GE’s Marine Solutions, the marine unit of US multinational conglomerate General Electric, is taking the opportunities brought by the digital transformation sweeping through maritime to develop its business.
Tim Schweikert, CEO and president of GE’s Marine Solutions, sees the industry is starting to embrace digital solutions as overcapacity, low oil prices, the need to reduce costs and to comply with increasing environmental regulation are forcing companies to find more cost effective, efficient approaches to stay competitive.
Schweikert reckons digitalisation enables better situational awareness while it also opens up opportunities for industry collaboration, and brings a focus on changing processes, not just products.
“Building digital capability in this way is an approach for ship owners and operators to be able to de-risk decisions, bringing practical, actionable insights into vessel and fleet performance. With the present period of prolonged energy price instability, we believe data analytics tools will help the industry through the current downcycle and maintain sustainable growth for the future,” says Schweikert.
According to Schweikert, the company’s customers are looking for solutions that will improve fleet efficiency, and bring in cost reductions and better return on assets amid the current challenging market situation.
“This means fleet readiness and competitiveness, including informed decisions on how and when stacked assets can be cost-effectively reactivated,” Schweikert says.
GE’s Marine Solutions has a suite of marine technologies that answer these pressing needs, ranging from clean technologies and electrical solutions that bring enhanced fleet flexibility, reliability and emissions reduction, to digital solutions that have the potential for greater efficiency through maintenance cost reduction and optimised operations.
Last year, GE’s Marine Solutions formed a partnership with Maersk Drilling to collaborate on a data analytic-driven pilot project. The outcomes created on that initial phase mean the digital asset performance management solution has been expanded across more vessels in the Maersk Drilling fleet.
According to Schweikert, GE’s Marine Solutions is focusing on two key areas to deliver value through the program, which are enhanced drilling process efficiency, and maintenance cost reduction.
“With the present period of prolonged energy price instability, we believe data analytics tools provide the right technology to help the industry through the current downcycle and maintain sustainable growth for the future,” Schweikert maintains.
Schweikert believes the company’s digital solution can drive consistent drilling excellence at a global level and bring a multibillion-dollar impact to the industry.
“Moving forward, we will continue to deliver measurable outcomes to customers and the industry as a whole, and ultimately bringing to life the vision of more autonomous ships,” Schweikert says.
Schweikert sees three major transformations taking place in today’s marine ecosystem – digitalisation, clean technologies and electrification and the company is proactively colloborating with partners to embrace this new way of working, coming up with transformative technologies to drive wholesale change, by looking at the marine industry as an ecosystem rather than dealing with individual vessels as isolated assets.
“As such, understanding that everything you do, every decision you make, is interconnected and will affect something else, is key to identifying opportunities for efficiency. This is a journey we are taking with our customers and partners, as we work towards a better, more sustainable future for the industry,” Schweikert concludes.