Wärtsilä has launched a new global Smart Support Centre service, aimed at improving asset uptime by providing virtual service engineers with remote access to a wider range of shipboard systems.
The new service is aimed at customers of the Wärtsilä Voyage business unit (formerly Transas), covering ship handling systems such as ECDIS and charts, simulation and training systems, and ship traffic control equipment. These additions are an extension to the existing remote support offerings already available for other Wärtsilä vessel equipment.
The Smart Support Centre remotely manages the health of systems onboard ship, and will proactively warn the vessel operator if any issues are detected. The Wärtsilä team is also able to manage software updates from the Centre and assist system users with other operative queries.
The company says that the service has already been thoroughly tested prior to its commercial launch as part of a pilot programme with Danish shipping company J. Lauritzen.
“Firstly, the crew is aware that 95% of all errors can be rectified remotely, and they don’t need to arrange for a service engineer in the next port to solve the issue. This means that we have the equipment up and running at all times,” said Hans Elker Hansen, Marine QA, Vetting & Nautical Manager at Lauritzen, commenting on the trial.
“Secondly, the use of e-mails to solve a technical or user-related problem is almost entirely eliminated, which avoids excessive communication.”