MARIA: Services that encompass land and sea
Ships are characterized by a high level of individualization and technical complexity. For economic viability, they have to be capable of uninterrupted operation over a period of several weeks. In order to prevent expensive breakdowns, the crew should ideally be able to carry out maintenance work without recourse to external assistance. By contrast with the “digital factory”, the sheer multiplicity of shipyards means that a comprehensive digital model of the ship is rarely available to support operational and maintenance tasks. The maintenance of industrial plant on land is increasingly being optimized by augmented reality (AR) and intelligent assistance systems, and so a joint project by the name of MARIA has now been set up to develop practical and affordable methods for applying these same technologies to the maritime sector of the future. Suppliers will benefit from the opportunity to provide product-related services, and shipowners will make savings thanks to the optimized operation of their fleet.
The purpose of the MARIA research project is to test a maritime service platform by means of which companies in the sector such as shipbuilders or shipping lines realize digital services for ocean-going operation. The findings and results will be used as blueprints for new improved business models in the industry. The focus of the work is on the development of data-based services in after-sales, of AR-based assistance for operation on the high seas and of intelligent, data-based assistance systems for planning and controlling the same.
Working on the principle of the digital twin, technical procedures for AR-based or data-based support in the maintenance and service sector are being designed according to available key technologies (e.g. 4G/5G, VSAT) and organizationally complemented with the development of viable digital product and business models in ongoing consultation with the relevant suppliers. Along the way, prototype solutions are constructed and evaluated in two development steps. The aim is to ensure the legally compliant handling and exchange of data for the implementation of digital services and business models, taking into account the applicable framework directives, not least those applying to cybersecurity.
Planned outcome: Pilot projects to establish the basic requirements for a maritime communication platform
In a carefully modeled trial, the technologies developed will be piloted in the full interaction of all elements in the supply chain, and best-practice experiences with the communication platform and its handling will be compiled. It is expected that the results as well as the implementation for AR and data-based support can be transferred to equally complex industrial sectors such as aerospace, offshore oil, gas and wind, and other networked production lines.