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Wartsila’s Collaborative Efforts Revealed – An Interview with Melvin Mathews

Wartsila’s New Aspirations

Traditionally an OEM, Wartsila has recently acquired Transas in order to accelerate its Smart Marine Ecosystem vision, shared by Transas CEO Frank Coles: “We share a common vision; one of a safer, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly maritime industry”.

Melvin Mathews, Director of New Businesses at Wartsila, elaborated on the recent digital acquisitions, and shared Wartsila’s new aspirations.

“At the moment, Wartsila supports and helps the industry. […] We are the biggest providers of equipment to the marine industry and our equipment is roughly on one third of the world’s fleet: engines, systems, sensors, devices, and a whole lot of others. Then there’s services and we cater to roughly half the world’s fleet. When you talk about services and take into account the lifecycle of a ship, we take care of asset management and optimisation, condition based monitoring and maintenance, and of course, we do just-in-time arrival of spares and parts, but that’s just touching upon a very small area of our services.

With the acquisition of Eniram, and now Transas, we have an entire suit of digital products which are there to help ports and ships in areas such as performance management of ships, traffic management of ports, and other solutions around wide optimisations, fleet optimisation, energy efficiency, fuel savings, risk and safety monitoring, and mobile ops, which we launched recently. Therein lies also a range of other products which are digital data based services that come out from analytics.

So now we cover a lot more than we did in the past from a Wartsila point of view.”

New Collaborations and New Areas of Interest

“Wartsila is embarking on a smart marine strategy and part of it is to enable a sustainable marine ecosystem, and we want to do it through digitalisation and also through cross-industry partnerships, which means that we are constantly talking to all stakeholders within the industry and we want to discuss where the industry is currently and where the industry is likely to go.

[This way] we can set the roadmap of where we want to go and where we want to see things to be. As a result we are constantly looking at new and innovative companies, startups, that perhaps will not just challenge the way the maritime industry is, but potentially disrupt the way business is conducted in the maritime industry.

So we are constantly looking out for what we can acquire, who we can partner with, where it is that new technologies are evolving, how we can utilise new technologies, because our customers are not in the business of buying artificial intelligence or machine learning. They want tangible solutions that these technologies can enable and bring value to the business.

So we have to study them to understand them, and to then see how that can be applied to our customers’ businesses. We do a lot of, not just internal soul searching and transforming ourselves as a business digitally, but also looking at how we can drive and take leadership in the industry.”

Technology and The Smart Sustainable Marine Ecosystem

“I think there is scope for collaboration and a lot of the things mentioned here like machine learning, we are already doing. With my history in Eniram, we have already been doing machine learning for almost a decade, but for many in the industry, that is a new thing – machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data. For digitalisation to be a success, it cannot be in a silo. It has to be right across the industry. Only then can the true benefits of digitalisation be realised by everybody because at the end of the day, we have to fully digitalise the supply chain.

Within Wartsila, we have all this equipment deployed on the ships and we are now at a point where we are working on the intelligence smartly above the equipment that we already have. It will naturally transfer onto the other parts of the industry and that’s why we have this smart sustainable marine ecosystem that we’re working on.”

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