/2IPapp.

Conclusion

The ultimate value of digital solutions comes down to making smarter decisions. Feeling the pressure from depressed rates and earnings, every decision that ship owners and operators take could potentially have huge ramifications for their business. The value of digital disruption, such as AkzoNobel’s ‘Digital Voyage’, lies in giving stakeholders the right information, and the confidence they need to make the right call. It emphasises transparency and accountability which are vital for owners and operators. With the new digital solutions we not only predict performance, but they also allow ship owners to actually verify and even improve performance. As such it forms a key-element of our ‘Sustainable Shipping’ vision. So, when you see the videos and download our apps ask yourself: “how much can I improve and save?” Our team of experts will gladly partner with you to unlock this value.

Content Image of Oscar Wezenbeek

@OscarWezenbeek

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