Data Visibility and Integration
“The lack of visibility into equipment performance was the main pain point along with the need to connect and share that information in a centralized location,” Chip explains. “With their fleets so geographically dispersed, and in locations where there wasn’t always a network, it was especially challenging. So, the delay in data capture and communication was an issue.”
To solve these challenges, ITHENA deployed PTC’s ThingWorx Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Platform. The platform provides the ability to collect engine data from multiple sources on vessel and across the fleet, and integrate that information with other data sets, including location, weather, route, and river current and depth. Further, persona-based dashboards provide data visibility to a variety of users, such as port engineers, logistics managers, maintenance engineers, and customer service and support members.
“Before this project, it was hard for them to know when things went wrong until after the event,” Chip explains. “Now by bringing in all this data, in unison and with alerts and alarms, they can be more predictive – which results in less downtime. So, for example, when an event occurs in one parameter of the engine, chances are subsequent events could occur elsewhere, and the customer can take action to prevent that from happening.”
Sustainable and Efficient Operations
Such visibility has led to significant results including a 27% reduction in boat downtime and opportunities to increase the sustainability of fleet operations with a 17% increase in route planning efficiency and a 12% increase in fuel consumption accuracy. Improved customer service has been another benefit with an 18% increase in response time. Chip expects more benefits in the future.
“The more mature the data gets, the easier and better it will be to resolve issues. And with the opportunity to collaborate and manage their workforce and equipment remotely, if someone can’t solve an issue on their own, they can connect with an expert in real time,” explains Chip, “I think there are many opportunities to continue improving now that the data and technology is in place.”
“Rockwell Automation had a great technology platform; their distributor had the customer relationship and the understanding of the customer pain points; and ITHENA had the ability to bring in the solution to address the business needs,” Chip says. “The culmination of all these things together led to a successful deployment of this IIoT-enabled mobile and digital solution for our customer.”