The future is digital

Digital transformation – The Rivertrace Connected Calibration Portal

by Gillian Lovering

Our industry has experienced a step-change in ship connectivity over the last decade, with digital signals that can be transferred from ship to shore, and in the reverse direction, at significant rates. Advances in satellite communications are improving connectivity, allowing for massive increases in the volumes of data transferred at ever-lower cost.

This has paved the way for shipping companies switching from the traditional way of operations into a modern and smart environment.

Download the guide to oil in water monitoring & discharge

So it seems the future is digital for the shipping industry and Rivertrace are embracing our own digital transformation journey. For us, this means to continually develop our systems, products, and services to support our customers by improving efficiencies and sustainability.

A major criteria for operators is compliance. The MARPOL convention includes regulations aimed at preventing and minimising both accidental and operational pollution from ships. If an operator is found to be noncompliant with the international standards the ship will be detained; this is often coupled with hefty fines or legal consequences.

Under MARPOL Resolution MEPC.107(49) for the discharge of oily water from machinery spaces, it stipulates that the accuracy of the 15ppm OCM is required to be checked at 5-year intervals or replaced by a new calibrated monitor. This usually coincides with the hull survey renewal.

Many vessel operators and managers have enhanced this by requiring the OCM to be checked or renewed more often. This was endorsed by ExxonMobil who issued their own marine environmental criteria for all international seagoing tanker vessels working for ExxonMobil affiliates, stating that all OWS and Oil Discharge Monitoring Equipment MUST be calibrated by manufacturers or renewed annually.

Add this to the operating pressures on vessel managers to reduce costs and increase efficiency; the management of this additional paperwork is a burden.

Rivertrace have developed our Rivertrace Connected initiative which aims to provide complete transparency of paperwork related to water monitoring equipment compliance and inspection.

A feature of Rivertrace Connected is a “free to use” online Calibration Portal used to alleviate the paperwork burden by automating reminders for re-calibration and organisation of service for monitoring devices on board the vessel. The system will allow all our customers to receive email notifications when calibrations are due, provide the ability to receive electronic calibration certificates and download operational manuals, view all devices across a fleet and the history of any calibration checks and repairs, all in one dashboard location.

To access this portal, the end-user needs to register the device against the vessel IMO and the portal will do the rest. By tracking the device against the vessel IMO, Rivertrace can highlight where the vessel is operating and assign an approved agent for service or re-calibration at the next port call.

The next development will be to integrate this data via API into other fleet management software.
As the shipping industry continues to experience digital transformation, with shipping companies having to switch from the traditional way of operations into a modern and smart environment, Rivertrace vows to support our customers in their quest for simplified, continuous monitoring and efficient operation.