Optimarin is taking maintenance of ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) to the next level with the launch of a new-generation service frame agreement integrating the benefits of its new OptiLink™ digital solution to minimise operational costs and ensure regulatory compliance for shipowners.
OptiLink™ allows the BWTS supplier to upgrade its service offering to clients as it facilitates greatly improved maintenance planning through digital diagnostics and data analysis, as well as remote interactive support to ensure continuous operation of the BWTS.
An important part of the new service package is the future option of compliance reporting. OptiLink™ enables ballast water data to be shared with third parties, including class societies and port authorities, so the required certificates can be obtained without port delays due to lab tests and vessel inspections.
Optimarin is now able to provide smart maintenance across a shipowner’s fleet through the new integrated service model that expands into the digital realm its existing global support network, with availability of spare parts and service technicians at strategic locations.
“This service agreement is intended to maximise uptime for a vessel during transit or while at port through regular planned maintenance and upgrades, thereby keeping operating costs to a minimum,” explains Optimarin’s vice president for services Arild Stølen.
OptiLink™ can be retrofitted either onto an existing Optimarin BWTS or even a third-party system, which would require permission from the vendor.
It gathers data from sensors on the system that is available to the vessel crew on a computer interface in the control room and also via an internet or 4G link to the ship manager onshore.
This provides real-time monitoring of the BWTS to give online access to key performance indicators such as water condition, temperature, pressure, power consumption and back-flushing, while also alerting users to possible maintenance issues as long as the ship is connected to the cloud through available connections.
The cloud-based system makes it possible for Optimarin to carry out remote troubleshooting, training and over-the-air software updates, as well as for preventive maintenance to be performed in a timely manner, to keep the BWTS running efficiently and the vessel on schedule.
Furthermore, OptiLink™ will over time build up and provide the option for customers to access a global heat map indicating the water quality of different ports around the world based on accumulated data and this will enable shipowners to optimise voyage planning to avoid ballast water compliance issues.
Optimarin’s executive vice president for sales and marketing Tore Andersen says, “The more vessels that have this system installed; the more data will be collated on the level of sediment in water at ports around the world.”
He points out there could also be a major cost saving by identifying so-called “red” ports – or those with a high level of muddy water – through heat-mapping as these can result in additional fuel and other costs associated with excessive ballast water transfers.
“This digital tool provides the missing link for better planning of ballast water operations with high value for shipowners,” he says.
The OptiLink™ control panel can be easily installed by a ship’s crew on an existing BWTS and its functionality will be expanded as more features are added through software upgrades.
Norwegian supplier Optimarin is offering differentiated service packages according to fleet requirements, with the comprehensive Compliant+ package connected to OptiLink™ for “total peace of mind” in relation to BWTS operations, Andersen assures.
“This expanded service frame agreement is underpinned by Optimarin’s belief that a long-term relationship with clients is necessary to achieve predictable maintenance costs to lower BWTS lifecycle operating expenses, as well as regulatory compliance,” he says.
With more than 1200 BWTSs ordered and 700 such systems delivered to date, Optimarin has already secured its first orders for OptiLink™ after the recent launch of the revolutionary digital tool and Andersen expects more shipowners to capitalise on the cost benefits of the new service deal.