Norwegian ballast treatment system maker Optimarin is digitalising ballast water treatment with the launch of OptiLink, an innovative system for ship-to-shore data-sharing.
The advanced digital tool provides real-time monitoring of ballast water treatment systems along with automated data generation and remote connectivity and is designed to resolve the regulatory compliance headache for ship operators as well as give improved customer support.
Optimarin claims that OptiLink also offers significant economic spin-offs, such as fuel cost savings, optimised voyage planning and reduced port turnaround times, to boost the cost-efficiency of overall fleet operations.
“The whole aspect of ballast water treatment changes from a manual operation to a system approach where the BWTS and its operations become an integral part of the vessel’s functions,” explained Leiv Kallestad, chief executive of Optimarin. “This means the BWTS can be managed proactively in support of reduced downtime and reduced fuel consumption, with less hassle as control over the transfer of ballast water in and out of the vessel improves greatly.”
OptiLink connects the system “to the world” either through a vessel’s own communication systems, or an external link installed onboard, allowing for transfer of key operational and performance data to the OptiLink cloud. The users will subsequently be able to connect with the cloud through a secure internet connection.
This gives the vessel crew instantaneous online access to key performance indicators for the BWTS – including water quality and system functionality – through a user-friendly visual interface featuring data transmitted from the ballast water control system.
For the shipowner, OptiLink will also give the ship operator the big picture by providing a fleet-wide overview of ballast water KPIs for each vessel and fleet. This enables interactive remote support with online software updates for troubleshooting to reduce the need for physical service work on the system resulting in cost and time savings. In addition, continuous condition monitoring of the BWTS allows for proactive maintenance to ensure efficient operation of the system by alerting the crew to possible equipment malfunctions. OptiLink can analyse big data both with respect to system performance and water quality at geographical locations where ballast water operations are ongoing.