NYK Shipmanagement has created a new computer-based ECDIS familiarisation programme for its seafarers, to improve its crew’s skills in the operation of the navigation equipment onboard ship.
The ‘iPlus ECDIS’ digital guidance programme aims to help officers to become experts in the use of ECDIS over a shorter time period than is possible using traditional familiarisation methods, covering 66 different ECDIS operations that may be encountered during onboard duties, backed by 3,200 images and screenshots.
The programme was designed based on the ECDIS checklist developed by the Nautical Institute (NI), and will be installed on tablets kept next to the ECDIS equipment on board NYK vessels. Users of the system can follow signs and pop-up messages to guide them through the required steps to safely complete specific operations using the technology.
NYK notes that the programme material has been produced to meet the familiarisation requirements of the systems provided by the four main Japanese ECDIS manufacturers.
“Much time is required for officers to become proficient in the use of ECDIS because it differs according to manufacturer and model, and operation requires many steps. Even newer versions of ECDIS vary significantly from older versions made by the same manufacturer and can be challenging to operate,” said NYK, in a statement.
“Initial steps in a menu can differ greatly from version to version, as can subsequent steps. Moreover, many steps can often be required to accomplish a task, so officers can require a lot of time to learn the use of ECDIS. iPlus ECDIS was thus created to provide quick educational guidance in a digital platform to assist officers and improve their speed of use.”
The digital guide is currently being distributed to 200 NYK ships, and will soon be expanded to cover all ships managed by the NYK Group, the company says, in line with its ‘Staying Ahead 2022 with Digitalization and Green’ management plan.