ABB opens new Helsinki Integrated Operations Center
ABB says it is continuing to leverage the increased connectivity of the shipping industry by opening a second Integrated Operations Center. The facility in Helsinki will serve the Passenger, Cargo and Icegoing vessel sectors and it comes after the successful launch of similar facility in Billingstad, Norway which has oversight of ABB’s customers in the oil and gas sector. The new center will be able to connect to any passenger or cargo ship and monitor the performance of ABB technology on board, including the vessels’ Azipod units which, for example, power the vast majority of modern cruise vessels and icebreakers. The Integrated Operations Center also connects to the ship owner’s onshore operational centers to support their operations department in troubleshooting, maintenance planning and fleet benchmarking.
Sensors and software onboard the ship send equipment and performance data via satellite link which allows ship owners, in collaboration with ABB’s experts, to monitor the performance of whole fleets. This reduces the chances of unexpected downtime and expensive missed port calls. At the center, ABB combines data from all its monitoring software which is sent to the cloud automatically, as well as manually collected data from condition-monitoring surveys and feasibility studies.
“It is simply more efficient and safe to support the engineer onboard than reacting to a problem,” said Richard Windischhofer, SVP Integrated Operations at ABB. “Ship owners are being much more proactive nowadays and are monitoring the performance of a whole fleet from shore.”
The Integrated Operations Center is another example of ABB’s concept of the Internet of Things, Services and People. By using the latest digital technologies customers can connect with ABB from shore or onboard, allowing the transfer of knowledge and support in just one click.
Azipod propulsion has become synonymous especially with the cruise industry and the Integrated Operations Center will allow ship owners to take greater control of the performance and maintenance of the propulsion units. Since its first installation 25 years ago, Azipod units have clocked up more than 12 million running hours with very high availability.
“Our Azipod Monitoring Services provides the real time health status of Azipod items. In case an abnormality occurs, the system generates an early alarm that maximizes the reaction time for the maintenance support,” said Jussi Vikström, VP Propulsion Product Services says. ““We can monitor the vessel motion and power plant context also, which allows us to analyze and recommend preventive measures to extend the lifetime of the monitored equipment.”
“With cruise ships carrying more passengers and becoming increasingly complex, taking a proactive approach to monitoring mission critical systems is more important than ever,” said Marcus Martelin, VP Services for the Passenger and Cargo Segment at ABB. “From the Integrated Operations Center we can identify onboard issues before the crew even knows about it and make many interventions predictable.”
Further centers are scheduled to open in Asia and the US in 2016.
ABB is a leading global technology company in power and automation that enables utility, industry, and transport & infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people.