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MOL to roll-out Fleet Xpress to entire fleet

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), one of Japan’s largest shipping companies, has announced plans to ramp up installations of Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress (FX) VSAT service across the remainder of its owned and managed fleet, having begun initial deployments of the system on the majority of its car carriers in 2016, shortly after FX was launched.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The Japanese shipping company currently it has more than 100 vessels installed with the satcom system, but intends to now move forward with installation of Fleet Xpress across its entire managed and owned fleet of bulk carriers, tankers, pure car carriers and LNG carriers.

The fleet-wide commitment is part of MOL’s plan to scale up its digital activities, as the shipping company looks to implement Internet of Things (IoT) and advanced data analytics technologies to drive improvements in safety, efficiency and environmental performance.

One digitalisation project already underway at the company is MOL’s partnership with Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding and Weathernews on the development of a new Fleet Optimal Control Unified System (FOCUS) platform.

In its initial stages FOCUS will see detailed voyage and engine data gathered from 150 vessels and stored in the Cloud, where it will be made available for analysis to drive operational efficiency and propulsion performance improvements.

“As satellite communications technology has grown dramatically over the past decade, we have adopted VSAT from an early stage for e-mail communication and sharing of images between ship to shore, and now we can also monitor equipment,” said MOL, in a statement.

“The continued roll-out of Fleet Xpress will help implement our forecast maintenance solutions through our FOCUS platform, and we will continue to develop our use of satellite communication in the future to help to continue to digitalise our vessels.”

New engine health monitoring and fault diagnostics, ’digital twins’ to support vessel maintenance management, augmented reality and other remote visualisation techniques that supplement ship to shore interactions are among a range of additional ideas also under consideration at MOL, the company said.{/mprestriction}

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    Headquartered in Salvador, Brazil and with offices in São Paulo, Shanghai and London, i4sea will provide a high-precision sea and weather forecasting application with up to seven days forecasting in advance through i4cast’s Atm Ocean tool.

    “As a Certified Application Provider, we will be constantly developing new features to generate increasingly powerful tools for the maritime market,” said i4sea CEO Bruno Balbi. “Working with a company like Inmarsat is really a great deal for i4sea and this is the first smart system that integrates in a single platform, all the essential tools to support decision making regarding vessel’s maneuvers and port terminal’s operations,” he said.

    Six integrated tools are offered and includes services such as ocean and weather hyperlocal forecasts, dynamic draft prediction, terminal efficiency analytics and analysis and prediction of siltation or erosion dynamics of the seabed.

    “We are delighted to be working with such an innovative start-up such as i4Sea, a company we worked with as part of the Portuguese Bluetech accelerator programme earlier this year,” said Marco Cristoforo Camporeale, head of digital Solutions, Inmarsat Maritime. “

    “This tie-up will allow ship operators and managers to both route plan and improve terminal efficiency and this is all achieved through the i4sea application on Fleet Data and via a secure platform that is fully scalable, fleet-wide and now commercially available on both Fleet Xpress and FleetBroadband,” said Mr Camporeale.

    Currently, i4sea's clients include Brazilian companies such as TECON Salvador (Wilson, Sons), Açu Petróleo, CSN Coal and Ore Terminal, Cotegipe Port, Bahia’s Maritime Authority, Itajaí Port, Enseada, among others. There are also international contracts with the ports of Leixões and Sines, in Portugal.

     

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