The value of On-board Wireless Connectivity

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Wireless technology has already revolutionised telephone communication – it took over 100 years to reach a billion cabled telephone customers, and less than 15 years to reach 5 billion mobile users. Now a new type of wireless connectivity technology is breaking down communication barriers on ships. Real time wireless connectivity through steel environments enables instant visibility of crewmembers, cargo, assets, and equipment not possible with cable connections. Offered as a service, the plug-and-play wireless network for ships and fleets requires a minimum of time and effort, and near zero CAPEX.

“All the customer needs to know is the number of rooms and the number of people on the ship, and they can order the system online and install it themselves. This is truly a low threshold to high tech, a simple solution employing the most advanced technology.”

Jon Roger Nesje, CEO ScanReach

One of the main barriers for innovation has now been removed, paving the way for groundbreaking innovation, and enabling problems and needs to be addressed in new ways. The value of this breakthrough can be seen from three perspectives: Safety, Sustainability, and Performance.

What is the value of safety?

Safety as a quality
When an organization values safety, there is a shared belief among owners, managers, workers, and partners that safety is not just a way to work, but a way of life. Beyond the potential for death or serious injuries to workers, failing to address safety issues can cause significant damage to a company’s reputation, making it difficult to win contracts or recruit and retain workers.

Safety as a quantity
Identifying the quantitative value of safety requires finding a way to show the economic benefits it provides, or the economic costs it avoids. One way is to determine the cost of lack of safety, or the potential losses due to safety being neglected.  At the very least, this includes indirect and indirect costs associated with accidents — such as medical bills, lost hire, and damage to assets — along with other costs that may result, such as increases in workers compensation and liability insurance premiums.

Simply safe
ScanReach In:Range and In:Connect are robust, affordable solutions that address both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of safety. The system of wearable sensors, central processing units and visual interface allows shipowners and operators to know where crew are on a vessel at all times. Crewmembers can also notify a central operator in the event of accident or disablement. Wireless sensors can be used to monitor holds and rooms for gases, heat, smoke, and air quality. Wireless, scalable, easy to install, and affordable, they help shipowners and operators to eliminate unnecessary risk to crew and cargo.

An efficient ship is a sustainable ship
No matter if prices are up or down, fuel costs will always be one of the biggest expenses in running a ship. And as emissions regulations continue to tighten and scrutiny from stakeholders increases, keeping fuel consumption and resulting emissions down will only grow in importance in the near and long term future.

Operating a ship as efficiently as possible requires real-time knowledge of operating parameters, and everything on board that impacts energy consumption and vessel performance. The current fleet is largely unequipped to capture and provide this information to shore in real-time. The answer lies in scalable, flexible, wireless sensor monitoring and data transfer that is both easy and affordable to install and operate.

With plug and play sensors, an onboard wireless network allows real time data collection across confined steel environments. All the data needed to ensure efficient and compliant ship operations is transferred to shore for analysis and implementation. The learning process can begin, the roadmap to sustainability begins to take shape, and the lessons learned can be shared throughout the entire organization, and the entire supply chain.

Performance is about more than engines
In order to optimize vessel performance, all factors impacting a voyage must be considered in real time. Not just engine performance, but overall energy consumption, weather, current, motion, vibration, and a host of other factors must be taken into consideration.

The current global fleet is unequipped to monitor and analyse such a wide range of input. Wireless, scalable, easy to install sensor networks enable collecting and transferring data to shore teams who can feed their findings back to the fleet, giving shipowners new tools to optimise vessel performance at previously unattainable levels.

ScanReach is already monitoring weather, heat, humidity and other elements in the overall performance picture. In the near future, they will offer the ‘ScanReach Ready’ package, including a selected array of sensors, the mesh node onboard data transfer network, Internet gateway and user interface, and options for communication with shore operators, all on a secure platform, and at a fraction of the price of existing cabled solutions. 

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