Shipbuilder Looks to Internet of Things for Future Business


Published Jul 6, 2016 1:38 AM by The Maritime Executive

South Korean shipbuilding giant Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop Internet of Things applications for ships with SK Shipping, Intel, Microsoft, the Ulsan Center for Creative Economy & Innovation (UCCEI) and the Daejeon Center for Creative Economy & Innovation (DCCEI).

The Internet of Things refers to the wireless network of physical things — objects, devices, buildings — consisting of installed sensors, electronics, software and network connectivity enabling these ‘things’ to collect and exchange data. The industry trend started from consumer products such as home appliances and automatic light bulbs, and now the business-to-business world is also moving aggressively towards applications.

Under the agreement, HHI and its partners will join forces to help domestic small and medium-sized ICT companies to develop software that improves the safety of ship operations and improves crew well-being.

The ship service software, which is planned to be developed and applied to smart ships by 2019, will enable ballast tank inspection, remote medical treatment services for crews, virtual reality training, automatic voyage information reporting, and maintenance for key equipment. 

HHI and SK Shipping will provide technological mentoring services and smart ship platforms for the to-be-developed software while UCCEI and DCCEI hold briefing sessions on technology demand for shipbuilders and shipping liners to encourage the participation of the ITC companies.

An HHI official said, “The Korean shipbuilding industry has developed on the back of the advanced manufacturing technology but now is the time for us to shift our focus to differentiated ship service technologies. We see that customized and value-added software will play a role in reviving the industry.”

In May this year, HHI and Accenture jointly unveiled OceanLink, its version of smart ship, for the shipbuilding, shipping and onshore-logistics sectors. With a network of sensors and analytics software, shipowners can monitor a ship’s status and condition in real-time and have at their disposal a wide range of ship operation information including weather, location and onboard equipment and cargo status data.

A growing number of maritime Internet of Things applications are being developed focusing on real-time ship monitoring. MarEx explores some here.