From unconnected traditional sails to data-driven intelligent ships and ports that make voyages safer, greener and more efficient — this is the vision behind Wärtsilä’s Smart Marine Ecosystem drive shared Wärtsilä Voyage’s Head of Technology at this year’s SMM digital conference.
So far, the maritime industry has had a sluggish and fragmented approach to digitalisation. But 2020 made it evident that shipping needs to pick up its pace towards smarter operations. And Wärtsilä Voyage is bringing that transformation.
“Looking at the upsides — safety, cost-effectiveness, operational and fuel efficiency — the case for maritime digitalisation is not just strong, it is inevitable,” said Guillemin. “Now, it’s only a matter of implementation, and we have a roadmap drawn for it.”
A.I. already solving today’s challenges
The tech is futuristic, but it is targeted at solving very real problems being faced by the industry presently. Leveraging effective A.I. technologies, Wärtsilä Voyage’s solutions address a comprehensive range of key shipping operations. There is a plethora of practical solutions that can create immediate and quantifiable economic value for customers, such as:
“To support the marine industry in meeting its decarbonisation targets, Wärtsilä Voyage is constantly researching, developing and investing in a wide range of products and solutions that enable a variety of vessel classes to substantially reduce their emissions,” said Guillemin.
‘For instance, our Fleet Operations Solution (FOS) and other smart optimisation applications gather real-time data to ensure efficient ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship operations, optimise routes, reduce fuel consumption through trim, speed and propulsion management, while solutions like Wärtsilä Navi-Port ensure 'just-in-time' arrival to avoid unnecessary near-shore anchorage.’
‘The data also helps us to continuously learn, improve and update the vessel engine, fuel and propulsion systems.’
“While these solutions are already in place and being implemented, the bigger picture is to rapidly move towards a seamless and interconnected marine ecosystem,” added Guillemin.
Moving from silos to integrated ecosystems
Digitalisation is happening but the applications have mostly remained in silos, underutilised. Or completely unexplored due to a hesitation in committing to futuristic tech that may not be compatible with other operations.
Wärtsilä Voyage, therefore, has designed an incremental approach. Customers can start climbing the A.I. ladder with retrofitted solutions and slowly move towards digital-native new builds.
“Our simulators and latest cloud-based training solutions are also a step towards making the transition to A.I. easier for both existing and future crews,” adds Guillemin.
Also, digitalising a vessel or a port is just a stepping stone towards building a holistic Smart Marine Ecosystem. Wärtsilä Voyage has developed a unique integrated infrastructure that combines bridge systems, cloud data management, data services, decision support tools, and access to real-time information — resulting in a smarter voyage.
“We are not just talking about automating a vessel, a port, or one particular function,” said Guillemin. “We’re talking about building a single interconnected, intelligent marine platform for all stakeholders involved in moving a vessel from point A to point B. This requires adoption of the latest technologies, data sharing, open-source APIs, and collaboration across multiple industry verticals to build a network that works in tandem to achieve new levels of efficiency and safety.”
Take a virtual voyage to see what a Smart Marine Ecosystem looks like: https://www.wartsila.com/marine/voyage
Pierre Guillemin, Vice President Technology, Wärtsilä Voyage
Pierre Guillemin is the Head of Technology at Wärtsilä Voyage, the company’s new arm dedicated to transforming maritime ecosystems by leveraging the latest digital technologies. As a technology leader with a passion for building, his roots are in R&D where his background developing large scale solutions and search engines helped him to gather a strong domain knowledge in cutting edge services. As a “jack-of-all-trades” Guillemin has been at the forefront of data-driven product innovation for a decade in the maritime industry, first as the Chief Architect of Eniram before joining Wärtsilä to lead Digital R&D.
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Wärtsilä Voyage in brief
Wärtsilä Voyage transforms how vessels perform their voyage by leveraging the latest digital technologies to deliver a step-change in safety, efficiency, reliability, and emissions. We are committed to creating a Smart Marine Ecosystem, whereby every vessel can connect to digital services that make voyaging safer and greener. With the broadest Smart Marine portfolio in the market, we are well-positioned to lead the industry towards becoming digitally connected across the entire value chain and to be the first partner of choice when leveraging the latest digital technologies.
Wärtsilä in brief
Wärtsilä is a global leader in smart technologies and complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising sustainable innovation, total efficiency and data analytics, Wärtsilä maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers. In 2020, Wärtsilä's net sales totalled EUR 4.6 billion with approximately 18,000 employees. The company has operations in over 200 locations in more than 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.