Case study Manufacturing

Navigating an ocean of data at the click of a button

Using digital technology to understand and optimise performance

Using technology to do things differently and provide new services is what Digital is all about. So, when Waterstons’ longstanding customer, Royston, developed a prototype ocean-going vessel monitoring system to monitor and record engine parameters they came to us to partner with them to produce the web interface and analytics solution required to provide real-time insight to their customers into their vessels’ performance and efficiency.

A new opportunity

Enginei was born over a decade ago, from an idea to open up a new market to Royston; providing customers with near real-time and historical data on their ships, such as fuel-economy, speed and location. The data would be collected on board, transmitted to shore and displayed in web-based dashboards allowing vessel owners and operators to gain valuable insight into their fleet’s performance and operational parameters.

This monitoring of devices in-the-field predated the widespread growth of ‘the Internet of Things’ by a number of years – Royston and Waterstons working together to deliver a solution truly ahead of its time.

Royston had developed the enginei monitoring platform in-house, with components installed on ships capable of recording live engine parameters and a data collection solution which could transfer them wirelessly to shore; via WiFi, mobile, or other connectivity, such as satellite broadband.

Royston approached Waterstons to provide a marketable web-based interface which could be used by enginei customers to present monitoring information to end-users and provide a front- end dashboard showing key performance information and warnings of unexpected high or low readings from sensors.

Designing the solution

Enginei has been reworked with new versions several times during its life; but each time the process has been similar. Working closely with Royston’s people, a detailed specification of design, inputs and outputs, and functionality to be provided has been created. An intuitive user interface using the latest web technologies has been developed, tested, and released to the user-community, with new features and enhancements driven by new technology, customer feedback and requests, and research and development of the monitoring platform itself.

As time has gone on and mobile connectivity technology has advanced, some of the early challenges in transmitting data from ship-to-shore have been reduced, but there will inevitably be times when vessels are out of range of connectivity. So, data which cannot be sent is stored on board and transmitted as soon as connectivity becomes available, ensuring valuable data is never lost. The system runs 24/7/365, so no matter where in the world an operator is based, the latest available data is always at their fingertips.

Collected data is used to create user dashboards which monitor live and calculated parameters such as engine speed and load, fuel usage, vessel speed and location, emissions, power outputs, tank levels and other metrics.

Raw data can be exported to be explored further in Microsoft Excel, or integrated with a customer’s other systems to provide useful business intelligence tailored to the customer’s needs. Integration with mapping software allows vessel tracks and location history to be easily viewed, with other parameters visible in a single view.

Tailored to benefit the customer

Data used within the enginei web reporting interface varies from vessel to vessel, dependent on the enginei solution chosen by the customer. Comprehensive enginei installations can monitor a wide variety of parameters, allowing Royston’s customers to benefit from a solution that fits their business needs. Many customers use enginei to monitor fuel consumption on their vessels, allowing them to constantly evaluate the performance of their fleet and seek improvements in efficiency, for example by reducing vessels’ speeds to reduce emissions and fuel consumption; saving considerably on fuel costs.

With reliable, consistent data always available at the click of a button, Royston’s customers can benefit from reduced costs and improved efficiency; demonstrate effectiveness which can help them win new business; provide data to their own customers on performance within their business, and demonstrate their commitment to environmental responsibility through emissions monitoring and reduction.

The interface and reporting system developed by Waterstons allows our customers to view technical data in an engaging and accessible manner, giving enginei a key competitive edge when compared to competitor offerings
Robin Shaw Technical Manager

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