Ship classification society ClassNK has awarded type approval certification for SMARTShip, a digital shipping solution developed by Alpha Ori Technologies (AOT). As explained, this Internet of Things (IoT) platform enables the onboard operation of multiple systems with varying degrees of autonomy. The solution has already been installed on more than 30 vessels. Another 60 ships are at various stages of the set-up process, according to Synergy Group.
ClassNK’s certification for SMARTShip approves the solution as a ‘computer-based system’ which conforms to the class society’s rules governing a product performing ‘remote monitoring and diagnostics’, ‘situational awareness’ and ‘decision support systems’, both onboard and ashore. Hourai Maru, a mid-sized gas carrier delivered in March 2019, was the first ship certified with a ClassNK-approved SMARTShip.
Captain Rajesh Unni, Co-CEO of AOT and CEO and Founder of Singapore-based shipmanager Synergy Group, welcomed the certification of SMARTShip by ClassNK. “Technology is transforming our industry. AOT’s approach to tackling pain points and enabling rules-based decision-making gives clients added transparency and delivers multiple operational, financial and environmental benefits,” Unni commented. AOT’s SMARTShip platform is said to take a holistic approach to solving maritime pain-point issues for every stakeholder in the logistics value chain – shipowners, ship managers, ship operators, port management, surveyors, ship registries, P&I clubs and shipbuilders. Data is collected from all parts of the ship to create a platform which connects disparate systems. This enables the continual monitoring and collection of data, helping crew and managers make rules-based decisions.
“SMARTShip leverages AOT’s proprietary hardware and software and cloud-based infrastructure to collect and transmit more than 5,000 data points from various systems onboard,” Captain Unni noted.
“It utilises the data collected to create value for stakeholders, often including additional information such as weather overlay, statutory and regulatory information etc. The front-end user experience includes intuitive applications which facilitate monitoring and diagnostics of operational issues.”
Several shipowners reported on performance improvements yielded by SMARTShip.
“With digitalisation disrupting entire industries, we seek to realise the competitive advantage… The SMARTShip solution from Alpha Ori Technologies enables us to combine our vessel’s operational data with a range of external data so that in real-time we can optimize performance on single vessels and across our entire fleet,” Martin Ackermann, CEO of BW LPG, a leading client of AOT, said.
“We see great potential in improving safety, reducing costs and enhancing performance for the benefit of all our stakeholders,” he pointed out.
“Alpha Ori Technology’s SMARTShip system has introduced a whole new vision in the approach to ship operations for us at Kumiai Senpaku. We certainly feel that its transparency and the reliability of information it gives us makes it a very efficient and effective tool in improving commercial and operational enhancement. Our expectations have also been met on fuel optimisation and predictive maintenance programmes. Our charterers and managers will continue to benefit from this,” Capt. Rajeeva Mathur, COO of Southern Pacific Holding Corporation C/O Kumiai Senpaku, added.
Features such as the optimization of total fuel consumption and the creation of intelligent alerts and leading indicators are an integral part of SMARTShip.
“SMARTShip’s remote monitoring & diagnostics provides clients with the capability to troubleshoot remotely. This generates huge savings on the usual cost required to send a service engineer to the actual location of the ship for troubleshooting,” according to Unni.
SMARTShip’s situational awareness decision support system (DSS) incorporates applications including SMARTAlert notifications for preventing incidents, total fuel oil consumption fuel optimization application and ASSET AI predictive maintenance applications.