DNV GL held it’s traditional press conference at the Nor-Shipping trade fair today. This year, the event took place on the Vision of the Fjords, a DNV GL-classed carbon fiber hybrid ferry.
The content showcased DNV GL’s innovative vision, with attendees taking part in a virtual reality (VR) presentation, which showed how DNV GL is pushing ahead with a digital transformation to improve the quality and efficiency of its services, as well as the emerging solutions which will take class into the future.
The VR experience took viewers on a tour of the Shanghai Express, a modern container ship, to demonstrate how advanced sensor technology, powerful satellite connections, and the digital data being created and transmitted from vessels was opening up a new range of possibilities for shipping.
In one example, the presentation showed how ship data could be combined with survey results and a 3D model of the ship to build a digital twin – a digital copy of a vessel, modelled to exactly represent its properties. It was further explained how this digital twin could be used to optimise the design, test how the networks on board respond to cyberattacks and even identify when equipment needs maintenance.
Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, DNV GL – Maritime CEO, showed how the classification society was using digitalization and modern survey techniques to improve its services: “We are using intelligent software agents to help customers find the best time and place to book a survey,” he said. While on-board, DNV GL was the first classification society using drone technology to improve surveys: “Our surveyors can now use camera-equipped drones to visually inspect large cargo holds and tanks. Using a drone opens up a lot of possibilities. Drones could eventually be piloted remotely or even autonomously, meaning the surveyor could work from the desk thousands of miles away from the ship.”
The opportunities and challenges of the rapid digitalization was at the heart of the panel discussion, which followed the VR presentation, and featured Ørbeck-Nilssen, as well as DNV GL – Group President and CEO Remi Eriksen and DNV GL Group Technology and Research Director Pierre C. Sames.
Eriksen lead off the discussion, noting that, “Digitalization does not change our core purpose of safeguarding life, property and the environment; it does not change our vision or our values. But I think DNV GL, uniquely, brings something very special to digitalization: trust.” Eriksen went on to present DNV GL’s new Veracity data platform, stating that: “Veracity is a data management platform where DNV GL acts as a neutral data custodian – offering different companies and industries a way to manage the quality of their data and a controlled environment for the further use of that data for value creation.”
For DNV GL’s Maritime business unit, Veracity was a tool that would play a key role in class services, especially in terms of quality assurance. “Veracity will help us to deliver modern class services, first focusing on the operational phase of a ship,” Ørbeck-Nilssen said. “The key aspects of the platform are data quality assessment as well as access and security control, and it may give us the possibility of playing an extended third party role in the quality assurance of digital value chains.”
Trust in the data and the data custodian was vital for creating value going forward, he noted. “Veracity’s data quality assessment service is based on the fact that we have seen too many datasets with low quality. Our new unique service is based on a Recommended Practice and embeds 17 different data quality dimensions which are numerically checked and displayed in a dashboard and heatmap. This lets us not only understand the quality of the data, but improve it.”
Data platforms would operate in a connected frame work, Ørbeck-Nilssen suggested: “I foresee a multi-platform business, with platform owners each having their own dedicated domain knowledge. And The more different data sets we combine, the more value our customers, the asset owners and operators, will get out of their data. Which means we need to connect the platforms and work on standards to exchange data for the benefit of our customers.”
Looking ahead, Sames, explained how two trends were guiding the development of DNV GL’s class services, and the importance of Veracity to these future offerings. The first trend “model-based” revolved around using digital models to describe ships and their systems. “Our current R&D focuses on building a collaboration platform that uses the digital twin idea and is available for class core services,” he said. The second trend “condition-based” revolved around using continuous data from the ships and their systems to tailor survey intervals for vessels in class. “For DNV GL this means we need to build and operate a model and simulation infrastructure to address the first trend and a data management infrastructure to address the second,” he explained.
DNV GL had already kicked off its Nor-Shipping week earlier in the day with the DNV GL Conference. Held in the Felix Conference Centre in Oslo, the conference was focused on emissions regulations. The first panel examined the impact of the global sulphur cap in 2020, examining how the regulation would impact competitiveness and looking at the regulations in terms of enforcement, fuel availability and technological solutions. While the second panel discussed “Low-Carbon Pathways”, a new study conducted by DNV GL to quantify emissions from shipping. The study assesses the feasibility of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the use of alternative fuels, technical and operational measures.