Augmented Reality leads digital transformation in the Marine industry!
Posted On August 23, 2021
The marine industry is being radically transformed by digitalisation and the rapid growth of new technologies. Performance and versatility are improved by these technologies. These advancements, however, are no longer limited to goods and systems. They also change the way marine maintenance is done. Using augmented reality and smart glasses in stern tube seals and bearings facilities, we are bringing a whole new level of repair and maintenance to the industry. This technology simplifies troubleshooting and speeds up the process in the operation and eases up the training process. Inspections, alignment measurements, on-site machining, shaft straightening, and new building commissioning are all made much easier and quicker than ever. The potential for saving time and money is immense.
The use of augmented reality technologies in the marine industry is not limited to a single application. Let’s take a closer look at Augmented Reality applications in the marine industry to learn more about the benefits of this technology and the possibilities that its implementation presents.
Ship simulators are maybe the best known and exploited marine application. Ship bridge simulators are widely used to train maritime officers on how to use ship systems in a controlled real-time environment and to model movements into and out of major ports around the world. It is also an effective training method for deck staff, as it prepares them for what they can encounter once they board a ship. Simulating movements into and out of major ports around the world and training maritime officers to use ship systems in a controlled real-time environment are popular uses for ship bridge simulators. It’s also a valuable preparation tool for deck crews, as it trains them for what they’ll encounter once they board a ship.
Under the influence of developments such as growing programme costs, widening foreign opportunities, and increasing demand from government customers seeking value for money, the naval shipbuilding industry is undergoing unprecedented change and disruption. As a result, digital reinvention is the only option. Some prestigious shipyards use augmented reality as a design review tool. Although the concept is still in the development stage, participants from different disciplines and stakeholders have the ability to test and assess the current model. Customers and the general public are also informed about new items, such as ships and offshore facilities, using virtual models that replace actual ones.
Electronic Navigational Aids (ENAs) on board today’s ships offer a wealth of knowledge to aid navigation, but they frequently divert deck officers’ attention away from their watch-keeping duties. Fusion of all additional data into a single, easy-to-understand display of the ship’s navigational and voyage-related data will allow optimum use of all available resources without disrupting the ship’s operational procedures. By combining a variety of electronic navigational and communications systems, such as the automatic identification system (AIS), vessel traffic services (VTS), or automatic radar plotting aids (ARPA), with nautical charts, satellite imagery, or other on board systems and sensors, it enhances navigational safety, collision avoidance, ship security, and environmental protection. Details such as route waypoints, distance and bearing to the next waypoint, local hazards, buoys, and lighthouses, among other things, can be added to the video. These virtual objects are overlaid on film and placed in their actual geographic location in augmented reality. In low visibility conditions, a navigation aid in the form of virtual “rails” on both sides of the ship track aids steering.
𝐌𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐀𝐑
Another promising AR application is assisting with complex machine assembly, maintenance, and repair. Engineers can complete their jobs safer, easier, and quicker by overlaying instructions, sketches, procedures, and 3-D interactive guides on a see-through picture of the actual equipment in real time. Nearly 20 years ago, Columbia University and Boeing produced the first applications of this kind.
Marine mechanics are responsible for the maintenance and repair of complex equipment, which is mostly done in confined spaces. Mechanics wear a head-worn monitor instead of bringing a laptop and paper documentation, and the AR system produces virtual layers of text commands, marks, and alerts, as well as 3-D guiding arrows and 3-D models of the required resources. A smart phone with a touch screen is worn on the mechanic’s wrist and is used to communicate with the AR system. Initial testing of the AR app shows that it can help users complete maintenance tasks in about half the time they would normally take.
𝐀𝐑 𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫
Developing an underwater augmented reality device remains a challenge. It must also meet certain additional criteria. The device must be waterproof, withstand the high pressures of deep diving, and not rely on GPS. As a result of these criteria, the AR system must use specialized sensors, be durable, and be difficult to build and costly. Using Augmented Reality techniques underwater transform a normal swimming pool into a virtual coral reef with shoals, mussels, and weeds by adding virtual objects to it. The waterproof monitor and camera built into the diver’s mask, the handheld PC in the diver’s backpack, and the inertial and magnetic tracking device are the system’s key components.
Aside from the aforementioned AR application cases, another reason that has recently gained a lot of traction is the use of AR for training purposes of employees who, in most cases, work also offshore. Remote experts with multiple expertise and experience will provide real-time training to existing or new workers without experience for more challenging problems through AR Remote Assistance.
Having the ability to realize this training even though it is enriched with photographs, pdf files, or 3D models allows the trainees to be trained in a more efficient way than the conventional model allows. Furthermore, this learning mechanism aids staff in being better prepared for future unexpected scenarios. Through this preparation, remote experts bring to life scenarios of challenging problems that may arise, preparing workers for immediate solutions that may be needed to effectively resolve these issues. In fact, cost-effective technological tools have already aided the maritime industry in adopting AR Remote Assistance and putting it to good use. InfiVR Remote, for example, offers Augmented Reality-based remote assistance applications for improved training experiences. Employees in the maritime industry now have the ability to receive adequate training and experience in a risk-free environment thanks to this remote. On the other hand, InfiVR solutions have a lot of potential for improving repair and maintenance operations. Users can send and receive visual images, directions, and written files right in front of their eyes using this remote assistance on mobile devices and even wearable devices like smart glasses, eliminating the need to struggle with guide handbooks.
To summarize what we’ve said so far, Augmented Reality appears to us as more than a technology; it’s a big wave of change aimed at revolutionizing the maritime industry. The use of augmented reality has the ability to improve the processes that give this industry its proper values. This can also be seen as a motivator for many companies in this industry to adopt this technology in order to increase performance, reliability, and security.