From the left: Ronny Tomren, Product Manager SeaQ Remote & Digitalization, Øystein Longva, VP Products, and Andrea Qualizza, CEO of Vard Electro.
Vard Electro aims to facilitate a new generation of larger robotic vessels with the launch of SeaQ Remote to provide centralized remote operation of automated ship control systems and deck machinery in support of lean crewing, lower costs, safety and sustainability.
The new product, which will see its debut delivery on a total of 14 newbuild marine robotic vessels contracted with shipbuilder VARD, is designed to unify the SeaQ suite of automation systems into a single user interface with the full range of remote functionality from shore.
“This represents a technological leap that is also the natural next step in our evolution based on long-established expertise in supply and integration of advanced SeaQ automated control systems for such areas as energy management, propulsion, bridge and navigation on more than 300 vessels,” says Vard Electro’s CEO Andrea Qualizza.
“We are now investing heavily in autonomous technology and digitalization, supported by synergies in the wider Fincantieri group, in line with market demands for cost-efficient and green operations, capitalizing on our long and proven experience in the shipbuilding industry.”
Remote control and awareness
Going beyond automated navigation and other IT systems on the bridge, SeaQ Remote extends smart data-driven functionality to operational technology (OT) in the vessel hull as it enables remote operation of existing machinery systems such as engines, propellers and thrusters.
Such machinery is connected by sensors that can stream real-time data via the cloud to an onshore control center. Merged data from these sensors on a unified user interface provides a smarter way to gain an enhanced awareness of the status of onboard systems.
Constant surveillance of OT systems using sensors also enables data-driven management of vessel operations with a fleet-wide overview from a centralized location to optimize overall operations, while cybersecurity safeguards are maintained to prevent system intrusion.
For example, this allows fuel consumption monitoring to cut costs and emissions; condition monitoring for preventive maintenance on vital systems, thereby reducing vessel downtime and improving safety; and automation of key tasks such as reporting to lessen the crew workload.
In a further advance on existing remote technology, SeaQ Remote also supports a remote deck machinery interface to facilitate some deck operations in support of reduced manning and enhanced safety onboard.
“The key benefits of this technology are lean manning, safety and having an expert in the loop 24/7 to ensure automated systems on the vessel are running smoothly. This in turn will enhance the cost-efficiency and sustainability of operations,” says Vard Electro’s SeaQ Remote Product Manager, Ronny Tomren.
Turnkey solution with automated control systems
This is being demonstrated on the newbuilds being constructed by VARD that will have battery technology installed and will also be prepared for hybrid fuel cells. These marine robotic vessels will be operated from shore, making them among the first DP2 vessels capable of remote operation worldwide.
They will feature the full range of SeaQ solutions and equipment required for remote operations, with an advanced software and extended hardware platform that unifies control of all onboard equipment to efficiently manage remote operations.
Vard Electro’s Vice President Products, Øystein Longva, says: “This newbuild contract is the first commercial application of SeaQ Remote and we are now targeting further deliveries for both retrofits and newbuilds, also as part of a turnkey solution with automated control systems.”
Vard Electro is a globally recognized and trusted provider of marine electrical systems with a strong focus on innovative and sustainable solutions to give clients a competitive advantage. The company provides advice in close cooperation with the customer in order to develop cost-effective and environment-friendly systems designed to optimize operational performance.
Vard Electro works with all established brands in the market to offer smart user-friendly solutions with a high degree of flexibility and reliability, supported by efficient service throughout a vessel’s lifetime. As a trusted partner by shipowners worldwide, there are more than 300 sailing vessels with our SeaQ technology installed onboard.
The SeaQ® portfolio consists of a wide range of high-quality products developed by Vard Electro and includes a complete set of solutions for power management, propulsion, automation, navigation, and communication. Every SeaQ solution can be delivered as a standalone unit or as part of a larger integrated package, giving Vard Electro a competitive advantage in delivering flexible solutions in line with market requirements.
VARD is one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of specialized vessels. Headquartered in Norway and with approximately 8,200 employees, VARD operates shipbuilding facilities in Norway, Romania, Brazil and Vietnam. Through its specialized subsidiaries, VARD develops power and automation systems, deck handling equipment, and vessel accommodation solutions, and provides design and engineering services to the global maritime industry.
The majority shareholder of VARD is Fincantieri Oil & Gas S.p.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of FINCANTIERI S.p.A. Headquartered in Trieste, Italy. FINCANTIERI is one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups, and a global leader in cruise ship design and reference player in all high-tech shipbuilding industry sectors. With over 230 years of history and more than 7,000 ships built, the Group today has a production network of 18 shipyards operating in four continents and over 20,000 employees.