A small project brings about added value

A small project brings about added value

Norderwerft in Hamburg started using Digitread IoT’s YardManager solution to remotely monitor some of their installations. It produced immediate benefits.

Norderwerft, established in 1875 and part of the Lürssen shipyard group, has expanded a lot and today has several shipyards throughout Germany. Lürssen primarily builds naval and coastguard vessels and some of the world’s most luxurious yachts, whereas Norderwerft does not build ships, instead it specializes in vessel maintenance.

Desire to test new technology
Last year, Lürssen began a project which involved using new technology to find out what benefits could be achieved using more digital solutions.
”In relation to many other industries, yards have largely used traditional technology, while development and digitization in the automotive industry, for example, have advanced much further. The purpose of the Lürssen project is to discover how new technology can simplify working processes and improve efficiency. Hence, projects are being carried out at several yards. One of the projects is being carried out in collaboration with Digitread IoT, here at Norderwerft”, states Peter Hansmann, who is the shipyard’s operations manager.

Digitread’s mission at Norderwerft was to extract data from two air compressors and a power converter.

From small beginnings come great things
Digitread’s mission at Norderwerft was to extract data from two air compressors and a power converter. The air compressors are used for the majority of the tools needed at the yard to conduct maintenance, but part of the problem was that when the compressor got too hot it automatically switched off without any warning causing maintenance at the yard to grind to a halt. Hence, the yard was seeking a solution that would provide a warning which would enable compressor number two to be set in motion well before the first shut down thus safeguarding the continuous operation at the yard. The compressors were already equipped with sensors that displayed temperature, pressure and capacity utilization, but the data were only presented on the compressor itself. With Digitread’s help, the yard can now access operating data from the compressors via the YardManager app on a smartphone.
”When the data is presented in this way, it is much easier for us to see at a glance how the machines are running. If the pressure becomes too low, or the temperature too high, an alarm sounds on the phone. This has proven to be of huge benefit because it gives us much more time to respond if problems arise”, Hansmann reveals.

Plug & Play
Once Digitread obtained the necessary specifications regarding what data could be read out of the compressor, they adapted a simple and well-functioning solution to extract the data.
”The hardware itself was so easy to assemble that we did it ourselves”, Hansmann explains.

Digitread then set up the communication solution by means of a Siemens IoT Gateway, ensuring integration with the YardManager app.
”Many people presume IoT projects are both expensive and comprehensive, but they don’t have to be. In this case, the compressors and the power converter already generated data. From such a starting point, it didn’t take long for the desired solution to come to fruition whereby data is available and displayed in the app in a manner that facilitates quick and easy operation for the end user”, adds Christoffer Lange of Digitread IoT.
”It may not seem very advanced to send data from a machine to a smartphone, and it might not be. But what is important to us is not the underlying technology, but the fact that the solution has made our working processes much easier and more predictable. This solution also makes it much easier to predict the necessary maintenance and accordingly enables us to react expediently”, Hansmann declares.

The digital yard
Norderwerft are very pleased with the solution that Digitread IoT has helped them with. The next step is to make a comprehensive evaluation of all the digitization projects throughout the Lürssen group before the management makes a final decision on the road ahead:
”The outcome is exciting. Maybe the development can continue with several small projects where we identify other machines and processes we can monitor around the yard’s installations. But it may also be that the conclusion is to think big where the entire yard will be monitored”, Hansmann concludes.

Published: 03.06.2020