The operations centre located in Thome's Singapore head office the hub tracks all 221 vessels in Thome's fleet and their position can be automatically updated every 30 minutes. It features a video wall comprising ten 55 inch screen allows multiple operators to view several screens at once.
A variety of functions allow operators to view security zones, war risk areas, and emission control areas and where the manager's vessels are in relation to these.
“The Operations Hub means that we now have an even closer control of our managed fleet, offering our clients up to date information and even greater improvements in our ship management services. The monitoring capabilities provided by the hub will enable us to direct our managed fleet more efficiently saving time and improving our operational efficiency,” said Claes Eek Thorstensen, president and cco of the Thome Group.
The hub is also designed to handle emergency situations and features such as CCTV enable shore staff to understand what current conditions are like.
“Furthermore, in times of emergency we can react much more quickly and get faster and more accurate information about the situation in real time, allowing our crisis teams to make informed decisions on how to resolve any issues,” he said. The centre gives ship Masters a single and immediate point of contact the time of crisis.
Currently CCTV images are updated every five minutes, and there are also videoing conferencing facilities. However, despite recent improvements in maritime communications, bandwith does remain an issue for some of the more ambitious communications using video as an aborted video call on Skype with a ship's Captain at sea in a demonstration for media showed..
Olav Nortun, ceo of Thome Group, said they were seeing what they could do with compression techniques, but bandwith would be an issue in the next few years.
Most of the systems used in the operations hub have been bought off the shelf rather than specifically developed for Thome's use. Nortun said that as they go forward with using the system there might be new systems that would need to be developed.