• Digitization strategy of Bakker Sliedrecht
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Digitization strategy of Bakker Sliedrecht

Bakker Sliedrecht’s digitization strategy can save shipbuilders and owners a lot of time and costs

09 December 2021

The digital recording and documentation of all data of a vessel during its entire life cycle – from construction to decommission – can save builders and owners a lot of time and costs. Bakker Sliedrecht has multiple digital platforms on which all information about a vessel can be collected, accessed and adjusted centrally. Both by own engineers and technicians, clients and yards. This method is used in the design phase as well as the construction and refit phase.

Vessels are becoming more complex and emission requirements and other environmental regulations are becoming stricter. Shipowners and ship operators therefore strive to increase the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of their fleet. That requires more cooperation. System integrator Bakker Sliedrecht has therefore developed new technical and digitization solutions that are in line with the (emission) objectives of the maritime industry.

Single source of truth

On our digital platforms OASIS and eVIEW, all information about a vessel’s electrical installations and components is digitized as data. From the design drawings during engineering to the building plans required during construction. From the adjustments that are made afterwards to the plans for a complete refit. By the accessibility of the database for all parties, Bakker Sliedrecht creates a ‘single source of truth’ for the electrical system. This information source is accessible to everyone, on any computer or mobile device, at any time, all over the world.

With this, Bakker Sliedrecht puts an end to the sending of emails and Excel sheets back and forth, as a result of which information is spread across multiple source, risking stakeholders to be working with incorrect information. “More and more parties are involved in the construction of a vessel. Regulations are also becoming increasingly complex. Then it is important that everyone has the same information and that it is up to date. This is crucial for co-creation with clients and partners,” says Jordy Keldermans, Manager ICT at Bakker Sliedrecht.

Benefits in design and construction phase

The benefits are countless. Significant time savings can be made during both the design and construction phases if new requirements, demands or adjustments from the client, yard or subcontractor arrive real-time with the engineers to be processed. That also saves errors. Adjustments can also be made during construction, fed back to the central database and checked off. In that construction phase, sharing all information between the parties involved is even more important. In this way changes and real-time planning allow a flexible reaction in the design- and construction phase. Potential problems can be identified and resolved on time and the project can be realized within planning and budget. “It is also important that it enables the client to stay in control and the yard to carry out work itself,” says Keldermans.

This already happened, for example, during the construction of De Beers Marine Namibia’s new diamond mining vessel. Employees of the Damen Shipyards Group yard in Romania pulled the cables themselves using the digital drawings of Bakker Sliedrecht. Keldermans: ,,We determine the route through the vessel and they can then physically lay those cables themselves. In total, such a vessel counts 10,000 to 20,000 cables with a total length of between 180 and 350 km, so you have to manage that well.”

Data usage for maintenance or refit

All information is stored in the cloud, to which all parties have access. It clearly states who is responsible for what. This party or person records what has already been conducted. The same information remains available if maintenance is required in the operational phase of a vessel or if a conversion is required at a later date. “Then you already have a digital dataset of all equipment and installations on board. Changes made in the database can be conducted on board,” says Keldermans. “For example, if a cable has to be adjusted, rerouted or removed. Bakker Sliedrecht or the yard can then see in OASIS what needs to be adjusted and can implement it, provide feedback and tick it off.”

Flexible shell with customer systems

All drawings can be imported on digital platforms such as OASIS and eVIEW, on which the customer or the builder can comment. The intention is that suppliers will soon be able to add the product specifications of over 2,5 million parts and components of an average vessel’s electric system. “We are in the early stages, but we are making progress rapidly. We want to create a flexible shell around OASIS that we can link and synchronize with the platforms of our clients and suppliers,” says Keldermans. In addition, Bakker Sliedrecht is also looking at how blockchain technology can be used to securely share information.

Digitalization as binding factor

Digitization can save a lot of costs in the long run, reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Keldermans: ,,As a system integrator, we are in the center of things. We have to collect all information from customers, suppliers and their suppliers and have to link it together to form a complete electrical installation. From the motors and the propulsion to the smallest light that has to be turned on, from the large switchboards to the joystick. We know how the vessel works and can therefore make adjustments rapidly. From replacing a small wire to a complete refit. We can help with every phase of a vessel’s life cycle."

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