Shipping is about to enter a new age of remote monitoring and optimisation using online applications
Kongsberg Digital is about to deliver its new ship performance monitoring and optimisation service, starting a new chapter in maritime digitalisation.
Shipowners and managers can use Kongsberg’s Vessel Insight to remotely monitor ship performance and equipment condition in real-time. They can access this service, and other online applications using the Kognifai internet of things (IoT) platform to optimise fleet operations.
According to Kongsberg vice president and head of the Kognifai partner programme Bent Erik Bjorkli, the first commercial delivery of Vessel Insight will be in September.
“So far, we have been working to commission the platform and train Kongsberg engineers, now we are ready for the first delivery,” he told Maritime Digitalisation & Communications.
Since the launch of Vessel Insight in June this year, Kongsberg has conducted pilot trials with ship operators and with one of Europe’s largest owners of tugboats, who wants to monitor operations and extend engine life.
He was unable to name the tug owner running pilots of Vessel Insight, but he did say this demonstrates that “smaller assets can be monitored”.
“This owner can utilise Kongsberg’s condition monitoring to extend the life of engines from 10 to 20 years and improve maintenance,” said Mr Bjorkli.
Separately, Kongsberg has attracted around 15 solution providers to the Kognifai platform and is providing their services to shipowners. It is open to working with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and shipyards to deliver IoT.
“We can be a system integrator on ships,” said Mr Bjorkli.
“We have around 50 ships now, and our ambition is to connect around 100 ships per month to Kognifai by Q1 2020,” he said.
Ship operators can access Kognifai applications using VSAT connectivity to remotely optimise fleet operations and reduce voyage costs.
In June, Kongsberg signed an agreement with KVH Industries to work together to offer real-time vessel monitoring. That month, KVH introduced its Watch connectivity service for OEMs to use for remote monitoring.
Vessel Insight solution was the first application to be introduced on KVH Watch.
“Owners can use other connectivity options, but for full benefits they should have KVH connectivity for remote monitoring and to trigger the full bandwidth for full support,” said Mr Bjorkli.
KVH executive vice president for mobility connectivity Mark Woodhead said a pilot programme was about to commence with KVH Watch on research vessel Simrad Echo. “We will get a lot of information from this partnership.”
This is an example of how shipowner and manufacturer requirements for remote monitoring is a future driver for VSAT installation demand.
“Crew communications is the main driver today, but IoT, digitalisation and ship optimisation will be in the future,” Mr Woodhead said. “VSAT is becoming the dominant way for connectivity and the pace of change is quickening.”
Mr Woodhead said VSAT could be installed on ships from around 4,000 ports worldwide after KVH’s investment in technical services as KVH can remotely train engineers and remotely monitor VSAT hardware installation and performance.
KVH manufactures and supplies three types of VSAT hardware – TracPhone V3 HTS, V7 HTS and V11 HTS – for various types of ship.
It provides VSAT connectivity through its AgilePlans service, which Mr Woodhead said was a monthly service with no long-term commitments and up to 20 Mbps download speeds.