Yara Marine Technologies has developed methods of providing remote support to shipboard engineering teams for servicing equipment used to reduce shipping emissions
It has deployed augmented reality (AR) glasses to ships for remote service support and training applications.
This has aided Yara Marine Technologies to support maintenance of engineroom systems at a time when sending engineers is challenging due to Covid-related travel restrictions.
AR creates a wide range of new business opportunities and has the potential to revolutionise many work processes.
Yara Marine Technologies said it is seizing the potential by using AR glasses to provide remote service and training to customers.
“We have been experimenting with AR glasses for some time,” said Yara Marine Technologies chief science officer Aleksander Askeland.
“When the pandemic stopped our service engineers from boarding vessels, we had the alternative ready. With AR technology we have the visual field of the ship’s crew members on our monitors,” he said.
Mr Askeland provided more explanation of how AR supports seafarers.
“While talking to the crew we can make markings, draw, and add text to the various engine parts they are looking at,” he said.
“This is useful when giving instructions and a very efficient way of training. It allows us to offer the best expertise available to every one of our clients across the globe, at any time, thereby increasing the quality and responsiveness of our services,” Mr Askeland added.
Further development of AR glasses’ design and functionalities has widened their application in maritime. However, testing and trials of this technology are needed to identify potential challenges and to continuously optimisation of use.
Yara Marine Technologies head of research and development Jesper Hellström explained how the company is taking these technologies further.
“We recently completed a successful test run with our engineers in Shanghai, China using AR glasses to provide crew training in Japan,” he said.
“They tested a range of different functionalities with great results, such as the ability to draw instructions in the visual field of the crew being trained,” Mr Hellström explained.
These tests highlighted challenges to overcome before AR glasses can be more widely implemented.
“There were some challenges with internet connectivity in the deepest parts of the vessel, especially in the engineroom, which acted as a Faraday cage,” said Mr Hellström.
“However, these issues are now resolved as we continuously innovate and improve the system.”
With these challenges overcome, Yara Marine Technologies is able to gain benefits from using AR glasses, including reduced costs in system servicing.
Using AR glasses also removes the reliance on extensive travelling, lowing expenditures and carbon footprints.
Therefore, Mr Askeland expects to see increasing use of these technologies.
“AR glasses are digital tools that will enable us to provide service and training in a more effective and agile way,” he said.
“Just the other day we did a yard inspection with workers walking around for us with AR glasses while receiving different instructions. For our customers, AR technology results in increased value of services received,” Mr Askeland continued.
“In addition, less need for travelling will cut costs for all parties involved, and decrease the emissions associated with our work. That means a lot to a green tech company like ours.”