The future of onboard data collection
How will data be collected from onboard vessels in the future? In a much different manner than today, that is for sure. With a mix of excels, mails and forms, for some vessels autologging data will evolve in two ways:
1. Electronic logbooks will replace the current manual ones
Small software applications that can be used as electronic logbooks, and that basically copy the current manual logbooks, are already available. One such example is DNV GL´s Navigator Insight system. The only barrier is acceptance among flag states and port states. While a flag state such as Panama already allows electronic logbooks, no shipping company wants to run the risk that the next port state inspector insists on a manual one. Electronic log books will follow the same principles as manual ones:
- All data is entered manually and has to pass a human plausibility check.
- A responsible officer (typically the captain) signs it off; it is clear who this was and whether any changes have been made afterwards.
2. Most key equipment will get autologging capability
Most relevant onboard equipment will get inbuilt autologging functionality directly from the manufacturer. Even data transmission is managed directly from the manufacturer either with their own satellite contract or via mobile networks in each port. They are doing this mainly to monitor their own equipment to prevent failures or to provide added value to their customers. This data can then also be used for performance management. The open question then remains, whether the integration still needs to be completed onboard, much like what some energy management systems provide with a lot of effort, or whether this integration happens only onshore. Much larger and more easily accessible IT capacities, equipment manufacturers and performance management providers collaborate “in the cloud”, something which speaks in favour of the latter option. There is, therefore, a potential threat to the existing onboard integrators of performance data.
Our product strategy is fully aligned with this future and we will work to shape parts of this future ourselves.