Heading into this autumn’s traditionally busy exhibition season, there is a noticeable charge in the air regarding the marine industry and its future.
Fueled by years of corporate consolidation, today’s marine equipment, system and service companies are, in general, larger, better positioned to deliver integrated, turnkey solutions.
But as the “urge to merge” has undoubtedly created some efficiencies, particularly in the capital intensive Research and Development and customer service and support operations, medium and smaller companies should not be ignored, for it is here that a good deal of innovation takes place.
A prime example of small company innovation swept up into the corporate fold is last month’s announcement that Spectec had been acquired by Station 12.
Little more than a decade ago, the term “software solutions” as applied to the marine industry was not much of a topic. Companies such as Spectec were little more than an embryonic notion found on some forward thinkers’ legal pads. With a relatively short time, however, Spectec not only carved its niche, it helped to create a product category and redefine the way in which vessels were operated and maintained efficiently.
Vessel maintenance and repair is a major theme of this edition, in accordance with the Ship Repair & Conversion exhibition scheduled for mid-November in London. More than ever, the issues surrounding proper maintenance and repair of vessels in a timely, efficient and technically correct manner is helping to define which companies will prosper and which will whither. Spurred by the Erika disaster as well as a number of high profile failures in the past — international, national and regional authorities are demanding that vessels of all type, shape and size adhere to increasingly rigorous standards. It is the job of the suppliers, naval architects and marine engineers, as well as the vessel builders and repairers to deliver continually superior solutions to meet these needs.