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IoT solution comes to the marine market from Danelec Marine, NAPA collaboration

The trend towards Internet of Things (IoT) has reached the marine industry, with Danelec Marine and NAPA teaming up to deliver a complete cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) solution for ship performance analysis and optimization.

The two companies are leveraging on their respective areas of expertise, with Danelec Marine being a manufacturer of Voyage Data Recorders (VDRs), ECDIS, and ship-to-shore data solutions and NAPA providing global maritime software, services and data analysis. The first joint NAPA/Danelec Marine IoT solution has undergone successful sea trials on a vessel, with further installations scheduled in 2018, the two companies said in a press release

The new shipping IoT package combines Danelec’s efficient, low-cost shipboard data collection and data transfer platform DanelecConnect with NAPA’s advanced analytics and optimization tools. This integration with the second-generation platform which was launched last year, captures data from shipboard sensors and allows NAPA to offer its shipping customers a comprehensive turnkey IoT package encompassing numerous elements from onboard data collection to actionable ship and fleet performance analysis through their cloud-based applications thanks to the inclusion of an application programming interface (API) tool.

“This partnership with Danelec Marine eliminates one of the biggest barriers to delivering a true integrated IoT experience to shipowners, operators and charterers,” said NAPA Shipping Solutions development director Pekka Pakkanen.

He explained that previously, getting access to timely data from ships at sea has been challenging, typically involving bespoke shipboard data collection and processing networks with connections to hundreds of data points. DanelecConnect’s universal data interface and wide service network solve these problems, enabling visibility into ships’ performance parameters from shore at a far lower cost, making a solution with high-quality analytics and optimization available to a much wider range of vessels, including time chartered vessels.

“Our automatic data collection package is a technology spinoff from our VDR business,” said Danelec Marine ceo Hans Ottosen. “As one of the largest suppliers of marine VDRs, we have many years of experience in interfacing with all types of data sources on ships. We’re now applying that accumulated expertise to the problem of capturing data and making it available to the maritime cloud-based specialists like NAPA, so they can focus on what they do best – providing ship operators, charterers and other maritime stakeholders with crucial data for better decision making ashore.”

Ottosen noted that another issue previously has been the high cost of ship-to-shore communications. Danelec’s solution has an onboard interface that transmits data efficiently and inexpensively through narrowband satellite channels, cutting total satellite airtime costs to as low as $1 a day, he added.

Ottosen pointed out that despite the rapid pace of growth in IoT in other industry sectors, the maritime market has lagged behind. He cited recent Gartner report forecasting that 5.5m new IoT devices will come online every day in 2018, with more than 20.8bn connected items by 2020. By bringing together the shipboard and shoreside components in a cost-effective integrated cloud-based package, the shipping industry can now become part of the IoT revolution with far-reaching benefits across all aspects of ships, shipping and the logistics value chain of which they are a part, he concluded.

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