Hempel: Digital paint

Coatings offer solutions to many of the challenges facing shipping, argues Christian Ottosen, head of marine at Denmark’s paint supplier Hempel in today’s Maritme CEO interview.

Ottosen is aware of the challenges including overcapacity, low freight rates and tightening regulations. He sees how owners are increasingly asking him and his colleagues for coatings that contribute towards fuel savings and reduced CO2 emissions.

“At the same time, they have high demand in terms of maximum flexibility and performance in changing sailing patterns and longer idle stays,” Ottosen says.

Hempel’s R&D team is works to a two-step development philosophy that focuses on reducing fouling, in order to reduce invasive species and fuel consumption, while also improving smoothness to reduce the drag of the ship, which eventually impacts CO2 emissions.

Hemplel has recently launched a digital solution called SHAPE to monitor coatings’ impact on owners’ bottom lines regarding fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

“We have a strong R&D culture with a very interesting innovation pipeline with a focus on the challenges in the maritime industry. As the industry is changing, we as a coatings supplier need to change with it,” says Ottosen.

SHAPE analyses vessel data and reports back to the ship operator the speed loss or power increase that the vessels have had since paint application. Based on the data, Hempel advises on future steps and coatings selections.

Additionally, Hempel sees passive fire protection (PFP) coatings as an important part of the company’s growth strategy. The company inaugurated a new facility in Barcelona in early December, which is dedicated to the research and development of coating products within the field of PFP.

“We are obsessed with developing industry leading coating solutions and pairing them with data programmes to the benefit of the shipowner. The shipping industry is experiencing major challenges but the digital age will offer many exciting future solutions that Hempel must tap into,” Ottosen concludes.


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