Leading International Maritime Magazine

ABB opens first ABB Ability™ Collaborative Operation Centre in China

ABB has added Shanghai to its global network of ABB Ability™ Collaborative Operation Centres, after formally opening a new facility to coincide with Marintec 2017. The centre supports the shipping industry’s journey towards digitalisation and ultimately safer and more efficient vessel operations.

The new Shanghai centre will monitor data gathered by sensors onboard ships and sent ashore by satellite, allowing ABB experts to remotely analyse equipment performance, troubleshoot and diagnose as well as work on maintenance planning and fleet benchmarking. It will work in conjunction with Collaborative Operations Centres in Norway, Finland, the Netherlands, Italy, the USA and Singapore, to support vessels on a 24/7 basis. This global setup means that ABB specialists are available during their daytime working hours, no matter what the location of the ship or when assistance is sought. The new Shanghai centre is a crucial part of the assistance global map, offering real-time support in both Chinese and English.

“We are living through one of the most exciting periods in the history of the maritime industry where digitalisation and connectivity are becoming predominant. I am delighted to launch our sector-leading solutions for Collaborative Operations in China,” says Alf- Kåre Ådnanes, Head of Hub Business Unit Marine and Ports China. “ABB has provided integrated propulsion systems to a wide range of vessels built in China, with both domestic and global operations. The ABB Ability™ Collaborative Operations Centre allows us to better serve these vessels and their operators with the latest digital services, driving further progress for efficient and reliable operations.”

The new Shanghai centre enforces ABB’s position as a leading digital solutions supplier to the maritime industry, offering Chinese customers access to solutions and information that can improve their operational performance. “ABB’s service capabilities reduce unexpected downtime and expensive missed port calls. Sometimes, we can even identify onboard issues before the crew are aware of them and make predictive interventions. There are also clear benefits for customers of being able to speak to an engineer with ship data in front of them,” says Roger Xie, General Manager, ABB Service Centre Hub BU Marine and Ports China.

In addition to enabling predictive maintenance, ABB’s ability to monitor the performance of ships or whole fleets is long-established. “The success of this is related to our strong support infrastructure, investment in shore-side analysis expertise, and capability to respond, plan and troubleshoot,” says Mr Xie.

Remote monitoring undertaken through ABB’s Collaborative Operations allow owners to pre-survey marine equipment on board ship and collect data in advance of repairs. This can save up to 50% on drydocking ABB equipment.

“We believe the next generation of ships will be electric, digital and connected as the industry moves towards the use of new energy sources and automated ship operations,” adds Juha Koskela, Managing Director, ABB Marine and Ports. “The Shanghai ABB Ability Collaborative Operations Centre demonstrates ABB’s commitment to invest in shipping’s new digital solutions, providing a common operating platform that will convert big data into smarter services locally in China as well as globally.” 

ABB is already remotely monitoring more than 700 ships and aims to raise that number to 3,000 by 2020.