Survival Technology specialist Survitec has introduced a unique approach to ensure shipowners are fully equipped to protect crews and assets throughout the entire lifetime of their vessels, from concept stage to operations.
As part of its novel “Head Start” programme, a complete through-life supply and service initiative, Survitec is working with shipowners, designers and ship builders from first designs, not only to ensure that vessels are protected with the most advanced safety solutions possible, but also to ensure they can be operated and maintained efficiently throughout the vessel’s lifetime.
Finn Lende-Harung, Commercial Director – Fire Solutions, Survitec, said: “Being involved from the planning phase onwards, we can help to optimise safety system design, installation and commissioning as well as ensuring shipowners benefit from the most cost-effective means of managing their ongoing system training, servicing, and certification requirements.
“From the very beginning of a project, shipowners have immediate access to our global network of experts through a single point of contact. We’re providing a complete one-stop safety shop from the design phase through to ongoing vessel operations. We’re setting shipowners on course for a lifetime of safety at sea,” Lende-Harung said.
This is particularly important for fire safety, the initial focus for Head Start. Rafal Kolodziejski, Survitec’s Head of Product Support and Development – Fire Systems, cited the increasing number of newbuilds opting to run on alternative fuels as one of the main reasons why the initiative is becoming so appealing.
“The industry is well advanced in fire extinguishing technologies and mediums for gas and methanol fuelled fires. However, li-ion batteries, ammonia, and hydrogen are relatively new marine fuel and powering options, presenting very different challenges for shipowners and operators.
“The risk of fire from these alternative fuels can be substantial, requiring a higher focus on prevention and the monitoring of gas leakage and temperatures. When we are involved in a newbuild project from the beginning, we can better mitigate any risk further down the line through quick-response fire system solutions.”
Lende-Harung added that as the shipping industry moves towards digital technologies and the possibilities of autonomous shipping – accelerated perhaps by current operational and financial challenges – “remote monitoring, diagnostics and online maintenance will in the future become a major consideration at the design stage.”
As a result, Survitec has invested heavily in the development of remote and graphical monitoring solutions designed to provide a digital version of a ship’s safety plan with additional functionality such as real time status indication of all the fire protected zones onboard. Typically, only hard copies are available currently.
Survitec’s fire system experts can monitor system conditions, support ship crew with trouble shooting and adjustment of equipment shoreside without having to physically attend the ship,” said Lende-Harung.
“A remote VPN gateway connects to the fire safety system operator panel via an ethernet cable or Wi-Fi through a secure gateway. We can connect at short notice in case of issues threatening normal operation or to provide training to ship crews. For example, we can help a system operator tune-up their inert gas system to reduce fuel consumption, reduce maintenance and increase system stability. Remote diagnostics and the monitoring of fire safety equipment will become a major factor in the swing towards autonomous shipping,” he said.