VIKING Steps Up Pace of Innovation at SMM
This year’s SMM in Hamburg will see VIKING release more innovations than at any other point in its 50-year history, including new developments in PPE clothing, safety equipment outsourcing, onboard training solutions, and evacuation systems, as well as a catalogue that almost doubles the number of maritime products.
Esbjerg, Denmark, September 2014 – Riding high on market successes, marine safety equipment manufacturer VIKING Life-Saving Equipment’s product developers have been adding innovation after innovation to the company’s already impressive range of products and service offerings. Highlights from these new additions will be on display at the VIKING stand #504 at SMM in Hamburg.
50-year innovation wave
VIKING CEO Henrik Uhd Christensen puts the heightened pace of product releases down to a simple mechanism: “When you’re close to your customers, you can develop exactly what they want – or what they will want in the near future,” he says. “And they help you to continue improving the product as their needs evolve every step of the way.”
“Nothing succeeds like success, as they say – so, of course, when we see the industry choosing our products as much as they have been doing, it injects a tremendous amount of energy into product development efforts throughout the company. It creates a kind of snowball effect.”
PPE clothing to be seen in
One of the most visible changes to the VIKING product line-up is the new High Visibility Yellow range of GORE-TEX constant wear/anti-exposure suits, neoprene and multi-layer PU coated nylon immersion suits, and lifejackets. The new, strikingly bright outer material is aimed at making the chances of being noticed in even the most difficult sea conditions better than ever.
“We constantly monitor the latest research on visibility at sea for vital safety equipment – and we have made it a priority to be the first to bring promising developments to our customers,” says VIKING CEO Henrik Uhd Christensen. PPE clothing in the new colour is showcased at SMM and available immediately.
Showcased is VIKING’s multi-layer flagship immersion suit that provides the best performance possible with a PU coated nylon outer fabric and a separate quilted thermal liner for insulation. This combination provides optimal dynamics between safety, thermal performance, durability and comfort – even in the most extreme situations. Built-in buoyancy provides superior freeboard and therefore, no lifejacket is required.
Also showcased is VIKING’s brand new constant wear work lifejacket, the PV9340. Designed for tough marine and offshore work applications, is combines superior in-water performance and durability with a comfortable, ergonomic design. A low-profile compact cover – in a choice of Cordura® or wipe clean fabrics for a durable, yet comfortable, exterior of the jacket. The uniquely designed buoyancy chamber with integrated cleat-attachment system ensures best in-water performance and safer recovery.
Outsourced port-to-port procurement
VIKING has also come up with a new answer to shipowner requests for predictable costs, reduced risk and easier administration. And it’s combining the company’s extensive network, worldwide stock points, and the recently completed integration of marine equipment supplier Hygrapha to do it.
The new “Global Safety Product Agreement” offering is a unique, centralized safety equipment purchasing agreement designed to help shipowners who need to acquire or replace safety equipment in a variety of ports around the world – and who want to avoid wasting valuable resources and time to find the right product at the right price.
VIKING solves these problems by enabling shipowners to ensure their vessels have global availability of over 50 products to start with in pre- determined ports at annually fixed prices, consistent quality and full compliance. The agreements include single-point-of-contact management as well as easily accessible reports that provide an overview of key procurement data. As a result, shipowners get all the advantages of centralized procurement with dependable, local availability. Global Safety Product Agreements can be entered into separately or as part of a VIKING Shipowner Agreement.
More maritime products than ever
With the release of a new, greatly expanded marine products catalogue with almost twice the number of products previously on offer, VIKING has moved closer to becoming the complete, one- stop source for marine safety equipment from leading brands. (Pick up your free copy at SMM).
To achieve this, the company is flexing its significant distribution muscles, using capabilities that none of its competitors currently have the size or supply chain access to match. For example, while VIKING-branded products such as lifejackets and immersion suits figure strongly in the catalogue, the 2010 acquisition and integration of Hamburg-based Hygrapha has added a long, multi-brand list of marine and occupational safety equipment to VIKING’s product portfolio.
Henrik Uhd Christensen also sees his company’s marine safety equipment know-how as a vital part of each Global Safety Product Agreement. “We have the broadest range with the strongest network – more than anyone else in the market. So we’re in a unique position to help shipowners and operators make the best choices for their specific needs.”
Onboard training solutions
VIKING’s recently acquired training arm, VIKING Saatsea, which develops 24/7 onboard training systems for OPITO and STCW crew certification, is releasing new “refresher” packages designed to help shipowners and offshore operators comply with the tougher demands of STCW 2010, which comes into full force on 1 January 2017. The system will be demonstrated at VIKING’s stand, and experts will be on hand to explain how onboard training can reduce training costs and save valuable time compared with training at land-based facilities.
VIKING Saatsea’s CEO, Kim Baarsøe, comments: “Although there’s still 15 months to go before STCW 2010 is fully applicable, shipowners will already be grabbing every available seat in land- based training facilities for their crews. Our new refresher packages let you keep basic education on board up to date by combining theoretical with practical exercises and reducing land-based training to a single day every five years.”
The LifeCraft™ – a revolutionary hybrid
VIKING’s new super-sized, flexible evacuation system is a revolutionary hybrid that brings together the best of lifeboats and liferafts in one. The VIKING LifeCraft™ system combines all of the advantages of modern lifeboats - such as self-propelled maneuverability - with the flexibility, comfort and smaller footprint of today’s liferafts.
“This is a product that completely changes the lifeboat vs. liferaft discussion - at least when it comes to high-capacity
evacuation systems,“ says VIKING CEO Henrik Uhd Christensen: “The VIKING LifeCraft™ system enables rapid, mass evacuation with maximum safety for passengers and crew.”
The LifeCraft™ system consists of two main elements: The LifeCraft™ survival craft – a self- propelled inflatable vessel with four engines for a high degree of maneuverability and safety; and a stowage and launching unit, either placed on deck or built in, containing up to four LifeCraft™ crafts with a capacity of 200 persons each - for a total capacity of 800 persons. There is a gangway for stretchers, if needed.