Reducing Costs with Smart Maintenance

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By Martin Bloem
CEO at Marstrat

Increasing complexity and shrinking margins are forcing the maritime industry to focus on cost awareness. But with the fuel prices at an all-time low, it has become increasingly hard to save expenses in this area. In order to continue realizing cost reductions, the industry is now turning to other methods of staying cost-conscious. Asset expenses, preventive maintenance and shore based management are the current topics that have the industry’s attention. As a result, the demand for integrated smart solutions increases.

Author Martin Bloem
Author Martin Bloem

With all the latest technological developments, it shouldn’t be a surprise that offshore support ships, dredgers, marine and cruise ships, for example, have all become bigger, more complex, and more expensive to maintain. The number of systems has increased, and in most cases these systems are important and critical enough to require constant monitoring. Especially those related to the engines, deck equipment and electrical systems. That is why leading European firms like Boskalis, Jan de Nul, Bourbon or Holland America Line focus on exactly this topic.

Patrick van Eerten, Director Newbuilding, GM Central Fleet Support at Royal Boskalis Westminster: “To Boskalis, smart maintenance is a glance at the future of the efficiency of maintenance efforts. It enables us to research what does and does not work under ‘’laboratory” circumstances. It’s obvious that the one who can make the most sense of all data that is being produced, has the biggest advantage. We’re working hard to pull the right information from all that data.

The question is: how do we go about this? By developing better systems and increase expertise, of course – but that’s not necessarily a new development. We’ve been able to monitor a system’s condition from a distance for years. Today’s challenge is how we can create a more complete monitoring system: one that doesn’t just focus on a single piece of equipment, but on all of them at the same time, and in real-time.

This is where smart maintenance comes in. Smart maintenance is based on algorithms that enable you to figure out when a particular component of a ship might break down, needs replacing or intervention. Which then allows you to plan maintenance or repair at the best suitable time. A moored ship is a lot easier to access than a ship at sea. Moreover, it is less expensive to perform maintenance when a ship is moored. And thanks to smart maintenance it will no longer be necessary to bring expensive engineers on board while the ship is at sea, just in case something goes wrong. In short: smart maintenance helps prevent unexpected defaults at sea, thus resulting in less unplanned and unnecessarily expensive repair and maintenance costs. It allows for an optimal performance of your costly asset.

Ship in dry dock at sunrise - shipyard in Gdansk, Poland.

There are currently smart maintenance systems being developed that are capable of alerting every party that is involved in the industry: from main suppliers, to asset owners, software providers and maintenance teams. But how do you realize a smart maintenance ICT system with overall performance indicators? And how do you manage all of these systems and the sheer amount of data they’ll inevitably produce?

Wouter Kruijt, Executive Director IHC Services at Royal IHC: “As opposed to cars and planes, most ships are a single unique product. Using powerful computers and big data, we can now create connections that weren’t possible before. A powerful collaboration between shipbuilder and user (design and operational data) may enable a breakthrough”.

To further address these issues, and to challenge maritime branch expert to consider market innovation using smart maintenance, the Dutch Maritime Cluster is hosting a high-level themed lunch during SMM in Hamburg on 7 september. The lunch will consist of three courses, during which two expert panels will discuss various topics related to smart maintenance, such as how to handle the smart maintenance challenge, which choices to make, which systems to install and how to integrate these systems. In short: how do you translate the cost issue into the right solution and approach?

The panels will be formed by high level experts from dredgers, offshore, navy, knowledge institutions and solution providers within the industry value chain. Organizations from every discipline of the maritime industry will participate as an audience – which will undoubtedly trigger a challenging discussion on knowledge, cross sectoral co-operation and innovation. The panel discussion will be hosted by Meindert van Genderen, a seasoned marine engineer and former ship operator who is now partner at Rotterdam based Marstrat consultancy.

Martin Bloem, CEO at Marstrat: “The objective of this lunch is to encourage parties to get in touch and to work together to figure out how to create even better systems. We’d like to stimulate peoples’ minds, provide new insights and create new coalitions. We want the parties in this industry to find each other internationally, because that it what this industry is all about. It’s an international business. If, as a result of this lunch, at least one new partnership is formed, we’ll have achieved our goal”.

Interested?
If you’d like to attend the business lunch, all you need to do is fill out the form here. Tickets are €95,- excluding VAT.

SMM Business Lunch ‘Smart Maintenance’
7 September, 2016 from 12:00pm to 14:00pm
Radisson Blu Hotel Hamburg

The SMM Business Lunch is supported by Royal Boskalis Westminster, Croonwolter&dros, Royal IHC, Drecht Cities Maritime Delta, Netherlands Business Support Office Hamburg, Netherlands Maritime Technology, Siemens, Marstrat and IFS Benelux.


The Industry Contribution is a new section in which maritime companies share their project endeavors or analyses. Please contact us at sm@navingo.com for inquiries.

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