Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, has extended its Fleet Xpress service agreement with Maersk Supply Service to include fleet wide IoT-based ship management connectivity on separate, dedicated bandwidths. The extension has also enabled Maersk Supply Service to evaluate new vessel performance tools for selection, available through Inmarsat’s Certified Application Provider (CAP) programme.
Operating off Europe, the Americas, West Africa, Southeast Asia and Australia, the 30-vessel Maersk offshore fleet includes some of the most modern anchor handlers and subsea support vessels in the industry. Under a long-term Fleet Xpress agreement, connectivity will now include dedicated Inmarsat Fleet Connect for key digital applications and a commitment to the Fleet Data IoT platform for data acquisition and uploading.
“Maersk Supply Service is pursuing digitalisation to support optimised fleet management and to improve vessel energy efficiency. Software-based digital solutions have a significant advantage over hardware-based counterparts as they can be deployed fleet-wide at the push of a button,” says Kasper Thiesen, Head of IT, Maersk Supply Service (MSS). “By having the underlying Fleet Data, Fleet Connect infrastructure and sensor data collectors installed on our vessels, we have unlocked a portfolio of digital services which we can deploy to our fleet and bring to market in little-to-no time. As the digital eco-system develops, more solutions will become available, increasing our ability to remain agile and support our journey to decarbonise, and entry into renewable industries.”
Fleet Data enables digitalisation across the full scope of vessel operations, using cloud-based analytics, which is agnostic of OEM-specific applications or sensor technologies. Owner-operators are free to choose which areas will benefit most from predictive analytics and decision-making.
The new agreement will accommodate rapid scaling up of new IoT-based vessel performance applications fleet wide. Fleet Data and Fleet Connect offer a single IoT-based architecture capable of working with every OEM-supplied or standalone analytics and management software in the market.
Maersk Supply Service used Fleet Xpress in combination with Fleet Data to evaluate a number of fuel emissions and ship performance solutions provided through the Inmarsat CAP programme. The trials have resulted in a commercial commitment to SKF One Global Cloud platform that provides condition monitoring and remote diagnostics from SKF Marine and a proof of concept agreement with Yxney Maritime covering the Maress data analytics software for reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
“Maersk Supply Service has been quick to realise that dedicated Fleet Data and Fleet Connect bandwidths satisfy their digital offshore support vessel needs,” says Marco Cristoforo Camporeale, Head of Maritime Digital, Inmarsat Maritime. “Hundreds of data points are monitored on each ship, with Fleet Data covering data acquisition and uploading to the cloud, and Fleet Connect bringing the bi-directional communication to stream data to and from the ship.”
Fleet Connect offers digital solutions providers – including OEMs – the opportunity to take advantage of always-available, dedicated bandwidth for specific vessel management applications.
“We believe that everyone should have access to crucial asset data at any time,” says Frank Hasselbalch – Manager Condition Monitoring, SKF Marine. “SKF’s monitoring solutions provide the foundation for fleet condition-based maintenance strategies to meet and exceed class society recommendations.”
“Maress is a system that unlocks a complete birds-eye view and strategic perspective on fleet and vessel decarbonisation efforts and results,” says Sindre Bornstein, CCO, Yxney Maritime. “Building on a successful Maress trial, Maersk Supply Service will be able to use its data in a smart way to maintain a leading role in the ongoing industry transition; in short, providing transparency, accountability and strategic decision support around emissions.”
“Introducing owners to solutions providers and trialling IoT-based management tools on board without commitment strongly benefited digital strategy development. Inmarsat’s CAP digital ecosystem includes over 50 partners, with new applications added regularly,” Camporeale says. “Together, Fleet Data and Fleet Connect create a flexible solution which takes care of data acquisition and transmission across multiple applications, leaving customers to manage their data as they see fit to enhance ship performance,” he says. “This removes any integration burden and means owners and managers do not need to expend the time, energy and cost committing to single applications only to find out they are suboptimal; instead, they can assess solutions within an existing set-up.”
Inmarsat recently unveiled ORCHESTRA – the first of its kind multi-dimensional, dynamic mesh network that will redefine connectivity at scale with the highest capacity for mobility worldwide. ORCHESTRA will integrate Inmarsat’s ELERA (L-band) and Global Xpress (Ka-band) networks with terrestrial 5G, targeted low earth orbit (LEO) capacity. Dynamic mesh technologies will meet accelerating bandwidth requirements, deliver high performance connectivity everywhere and eliminate congestion challenges at high demand hot spots, including busy ports and sea canals.