Seldom do you see technology and opportunity coming together in a way that can positively disrupt the marine industry, but the time is ripe for that to happen.
After a period of stress where contracting levels fell to historical lows, the marine sector is finally beginning to look up. And while this is a good start, we must help this recovery by using innovative technology to radically improve efficiencies. This is what we are striving for with our new Smart Marine vision, which aims to use intelligent development to create smart solutions for an integrated marine ecosystem.
Digitalisation and automation will play a big role in this. Wärtsilä already has the biggest product portfolio in the marine industry and by combining this with digital aspects, we can help our customers improve their businesses. The benefits will be two-fold. First, it will help reduce fuel costs and emissions, making shipping more environment-friendly. And second, it will use technology to support safer and more efficient operations of vessels. In doing this, we help meet Wärtsilä’s larger purpose, which is ‘enabling sustainable societies with smart technology’.
As part of this strategy, we are constantly looking at improving the different pieces of the marine ecosystem puzzle, figuring out how we can improve the movement of the vessel from point A to point B to point C. At the same time, our goal is to ensure that all these pieces are improvements by themselves. Our Wärtsilä HY product is a case in point. We have combined engines with batteries and with our software to create the most efficient hybrid model in the marine industry. Besides this, we also provide other solutions like induction charging to reduce the port time for battery-powered and hybrid vessels. If you add these separate solutions together, you will see how we have helped our customers optimise operations across the board.
While work on the new strategy has already begun, it is clear that this is not something which can be implemented, all at once. This has to be done step-by-step, in close collaboration with our partners and customers. And at the same time, our focus must be on continuous innovation, both in our existing product lines and in the development of new ones.
Wärtsilä’s long history is filled with examples of how we have successfully disrupted the industry and so change is nothing new to us. This is why I feel this new strategy is both a big development and a continuation. We have done it before and we can do it again.
President, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions