UK-based Aveva, the largest software provider in the maritime sector, delivering systems for both shipbuilding and vessel operations, has signed a strategic partnership agreement with International Maritime Industries (IMI) which is currently developing a major new shipyard at Ras-Al-Khair in Saudi Arabia.
Under the terms of the agreement, IMI will have access to all products in the Aveva portfolio, allowing the yard to digitise the entire lifecycle through from vessel design, project management, project execution and manufacturing, to final vessel operation. This will include Aveva’s Unified Engineering and Digital Ship and Shipyard Operations solutions, including shipboard solutions to improve operational efficiency and meet regulatory standards.
Herve Lours, Aveva’s VP Marine, says, ”IMI will have access to everything we can offer, with more to come, making this quite an unusual agreement that I believe will set a pattern for the future. The enhanced digitalisation will allow the yard to deliver high quality ships meeting IMO regulations and give them the ability to more completely meet client expectations. Manufacturing costs will be optimised, through higher productivity, boosting the yard’s competitiveness, as well as increasing its ability to adapt to changing market circumstances.”
Set to be operational by 2023, IMI – a joint venture between Saudi Aramco, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Bahri and Lamprell – is committed to an advanced digital programme embracing the latest technology innovations from the outset. The aim is to deliver agile and efficient newbuilding projects, supported by a digitally enabled workforce and taking advantage of advanced AI-based analytics to enhance operations.
Aveva has an estimated 60% share of the global maritime software market, a position that has been strengthened by its acquisition last year of OSI soft. This has enabled it to integrate the latter’s PI operations data management platform into the solutions it offers the shipping industry, taking advantage of synergies between the two. PI collects and manages operational data from different vendor equipment onboard and overcomes the problems that can be caused when data is collected separately by different onboard systems and not shared.
As Lours explains, “The PI system collects all the various data generated by systems onboard to share amongst the stakeholders who need this information. For example, an engine manufacturer may collect data that could be beneficial to the supplier of navigational systems. Now they can correlate and share that data to mutual advantage and to the benefit of the vessel operator.”
Aveva has close links with all yards and major shipowners in the Middle East and is looking to strengthen those ties still further over the next few years through a massive investment in cloud-based systems. Lours concludes, “This initiative will reduce the cost of infrastructure and also make it easier to adapt systems to remote working. As a result of the pandemic, that is something that is high on the agendas of all yards and vessel operators.”