Remote monitoring capabilities play a key role in the Schulte Group’s digital strategy, with data aiding in optimising both vessel and fleet performance, in sea- and shore-based applications
Schulte Group deputy chief operating officer Helge Bartels spoke at Riviera Maritime Media’s Optimised Ship Forum in Hamburg on 1 October about how the company collects data from vessels it owns and manages and leverages it to enhance performance.
Looking ahead, Mr Bartels says he expects environmental pressures and regulation to increase, with emissions reduction a key driver. By collecting data and knowing how to utilise this data effectively, owners and operators can avoid unpleasant surprises, he adds, and provided details of how the Schulte Group leverages data to its advantage.
The Schulte Group is split between a shipowning group, that either owns or co-owns more than 90 vessels including container ships, tankers, gas carriers, bulkers, and offshore support vessels; and a maritime services arm that includes ship management, marine software development, newbuilding supervision, commercial management, vessel inspection, hospitality and port agency, Mr Bartels explains.
The group’s digitalisation journey began nearly a decade ago, and now covers almost all areas of a vessel’s operations, including technical, organisational and commercial areas, says Mr Bartels. Data plays an essential role in how the company drives its operations, he adds, with technologies such as telemetry systems playing a key role in improving vessel performance, and adopting automation in areas such as daily reporting, maintenance, monitoring, operational alerts and diagnostic systems.
This is enabled by the company’s Athens-based Fleet Performance Centre, which is tasked with spearheading Bernhard Schulte Ship Management’s operational efficiency and reliability through data-driven tools and process automation.
Mr Bartels explained to the audience in Hamburg how the Fleet Performance Centre uses data from vessels to optimise their performance through analysis, benchmarking and actionable insights. KPIs are used to provide analytics via comprehensive dashboards that visualise performance, provide traffic-light style overviews and provide alerts to operators. Areas covered by these KPIs include main and auxiliary engine performance, hull and propeller condition, passage execution, trim optimisation, and more.
Main engine performance is assessed based on criteria including fuel consumption, turbocharger efficiency, cylinder output balancing, and lube oil consumption, among others, Mr Bartels says. Hull and propeller performance is tracked while assessing the impact of marine growth on coatings, analysing speed loss, and a number of other factors.
Continuous monitoring can be provided for individual vessels, which are also benchmarked against sisters, peers and the wider fleet.
Schulte Group fully owns MariApps, a marine digital solutions provider with products that enable owners and operators to make smart use of data including smartPAL, a web-based, mobile compliant, cloud supporting marine enterprise resource planning tool, and LiveFleet, an application that allows shipowners to track vessels in real-time and provides information such as speed, performance, and fuel optimisation.
Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement provides turnkey solution end-to-end telemetry projects in combination with an analytics platform and consolidated reporting for clients via MariApps cloud-based IT solutions, including the ability for customers to define their own KPIs, says Mr Bartels.
“We are not just talking about our own fleet, we are also talking about 400 vessels managed for others – we have to match their demands as well,” he adds, noting that the Fleet Performance Centre translates into positive results for the company’s supervision and monitoring services.
“This allows us to be quite confident, and this is one of the core strategic basics that Bernhard Schulte follows.”