Following a successful pilot on board gas tanker Coral Favia, system integrator Bakker Sliedrecht and gas shipping company Anthony Veder plan to enter a partnership to service ships remotely using augmented reality (AR) glasses
The pilot tested augmented reality functionality and simulated common failures. On board, an officer wore AR glasses, allowing engineers at Bakker Sliedrecht to observe live footage virtually through the ship.
Bakker Sliedrecht head of main contracting Thijs van Hal said “Normally, emails and construction plans are sent back and forth first and phone calls are made to get to the core problem. Now we can watch live. We can solve the problem immediately, or we know what is going on and we can plan better and bring the right parts with us.”
Commenting on the potential increase in the speed of service, Mr van Hal said “As downtime for ships is very expensive, quick service is important. If you can offer remote assistance through AR glasses, you can be ready in two hours instead of two days.”
Augmented reality allows for a range of digital information to be projected and added to the screen on the glasses varying from construction plans, virtual arrows to a 3D impression of the engineroom or the switch box.
The companies compared the technology to “a kind of webcam on site” that allows multiple people to see same image at once and assist the wearer in making an accurate assessment of the situation. Anthony Veder digital development manager Wouter Boogaart said the AR glasses can be used for tests and remote inspections. “It is a very useful tool when there are problems on a ship far away. You can see the problem together and how to solve it.”
Anthony Veder, which has a fleet of over 30 vessels transporting liquified gas, is looking to expand the deployment of the AR glass in phases over a part of the fleet. In addition to purchasing AR glasses, staff will be trained and the IT infrastructure will be upgraded.
Mr Boogaart said “We believe these kinds of developments are the future. Ships are becoming increasingly complex. As a result, much more expertise and specialism is needed to see what is going on, something that is often not present on board. The glasses can save a lot of time, travel time and money, which is why the investment is worth it.”
Necessity also compels progress. “Especially during coronavirus times, the glasses are a useful tool because borders are closed and planes stay on the ground. Then these kinds of innovations have proven to be necessary."
In September 2019, Riviera reported classification societies deploying AR in ship inspections and MHI-MME plans to use the technology when manufacturing turbochargers. This month, Daewoo shipbuilding revealed it has developed an AR remote maintenance support system for LNG carriers.
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