Rickmers Upgrades VSAT for Entire Fleet
Rickmers Group will migrate to multiband VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) from Marlink Maritime VSAT for its fleet of 90+ vessels including containerships, bulk carriers and heavy lift vessels, in a move that aims to improve operational efficiency through better integration of ship and shore side networks in addition to providing internet connectivity for crew welfare.
High bandwidth availability on Marlink’s Ku-band ‘Plus’ maritime VSAT services will enable Rickmers to significantly enhance on board IT opportunities while introducing the possibility of live monitoring, tele-medicine and remote access from shore to ship, supporting various energy efficiency initiatives across the fleet, according to the provider. With Marlink Maritime VSAT, Rickmers will also be positioned to enhance communication facilities for crews, through availability of high quality Internet access, Marlink explained.
Marlink’s service suite is a key enabler of Rickmers’ energy efficiency strategy aimed at improving operational efficiency and reducing emissions. Rickmers will specifically focus on achieving better energy efficiency by extracting data from on board machinery including main engines and auxiliary equipment, which will support improvements in vessel performance and fuel usage.
“Data Mirroring between ship and shore is one important aspect which we are considering for our future setup, for which Marlink provides a reliable and cost-efficient conduit,” said Capt. Ninad Mhatre, Senior VP, Commercial and Operations, Rickmers. “Further efficiencies will be gained through the use of real-time applications such as videoconferencing, remote monitoring and the ability to download ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System) updates and weather reports without having to consider the cost of each download”.
“There are tangible benefits in terms of reduction of logistic and service attendance cost,” said Saurish Nandi, Vice President, Procurement, Rickmers.
Roll-out of a combination of Marlink Maritime VSAT services with data quota or dedicated CIR (Committed Information Rate) across the Rickmers' fleet, which operates primarily in Europe & Asia, started in August 2015. In addition to the on board VSAT hardware, all vessels will have new MSS (Mobile Satellite Services) terminals installed for unlimited back-up communication. L-band back-up solutions are a standard feature of the multi-band approach of Marlink Maritime VSAT Plus services, which also include readiness for migration to Ka- and Ku-band HTS services such as Inmarsat Fleet Xpress and Intelsat EPIC.
XChange, Marlink’s service delivery platform, will allow Rickmers to manage and control its communications networks on board as well as from shore. XChange supports IT staff in reducing the time needed for infrastructure administration. Rickmers will also use Universal Remote Access (URA) on XChange for remotely accessing ICT equipment on its ships.
“URA streamlines our remote maintenance and management tasks, allowing easy control of all terminals and full access to on board IT networks from shore,” said René Teichmann, Group CIO, Rickmers.
“We needed a higher availability of access to IP connectivity, which will support our use of applications to improve vessel and fleet efficiency. At the same time it will give us flexibility for our future connectivity needs,” said Dr. Ignace Van Meenen, Group CEO, Rickmers.
“Marlink Maritime VSAT services also allow us to expand communications facilities for our crews, meeting their need to stay in touch with friends and family whilst at sea,” said Capt. Anurag Mathur, COO Maritime Services, Rickmers.
“The shipping industry’s desire to operate more efficiently through the use of state of the art technology in order to reduce fuel consumption and better manage on board equipment and IT networks requires a quality multi-band link that is always available,” said Tore Morten Olsen, Head of Maritime Satcoms in Airbus Defence and Space. “Our VSAT services act as an enabler for ‘Smart Shipping’, where a more IT and data based approach can enable improved performance across a vessel or a large fleet.”