Radio Holland Group : Remote monitoring, hype or reality



Industry's View, MH Magazine, Radio Holland Group

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Remote monitoring is a regularly discussed topic in the maritime industry. When talking to ship operators about their requirements with regards to remote monitoring, it appears that they have a strong interest, but no clear lead on how to apply the information. When talking to manufacturers about how their equipment is prepared to provide essential status information, it appears that this functionality is still limited.  Is remote monitoring a hype or reality?


We discussed this topic during roundtable discussions at the Digital Ship CIO Forum in Rotterdam and Singapore. The participants were a mix of ship owners, class societies, knowledge institutes and suppliers. A number of propositions were explored, for example: Do owners see the benefit of monitoring their on-board equipment?  What are the challenges. What about cyber security threats?  What are ‘remote’ tools, how is the flow of information organized.“Remote monitoring can be a tool to further reduce cost of ownership and cost of maintenance of the equipment on board of ships.”

Remote can provide opportunities to discover faults in equipment at a very early stage.  How? First of all, continuous monitoring by specialists. Subsequently, on the basis of periodic trending and analysis, early insights into deviations can be established, reported and acted upon. Remote monitoring and analysis of (performance) data can decrease operational costs. By monitoring essential equipment, problems can be identified in time and if possible solved remotely. As such, preventing delays and unnecessary costs.  If a service visit is necessary, insights ensure an efficient service job, sending the right parts and engineers to the next port of call, for quick informed action. ‘First Time Fix’ saves time and money for the vessel and operator.  Additionally remote monitoring provides insights into vessel operations. Ultimate goal is optimized uptime and vessel availability.

Various equipment can be monitored. Communication equipment, Navigation equipment, Ballast Water Management, Engines, ancillaries…. As long as there is data output available. With a voyage data recorder on board, already a vast amount of data is collected and can be made available and used.

The roundtable discussions provided relevant insights. It is clear for me that remote can fulfil a market requirement. Remote reality is around the corner. It can change the maritime environment and maintenance market fundamentally. Cyber security is an issue that worries many ship owners. In order for owners to give access to their ship’s data, this needs to be absolutely secure and safe. I would like to challenge all manufacturers in the maritime (electronic) market to join forces, working on one remote dashboard platform to combine various monitoring actions & tools, creating efficiency for the ship owners. It will help realize a sustainable shipping industry and enhance our expert knowledge and innovation power in the global market.

Paul Smulders
Radio Holland Group