Marshall Islands approves remote APTs for VDRs

ClassNK-registered ships flagged with the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) will now be able to use the HermAce voyage data recorder (VDR) digital twin service from Furuno to remotely conduct VDR Annual Performance Tests (APTs) as an alternative to the onboard testing previously required by the RMI Maritime Administrator, following approval from the class society.

Each year a VDR requires an APT by a qualified engineer, who would commonly visit the vessel to check the operation and record of voyage information. HermAce is used to remotely monitor the operational status of Furuno navigation equipment and includes the capability to collect VDR data online, allowing the relevant VDR data for APTs to be extracted remotely.

The system’s remote diagnosis capability uses real-time and historical data, prepared and formatted for periodic inspections, which can be confirmed by engineers based on logs and other evidence to allow them to conduct performance tests equivalent to conventional methods from remote locations.

ClassNK has completed a verification of the functions of the HermAce onboard data collection and visualisation system and issued an ‘Innovation Endorsement for Products & Solutions’ certificate to the company. Based on the verification provided by the certification, the use of HermAce has also been accepted by the RMI Maritime Administrator as an alternative means of onboard APT mandated by SOLAS.

“The Republic of the Marshall Islands Maritime Administrator has evaluated and accepted the submitted documentation regarding the Furuno Electric Co, Ltd HermAce VDR Digital Twin and Service as an alternative to Annual Performance Tests (APTs),” said David Wamsley, Deputy Commissioner of Maritime Affairs, Republic of the Marshall Islands Maritime Administrator.

“The comprehensive rigorous testing and evaluation conducted by ClassNK provided the Administrator with the necessary assurances for this acceptance. We were pleased to work in cooperation with ClassNK on this programme and look forward to continuing to work with them on these innovative projects in the future.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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