Norwegian shipbuilder VARD, via its Vard Electro division, is expanding its support for autonomous ship operations with the launch of SeaQ Remote, designed to provide centralised remote operation of automated ship control systems and deck machinery from shore.
The new product will see its debut delivery on a total of 14 newbuild marine robotic vessels contracted to be built by VARD, unifying Vard Electro’s existing range of SeaQ systems within a single interface. These marine robotic vessels will be operated from shore, making them among the first DP2 vessels capable of remote operation worldwide.
“This represents a technological leap that is also the natural next step in our evolution based on long-established expertise in supply and integration of advanced SeaQ automated control systems for such areas as energy management, propulsion, bridge and navigation on more than 300 vessels,” said Vard Electro’s CEO Andrea Qualizza.
“We are now investing heavily in autonomous technology and digitalisation, supported by synergies in the wider Fincantieri Group (VARD’s major shareholder), in line with market demands for cost-efficient and green operations, capitalising on our long and proven experience in the shipbuilding industry.”
SeaQ Remote supports remote operation of existing machinery systems such as engines, propellers and thrusters, connected by sensors that can stream real-time data via the cloud to an onshore control centre. The technology also includes a remote deck machinery interface to facilitate deck operations in reduced manning scenarios.
“The key benefits of this technology are lean manning, safety and having an expert in the loop 24/7 to ensure automated systems on the vessel are running smoothly. This in turn will enhance the cost-efficiency and sustainability of operations,” said Vard Electro’s SeaQ Remote Product Manager, Ronny Tomren.