Technology group Wärtsilä has announced the launch of its global Smart Support Centre service aimed at improving asset uptime via remote access for customers of Wärtsilä’s Voyage business, thereby substantially reducing the need for physical service attendance.
Operational support is delivered via virtual service engineers. Smart Support is designed to maintain all Wärtsilä Voyage equipment, including ship handling solutions, such as ECDIS and charts, simulation & training systems, and ship traffic control solutions. The service is a notable extension to the company’s already extensive remote monitoring and support capabilities covering other areas of Wärtsilä’s total offering. The Wärtsilä Smart Support Centre remotely manages the health of systems, proactively warns if anything is deteriorating, makes software updates, and assists system users in all operative questions with fast response times.
The service has been extensively tested in a pilot programme together with Danish shipping company J Lauritzen. Hans Elker Hansen, Marine QA, Vetting & Nautical Manager at Lauritzen, commented, “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. Secondly, the use of e-mails to solve a technical or user-related problem is almost entirely eliminated, which avoids excessive communication.”
“The Wärtsilä Smart Support Centre connects our equipment and systems, for example ECDIS, simulators and our Vessel Traffic System, allowing significant enhancement to our remote service capabilities. It gives an opportunity to really establish the status of the systems, to carry out remote software updating, and to enable the customer and Wärtsilä to work closely together on the systems,” said Torsten Büssow, Managing Director, Wärtsilä Voyage.