09 April 2018

SOLAS regulation demystified and remote monitoring of NavCom analyzed

On 5 April, Radio Holland in conjunction with the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST) UAE Branch on 5 April hosted a knowledge sharing session in Dubai covering 2 vital topics: the new SOLAS regulation concerning Fire Fighting communication equipment on board ships and Remote Monitoring of vessel equipment and analysis of performace data, vital to optimize OPEX (operational cost).

The IMO has identified the need for reliable communication when fighting fires onboard ships. Accordingly, a new SOLAS regulation stipulates requirements for purpose-built walkie-talkies.
Remote monitoring of vessel equipment and analysis of performance data is vital to optimizing opex. Advanced monitoring systems identify potential problems and can rectify them remotely enabling uninterrupted ship operation.

Nikeel Idnani, Honorary Secretary IMarEST UAE branch, who chaired the technical meeting, reflected on issues related to the implementation of the new SOLAS regulation for fire-fighter communication equipment on board ships. He candidly revealed that the regulation generic text leaves scope for misinterpretation and likelihood of detentions by inspectors. Nikeel then spoke of groundbreaking maritime products and services which are the drivers behind the increasingly successful maritime sector. An example he stated is Radio Holland’s smart solution of predicting and solving NavCom glitches remotely which contributed to significant reduction in costs of maintenance and operation of ships leading to a strengthening of their position on the global market.

Ali Irteza, ENTEL Regional Managing Director delved into details of the SOLAS regulation 10.10.4 which requires all new ships from 1st July 2014 to equip their firefighting teams with at least two intrinsically safe radios for critical fire fighter communications. Vessels built prior to 1st July 2014 need to comply to the new SOLAS regulations by 1 July 2018. Entel offers a comprehensive range of VHF and UHF intrinsically safe walkie-talkies which comply with the new SOLAS regulations. Ali rationalized that Firefighters cannot use radios without specialized audio accessories due to face masks and heavy-duty gloved hands. Accordingly, Entel provides a complete solution of radios and accessories all of which carry IS approval per SOLAS requirements. Ali was attentive to what the audience needed and wanted to know and reacted suitably to their requirements.

In his vivacious keynote address, Wim Nieuwveld, Global Contract Manager Services Radio Holland, explained that monitoring of NavCom equipment and analysis of performance data in a ship manager’s office is vital to safety and decreasing vessel opex. Radio Holland believes remote monitoring of the VSAT, Network Server of the vessel and even the Ballast Water Treatment System via the existing VDR as a source of data, provides unmatched efficiency. For example, if a radar failure is identified, the problem could be solved remotely especially if it was a software related issue. This obviates delays and unnecessary travel costs. Nonetheless if a service visit is necessary, by having complete cognizance of the snag, the competent engineer will carry the appropriate spare parts to the next port of call, ensuring the affected equipment is operative prior to departure. By monitoring essential equipment, problems can be predicted before they occur and if possible solutions can be found remotely. This enables a ship manager to predict costs, reduce administration, streamline operations, rest assured that the ship is safe and compliant, thus reducing the total cost of asset ownership. The obvious outcome is higher vessel uptime with a delighted charterer. In his concluding remarks, Wim gave the ship managers in the audience some smart ideas to increase transparency into their fleet’s status and performance. He kept his core message focused and brief.

During both presentations, there were lively interactive discussions between the speakers and the audience who evidently savored the knowledge. The 93 attendees were from Greenwich Marine, Sphinx Marine Equipment, Red Sea Marine Management, Corodex Trading Co, Seacor Offshore Dubai, Marshall Islands flag administration, UBM EMEA, Bahri Ship Management, Inchcape Shipping Services , SMPPC, McDermott Middle East, CS-Offshore, Tomini Shipping, Lukoil, D&K Holdings, Zenith Ship Management, Endurance Management Consultancy, ABS, Tasneef, Al Jazeera Shipping, Central Ship Management, NITC, Survitec Safety Solutions, Marshal Shipping, Topaz Energy and Marine, P&O Maritime, Hapag-Lloyd, Just Great Security Services, MSH Ship Management, Al Mansoori Production Services, FTA, Total, Arka Global Marine Services, Vega Ships Management, Wilhelmsen Ships Service, Reintjes Middle East, Gulf Navigation Holding, Miclyn Express Offshore, Gulf Turbo Diesel, Zanca Maritime & Shipping Consulting, Marlink, Marine Assets Corp, Dubai Maritime City Authority, ADNOC Logistics & Services, Abu Dhabi Ports, Planet Blue, CS Offshore, Dockendale Ship Management and Trans Gulf Energy.

Radio Holland hosted the guests for cocktails and dinner by the poolside at the rooftop of the Ramada Jumeirah hotel.

Always there. Everywhere.