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AI solution boosts shipping’s digital transformation

The Shipbuilder SENSE solution. The Shipbuilder SENSE solution.

Applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in both ship and yacht building is already being done with a number of maritime companies that are currently using it successfully, says Geert Schouten, director at IT company Shipbuilder.

AI technology makes a completely new way of working possible. It helps companies to operate competitively in a highly competitive, maritime world. Mr Schouten said he believes in this way of working and as a result the company has adjusted its software accordingly. “I’m convinced that any software which cannot deal with it has no future, so don't lose track and work towards knowledge-driven operations with the help of AI,” he said.

Changing from document-driven operations to knowledge-driven operations

“I know from experience that maritime knowledge is hidden in tens of thousands of documents. A lot of companies want to implement knowledge-driven operations by introducing a digital system, but they dread the amount of manpower required to clean up and enter the data. How can that be done better? This is a question I’m asked frequently. Fortunately, a lot is possible nowadays, in 2020,” Mr Schouten explained.

AI removes the barriers to digital transformation
“AI can make the first step towards digital transformation easier. It makes no difference whether you are a shipbuilder, yacht builder, shipping company or someone who is already advanced in digital transformation. I was pleasantly surprised when the months of boring work that the software did, cleaning up and entering data, was all presented in a comprehensible dashboard in just a couple of hours.”

No mumbo jumbo but a new reality
Mr Schouten believes that is only the beginning of the potential of AI within maritime projects. The development of AI means that it now has the capability to learn the terminology, or language, of a maritime company. AI also advises on how certain information can be better described, so that the data quality is always 100 per cent. Mr Schouten believes there is no need to fear the use of AI as data processed with maritime AI can be completely traced.

“I believe the benefits are enormous. First, there is about a 20 per cent reduction in the cost of failure due to misinformation. Secondly, companies that have implemented it are very happy that they no longer need to do the laborious, boring work of cleaning and entering the data themselves. The results are better and engineers now have much more time to really use their talents. Thirdly, companies are discovering they have a gold mine of information from previous projects. By having the data processed by AI and adding these results as knowledge to new projects, their innovative power improves leaps and bounds. Maritime experts now have much more time to do what they are good at. All this together with the fact that they have access to this information in real time makes the formula to success complete. That does make SENSE, right?”

Shipbuilder SENSE
Shipbuilder has developed a solution called Shipbuilder SENSE, which is now applied to assignments. Shipbuilder integrates all data from a project, enabling enables users to easily specify, design, build and maintain everything that sails entirely in one go. The SENSE solution enables with one mouse click to see all the project information from hundreds of Word, Excel and PDF documents in a structured data network, using a dashboard that shows the quality information for each project. Shipbuilder SENSE aims to reduce the incorrect and inconsistent information in the maritime sector all all too often leads to the partial failure of projects, losing companies billions of euros annually.

Mr Schouten said that the first clients of SENSE have been very satisfied with its speed, accuracy and benefits. “We are close to our aim of making the maritime sector more profitable and its work more enjoyable by greatly simplifying the digital transformation of the maritime sector.”

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Digital Ship magazine provides the latest information about maritime satellite communications technology, software systems, navigation technology, computer networks, data management and TMSA. It is published ten times a year.


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