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Global Eagle unveils entertainment and WiFi portal for cruise ships

Global Eagle Entertainment Inc., a US company, said it is unveiling its new Airtime Portal for cruise ships at Seatrade Cruise Global 2017 this week.

The Airtime Portal platform enables cruise ship operators to deliver Wi-Fi, instant messaging, social media, live TV, movies, games, news and more directly to passengers’ own mobile devices anywhere on the ship. Guests can access and post to their favorite social media sites, send “selfies” to their friends and families back home and keep up with the latest news at sea.

The Airtime Portal is derived from Global Eagle’s highly successful and proven platform which has been deployed on hundreds of commercial airlines. The company will transition its existing cruise ship portals to the new technology over the next 12 months in a way that minimizes disruption for ship operators.

When coupled with Global Eagle’s patented SpeedNet™ web browsing technology, the new portal will give passengers a high-speed Wi-Fi experience similar to what they get on shore. With Global Eagle’s extensive entertainment offerings, passengers can also enjoy a rich selection of fully licensed award-winning movies, destination guides, port information, scheduled activities, special promotions, ship tracking, near-real-time news and sports clips and televised events. Content is available in multiple languages and can be tailored to passenger demographics. The Airtime web user interface provides an electronic program guide that mimics an in-home entertainment center allowing passengers to see what is up next on live TV through the comfort of their own device. It is fully customizable to maximize brand engagement and create special promotions.

Global Eagle’s Airview reporting dashboard is a suite of data-rich back-office tools to monitor and analyze portal performance. Payments, performance data and logs are offloaded, and fresh content is uploaded, via a Wi-Fi connection when the ship is in port.

The flexible Airtime Portal also provides a host of opportunities for cruise operators to generate incremental revenue by monetizing passenger interactions with engaging content, enabling real-time transactions with built-in security and exploiting digital ads and sponsorships. It enables payments to be made to credit and debit cards or to the folio. It also integrates with the company’s loyalty programs to deliver customized pricing depending on the passenger’s loyalty status.

“With the launch of the Airtime Portal, we can now offer our customers a fully integrated package of connectivity services, live TV programming and content browsing, all merged together with a highly flexible front-end that supports the optimal onboard guest experience aligned with the cruise line’s profitability,” said Ole Kristian Sivertsen, president of Global Eagle’s cruise, ferry and yacht services.


ABB bringing predictive capabilities of big data for shipping industry

ABB, the Swiss-Swedish electrotechnical group, is deepening its analytical and predictive approach to vessel maintenance with the latest upgrade of its Remote Diagnostic Service (RDS).

 ABB is one of the leading advocates of the digitalization of shipping and has already launched Integrated Operation Centers in Asia, Europe and the USA where data produced by ships is received and monitored.

The upgraded software functionalities will give more power and transparency to the shore side operations of ship owners whilst ABB has stepped up its proactive monitoring of the data and predictive analytics. The enhancement of ABB’s digital services comes after an internal study found existing remote monitoring of machinery reduced maintenance costs by 50%.

ABB is aiding the development of the shore side operations of shipping companies by giving the opportunity to replicate ABB’s Integrated Operations Centers in their own Operational Centers. The latest version of RDS software allows shipping companies to deploy their own analytics, or those from a third party where applicable, with greater ease. ABB has further developed its dedicated hardware for the monitoring of large and small rotating machinery with tight integration to the RDS software. The graphical user interface has also been improved to increase user experience and to give identical views of the detailed data both onboard and onshore.

To further leverage the data received from vessels, the ABB Digital Service team has been strengthened with more data scientists and architects to promote the search for insight into the health of the monitored assets. The ABB software used as part of the Remote Diagnostic Services combines the capabilities of a dedicated onboard software with a full analytic engine onshore. Due to this modularity and capability, the software can now run the same analytics onboard as onshore.

 For shipping companies with limited bandwidth availability or a high number of data points, ABB is deploying leading edge analytics to seamlessly customize the solution and optimize the data transfer.

An internal study found that by taking a proactive approach to the monitoring of equipment through the use of RDS and its software, customers were able to save up to 50% on maintenance costs. There has also been up to a 70% reduction in visits by ABB engineers to vessels bringing a significant decrease in the cost for customers.

“Through our Integrated Operations Solutions and Centers we aim to be connected to 3,000 vessels by 2020,” said Kenneth Nakken, Vice President Digital Services, at ABB’s Marine & Ports business. “We develop all our digital solutions with the customer in mind and we believe our new Predict service will strengthen the shore side operations of all involved.”



New GEA structure set the course for cruising industry

Cruise passenger numbers are booming all over the world. With the new structure, the international technology group GEA has developed the key advantage in a rapidly growing and demanding market.

By combining different expertise GEA is able to offer customers a broader product portfolio from a single source to make sure that crew and passengers feel comfortable. Regarding current market trends in the cruise industry like ship size and sustainability, GEA is able to meet the customers’ demands with environmentally-friendly equipment and tailor-made solutions, the company said in a statement.

At the Marine Trade Fairs Seatrade Cruise Global, currently taking place in Fort Lauderdale, USA, (March 13-16, 2017, German Pavilion, booth 229-28), as well as the upcoming NorShipping in Oslo, Norway, (May 30 - June 2, 2017, hall E, booth 03-09) GEA will highlight the latest technologies and service solutions for the marine industry.

Size matters – GEA does it all

At the moment, some cruise lines are expanding the size of their cruise vessels. The largest cruise ship for example has capacity for 6,000 passengers, but this number will be shortly increased to new dimensions. A reverse development is that of smaller, more exclusive cruise vessels with capacity for just 200 passengers; a market tendency that signals a high level of luxury with rarer and more remote destinations. Two trends appealing to different segments, but both are relevant to GEA as the equipment on these ship types is part of GEA’s portfolio.

When it comes to important aspects like sustainability and reduction of carbon footprint, GEA is able to meet these demands as all equipment is being optimized regularly in terms of low energy consumption and waste production. Michael Fibbe, Product Sales Manager for GEA’s Marine Equipment, underlines: “The key words are less energy consumption and less emissions, which GEA can tailor to any customers’ requirements. We even design specialized systems such as bilge purifiers that clean the bilge water – thus protecting the ocean by ensuring that no oil is dumped in the water.” New developments like the GEA CatFineMaster for maximum fuel quality, or the GEA BallastMaster marineX with a new inline driver design, as well as the future-proof 5ppm GEA BilgeMaster systems – all in line with IMO standards – set new standards in the marine industry.

Sustainable solutions for cooling by using CO2

Marc Prinsen, Head of Application Center Marine at GEA, adds: ”We also challenge the high demand of sustainable solutions to phase out synthetic refrigerants and replace them with natural ones, like CO2. Using CO2 for cooling purposes clearly has two advantages: Due to an optimized configuration with CO2 we can lower the freezing temperature. This way the power consumption will become more efficient and at the same time you improve the carbon footprint. Furthermore we offer heat recovery solutions that benefit both energy consumption and the environment.”

Full confidence in GEA’s marine equipment

For many years, the cruise ship industry fully trusts GEA and its solutions as it has doubled its orders for GEA’s technology meeting their continuously rising needs. And according to Michael Fibbe, this positive development is an indication of a market that holds a lot of promise for GEA: “The leading cruise ship owners and builders emphasize their trust in GEA as we experience a vast increase to equip newly built ships with GEA technology. And thanks to the new GEA structure, one single point of contact can offer customers a much wider range of equipment today. So they can easily meet the requirements of the industry and their guests. But especially the one-face-to-the-customer philosophy makes GEA more effective than ever before when it comes to order execution.”

As a leading supplier of high performance equipment for the marine industry, GEA’s solutions range from treating fuel oil, lube oil, sludge, bilge and ballast water, while air conditioning, refrigeration, and freezing technology ensure that passengers are comfortable and that the ship arrives in good condition.

GEA Service – Optimized OPEX across the ship lifetime

Excellent machines or equipment are one thing, the right service is another. With several options of the new service concept “GEA Service – For your continued success” GEA customers are optimally being supported throughout the entire life cycle of their installed systems and components. From project engineering, installation, and commissioning to maintaining and improving the performance of the customer’s equipment: GEA is the first choice, one-stop call for Total Productive Maintenance.

Wärtsilä to launch manoeuvring guidance provider

Wärtsilä, the Finnish technology group, launches its latest innovation SmartPredict at this year's Seatrade Cruise Global exhibition in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from 13 to 16 March. Developed by the company's Dynamic Positioning unit, SmartPredict is designed to provide safer and more efficient vessel operations by reducing the risks associated with manoeuvring.

The system displays the vessel's predicted future position and heading, and uses proven dynamic positioning (DP) analysis algorithms to evaluate forces affecting the vessel, thereby providing advanced motion prediction. SmartPredict also features a configurable prediction time display.

Most conventional prediction systems are able to utilise only basic input parameters, and thus offer limited usability. Wärtsilä's SmartPredict software module, however, utilises all of the parameters used for automated control by the DP and adjusts them for the motion characteristics of the specific vessel. Such inputs include the vessel's current position and heading, as well as its velocity and rate of turn and all associated accelerations. Also taken into consideration are the manual commands from the coordinated control joystick, and environmental input from the onboard wind sensor(s). These factors are all continuously evaluated to provide a constant updating of the vessel's path.

"Allowing the operator to see into the future enables smarter and safer ship handling decisions to be made, thus lowering the risk of accidents occurring. We see SmartPredict as being an important step towards more automated procedures, such as docking, and eventually fully autonomous vessel manoeuvring," says Maik Stoevhase, Director, ANC & Integrated Systems, Electrical & Automation, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions.

The Wärtsilä user interfaces provide a simple, intuitive display, allowing the operator to toggle on or off the 'ghost ship' indicators for the predicted positions. This display also allows the user to configure the time steps for the predictions. Fully compatible with the Electronic Chart Display & Information System (ECDIS) overlay function, SmartPredict provides clear indications of potential dangers during ship manoeuvring, thus immediately increasing the safety and efficiency of operations.


ENERGY STAR awarded to MKN

The internationally recognized and renowned ENERGY STAR Certificate now officially certifies worldwide the energy efficiency of MKN combi steamers.

For many years the MKN international GreenTeam has been working on the efficiency and sustainability of its production processes and products alike. Due to numerous intelligent features the MKN combi steamers are considered to be extremely energy efficient professional cooking appliances. For example, the triple-glazed cooking chamber door boasts an energy saving potential of 28 % and the heat exchanger can save approx. 1 kWh energy during a single operating hour in Steaming mode in FlexiCombi 10.1.

The ENERGY STAR is an international energy efficiency label awarded by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) since 1992 and it now officially acknowledges worldwide the MKN combi steamers to be exceptionally energy efficient. The ENERGY STAR Programme was introduced to Europe by an EU Regulation in 2003 and has been regarded as the official label for energy efficient appliances ever since.

The ENERGY STAR Certificate requires MKN equipment to undergo an annual inspection. So, the specialist for professional cooking technology will also be focussing strongly on continual improvement of production processes and products in future to further enhance efficiency and sustainability.