AR Hands-free Connectivity at Sea for Ferry Operator

Lübeck-based ferry operator TT-Lines has tested a service and maintenance concept that uses augmented reality to connect ship crew to advisors on shore.

The test, which deployed voice-controlled AR wearables and remote guidance software, took place on the ro-ro ferry Huckleberry Finn sailing between Trelleborg in Sweden and Travemünde in Germany. Service simulations were carried out on the ship’s navigation equipment and shaftline seals and bearings.

“The connectivity, when operating at sea, was remarkable and the hands-free equipment meets our onboard safety standards,” said TT-Lines superintendent Thomas Bus

The simulations were monitored in real-time by technology provider Wärtsilä in Gothenburg and Hamburg. The company reported that using its equipment, ship crew members, field service engineers and shipyard personnel can communicate with shore-based experts anywhere in the world.

Wärtsilä Marine future technologies product manager, seals and bearings Thomas Pauly said: “Regardless of where the equipment is located on the vessel, we can provide rapid troubleshooting and technical advice, thus saving the customer both time and costs. It’s like having a service engineer onboard.”

A further demonstration of the remote guidance service capability in TT-Lines’ office highlighted potential use in dockings and shipyard overhauls.

Wärtsilä announced that it had added AR service capability for its seals and bearings business in August 2018. The use of the technology speeds up the service and repair of stern tube equipment and also enables inspections, alignment measurements, on-site machining, shaft straightening and newbuilding commissioning without having a service engineer on board.

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