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AVEVA deploying technology in marine sector

Cutting edge software solutions to execute and operate more practical projects

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AVEVA deploying technology in marine sector

AVEVA, a global leader in engineering and industrial software, is at the helm of developing and deploying cutting edge software solutions to execute and operate more practical projects and provide the marine industry with finely tuned features to connect the business-critical processes of engineering, design, planning, construction and operations. These positive developments come when the COVID-19 pandemic has sent shockwaves across the sector and is having a knock-on effect in terms of the industry’s economic stability.

“The marine industry is a pivotal part of global economic trade, with a staggering 90% of international trade being seaborne,” said Panel Chairperson, David Thomson, Solutions Strategy Manager, for Marine, AVEVA. “As the industry adapts to changes in both the economic landscape and environmental regulations, at AVEVA we have developed tools to optimize project execution, shipyard operations, and vessel performance through digitalization across the marine lifecycle. These tools have been proven in other industries, and we are now adapting and mapping them to the Marine sector.”

Driving a Digital Agenda

Marine industry leaders shared their experiences embracing technology to enhance the industry during the recent AVEVA World Digital (AWD) conference on 26-28 January 2021. From major greenfield ventures like International Maritime Industries (IMI), the largest integrated, full-service maritime yard in MENA with tier focus on Very Large Crude Carriers, Offshore Service Vessels and Rigs, to US-based General Dynamics NASSCO who design and construct support ships for the US Navy, and TechBinder, a bespoke marine technology solutions provider, the consensus was that accelerated digital transformation, incorporating new technologies and development approaches, is not the only key to success but also survival in this sector.

Three key themes came to light:

Digital transformation is accelerating in the Marine Industry

Business leaders have accelerated the digitization of their operations and processes to respond to the current pandemic’s impact on working patterns and meet fast-changing compliance needs. Business agility is a key strategic focus for digital transformation and the transition to the cloud. Cloud has become an immediate imperative for businesses, providing the capability to scale while balancing accessibility and security.

International Maritime Industries (IMI) is an integrated, full-service greenfield maritime yard, offering solutions to ship and rigging customers worldwide from the ground up. Panellist Emad Al Humam, SVP Corporate Services at IMI, commented, “The cloud is no longer a nice to have. It’s now mandatory from a cost perspective, for agility and flexibility of transferring data.”

US-based General Dynamics NASSCO specializes in designing and constructing auxiliary and support ships for the US Navy and oil tankers and dry cargo carriers for commercial markets. Jeff Schaedig, Supervisor, Engineering & Technical Solutions, General Dynamics NASSCO, said, “Agility for NASSCO means being able to move with the changes that come with the process of Government contracts. The industry is waking up to the benefits of the cloud – the FedRAMP process and Government Cloud being two key initiatives in the naval shipbuilding industry.”

Innovation is key for the Shipping Industry

Business leaders are adopting new technologies and approaches as well as successfully tackling challenges along the way. The marine industry is evolving and adopting new digital best practices as we move through 2021. Digital twins are a key pillar for innovation.

Emad Al Humam, of IMI, said “The digital twin will help us significantly in achieving business goals which encompass the delivery of smarter products. Our ultimate goal is the digital ship, to achieve cost competitiveness, more efficiency, and better control, especially when it comes to predictive maintenance. And that would make us a pioneer in the market.”

“For AVEVA, the digital transformation begins with the digital twin, providing us with living data, both static and real-time. It helps us understand the system’s behaviour, what could happen in the medium to long term, and what is happening right now. It is the centre of our Digital Transformation strategy for marine customers”, said David Thomson. “Digital ship development, digital shipyard operations, and digital ship operations are all built on the foundation of a complete, accurate digital twin, enabling remote monitoring, enhanced production and manufacturing, asset performance management, and workforce transformation, significantly increasing the savings both in terms of ROI and the environment. Data management and comprehension are key”.

Other innovations include TechBinder, a technology solution allowing shipping businesses to optimize their fleet using data that the vessels already produce. Bram van den Boom, Founding Partner, said: “Building on existing proven technology is one way to reduce risk and internal development time. There is a huge opportunity to take what is already out there and to build on it and adapt.” 

Bridging the generational gap

The sector shares the challenge of attracting talent from younger generations with other heavy industries. Increasing digital transformation offers a potential platform for attracting the next generation workforce to the marine industries.

Jeff Schaedig said, “Shipbuilding has some of the best problems for young engineers to solve, a challenging environment to build in, large scale equipment, challenging timelines, many changes inline on projects. It is an environment ripe for innovation and improvement.”

Concluding the session, business leaders agreed that the marine industry is in an exciting period of transformation and opportunity and acknowledged that shipping companies are often conservative when adopting new technologies.  However, all agreed that companies that can react with agility and take advantage of digital transformation early would reap the most benefits. David Thomson, Chair of the panel, summarized the challenge and the opportunity facing the marine industry, “In the challenging economic environment we are operating in” said Thomson, “Shipbuilders need to be masters of change.”

1 International Chamber of Shipping: https://www.ics-shipping.org/shipping-fact/shipping-and-world-trade-world-seaborne-trade/

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