Photo: Wärtsilä

Wärtsilä’s Ambitious Vision of a Digital Future


Digitization sets the new standard for the entire industry, says Wärtsilä on a November 24 press meeting in London. Wärtsilä has announced an ambitious vision to lead the marine industry into a smart technology future by catalyzing innovative developments leading to high connectivity and optimisation for the entire sector.

Wärtsilä sees four significant trends that will reshape the industry: big data analytics and data flow will change the way the industry works, there will be more smart vessels and automated smart ports, and a shared capacity will improve rates and reduce costs.

In the future, Wärtsilä envisions battery or hybrid powered vessels will have engines fully connected to the navigation system, which in turn connects to the external world through a cloud-based system where it can be optimized in real-time based on factors such a weather conditions. Their approach will be to lead the transformation step by step in collaboration with customers, suppliers, and competitors.

Wärtsilä has already begun the initial steps to move the industry into a smarter, fully digital future. The first building blocks in place include the Wärtsilä HY, a fully integrated hybrid power module combining engines, an energy storage system, and power electronics optimized to work together through a newly developed energy management system. Through their shipping design capability, they have also added an option that allows tug vessels to use Wärtsilä HY, called HY Tug.

Using standard bandwidth, Wärtsilä has successfully tested the remote controlling of a ship's operations by satellite from 8000 kilometers, as well as innovating wireless charging for battery-powered vessels.

In Finland's southern capital, Helsinki, Wärtsilä has opened the first Digital Acceleration Centre (DAC) to speed up innovation and co-create with customers a range of new business models and solutions. A second DAC is scheduled to open in Singapore in December, and during 2018 two more will be opened in Central Europe and North America.

Wärtsilä's goal is to shape the industry for their customers, but also together with their customers. However, they stress that they cannot do this alone. For the smart marine ecosystem to come to fruition, we must first enter into a new era of collaboration and knowledge sharing, and only by doing this Wärtsilä believes the ultimate efficiency and optimization goals can be realized for all.