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Digital evolution

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LNG Industry,

Wärtsilä has released a statement looking at digital evolution in the marine industry.

In the statement, Wärtsilä claims that it has long understood that the future does not fit in to the containers of the past and, for this reason, innovative-thinking and the latest emerging technologies are already deeply embedded at the very core of its Marine product portfolio. The corporation’s €200m Smart Technology Hub, which is scheduled to open in two years in Vaasa, Finland, is further testament to the company’s position in transforming the shipping industry into a cutting-edge, ecologically sound, digitally connected Smart Marine Ecosystem.

Roger Holm, President of Wärtsilä’s Marine Solutions business, said: “The digital transformation of the marine sector has been underway for a long time, and should not be viewed as a ‘new idea’ or ‘future concept’. To say that we are ‘on the verge’ of a digital transformation is, therefore, misstating the real situation and it overlooks the progress that companies like us have already made.

“When the economic downturn occurred in 2008, shipping was badly affected. Since then, shipowners and operators have been seeking ways to reduce their operating costs in order to retain profitability. To achieve this, it has been imperative that operating efficiencies be raised to new levels, and this has been the target of Wärtsilä’s development activities for years now. Recognition of the Wärtsilä 31 engine, introduced in 2015, by Guinness World Records as being the world’s most efficient 4-stroke diesel engine is one notable example.

“Connectivity and digitalisation can take ship operations to far greater efficiency levels than was thought even conceivable just a few years ago, and this approach forms the basis of Wärtsilä’s Smart Marine vision. We have been able to take a leadership role in this transition because our marine offering is uniquely broad, which in addition to our experience, has enabled us to accumulate extensive in-house know-how. Consequently, we have the capabilities needed to develop fully integrated, digitalised solutions that optimise efficiency throughout the vessel.

“To this we have now added further expertise through our acquisition of Transas. This is a company that has achieved remarkable global recognition for its complete bridge systems, digital products and electronic charts. The digital platform that we have already established is being substantially enhanced with the addition of Transas to our portfolio.

“Wärtsilä has already successfully demonstrated remote control of a vessel sailing in the North Sea by operators sitting in California, 8000 km away. We have succeeded in bringing auto-docking technology to realisation, thus increasing the safety of docking operations. Our hybrid power module has set a new industry benchmark, and we have achieved yet another industry first by offering wireless inductive charging technology for charging a ship’s batteries. These are examples of feats accomplished, not vague ideas of what we hope to do in the future.

“Wärtsilä is a smart technology company that is already leading the marine industry to being digitally connected across the entire supply chain. Greater efficiencies translate into better profit performance for our customers, and this is our aim.”

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