Jumbo has been working on a digital solution to innovate the maritime industry with their partners, ETTU and Friday Out Of The Box. Together they have created a Deckmarking solution using the Microsoft HoloLens. Here is the story so far…

The Challenge
Prior to the loading of heavy lift cargo, a time consuming process needs to be carried out. An engineer needs to make sure that the right anchorage points are welded onto the deck. This is usually done by hand. At least two persons armed with a blueprint and measuring tape mark the right spots on the deck with a spray can (Deckmarking). This manual process takes a lot of time and there is inevitably the risk of mistakes in measurement and having to do it all over again. Jumbo needed a solution!

"We were looking for a more efficient way to project information on deck. Together with Friday Out Of The Box and ETTU the journey began. To realise this concept, Mixed Reality using the Microsoft HoloLens was cleverly used to accelerate and improve our Deckmarking process.”  Wout Janssens, Director Operations & Engineering, Jumbo.

How it Works
Using the Microsoft HoloLens the engineer is able to see the blueprint directly projected on the deck of the ship. This makes it easier to mark the anchorage points. This visual process enables the engineer to notice possible obstacles immediately and apply the anchorage points at a faster rate.

Accuracy is Not a Piece of Cake
Besides safety and usability, the main challenge was to create a stable and highly accurate projection on the immense surface of the Jumbo vessels. This specialised environment requires an accuracy of 1 centimeter within surfaces measuring 12 by 17 meters. 

Billy Jean Method
As GPS-technology is not accurate enough for this work, Jumbo introduced the Billy Jean method, based on Michael Jackson’s song. Similar to the music video where the tiles light up as the king of pop walks on them,  the deckmarking tiles light up while walking on deck. Only the tiles that are closest to the user are shown. This results in a highly stable and accurate projection. 

Recently, new tests with improved software led to great results with regard to performance and accuracy. Now it's time for the final testing on board of Jumbo vessels in Australia and in Rotterdam.

When using the HoloLens application for Deckmarking, the duration of the complex loading process is reduced significantly, which reduces time in port and associated costs. Also, the HoloLens increases the reliability of the deckmarking because the risk of human errors becomes smaller. 

“Never before has a high-tech application like Deckmarking been developed. The accuracy needed for this application to be able to project a blueprint on deck is on the edge of what is possible with the technology of today. This makes the software unique, and because of this Jumbo has patented this solution.” Ralph Jansen, Application Manager, Jumbo.

Innovation Team
This project is a collaboration between Jumbo, ETTU and Friday Out Of The Box. Jumbo is an innovator in the maritime industry while ETTU focuses as an IT-service provider on the development of the Mixed Reality applications using the HoloLens. Friday Out Of The Box manages key innovation processes.

Because of the close collaboration of the three parties, each a specialist in its own field, an application has come to life that directly brings added value to the business activities of Jumbo and the maritime industry as a whole. Watch this space!