Furuno USA, the largest U.S. supplier of GMDSS equipment, was awarded a contract to supply over 250 of its FA100 Automatic Identification Systems
(AIS) to Houston-based Kirby Inland Marine, LP, a subsidiary of publicly traded (NYSE) Kirby Corporation (KEX)
Kirby Inland Marine operates the nation’s largest fleet of inland tank barges and towing vessels. They transport a variety of petrochemicals, refined products, black oils and agricultural chemicals efficiently and safely throughout the inland waterways of the United States. Kirby operates 882 active inland tank barges and 226 active towing vessels.
In order to bring their applicable vessels into compliance with new Maritime Security requirements, Kirby Inland Marine and Furuno joined forces to retrofit their vessels with Furuno’s FA100. The FA100 is a complete AIS solution provided in a compact, single unit which includes the IMO compliant MKD (Minimum Keyboard Display), AIS Transponder and GPS Receiver. Unlike other models on the market that expose their transponder and sensitive electronics to the harsh environment, the FA100 is designed for simplified installations and low cost maintenance for the future. A typical system configuration requires only the Furuno compact MKD, junction box, standard GPS antenna and an AIS-VHF antenna to complete a simple installation.
“From Kirby Inland Marine’s perspective, the Furuno product and distribution network offered the best value for compliance with the AIS requirements,” said Jim Farley, Executive Vice President of Operations for Kirby inland marine. “Accompanying our highly reliable, easy-to-install, and competitively priced FA100 AIS product, is the
high level of customer support, service coordination, and on-time delivery that made Kirby’s purchasing decision easy,” said Dean Kurutz, Marketing Manager for Furuno U.S.A. Kirby has already taken delivery of over 180 FA100 units, and Furuno will continue delivering the remaining units throughout the year. Kirby has contracted GSI Marine, Inc., an authorized Furuno dealer, to coordinate the delivery and installation of their FA100 AIS units.
“Our FA100 is a cost-effective and easy-to-install solution for any vessel. Match this with our outstanding customer service and you have the best solution on the market to meet the new IMO Regulations for AIS. We were extremely honored to be selected by Kirby as their AIS supplier. We anticipate delivering this same solution to many other companies that are in need of meeting the new IMO Regulations,” commented Kurutz.