BUREAU VERITAS Integrated digital platform improves efficiency and customer service
Every industry faces digital transformation, and extreme cycles in the economics of marine and offshore sectors makes the industry ripe to harvest the benefits of digitization. Compass spoke with Philippe Donche-Gay, President of the Bureau Veritas (BV) Marine & Offshore Division, about how this premier ship classification society is leveraging digitization to increase efficiency and expand its renowned customer responsiveness.
COMPASS: Bureau Veritas is considered a premier maritime classification society. What makes it unique?
PHILIPPE DONCHE-GAY: Bureau Veritas has been a leading inspection and certification company since the early 19th century. As a group, our diversification beyond the marine and offshore sectors offsets the industry’s cycles. We have a true global network, enabling us to be responsive in all parts of the world. And we are able to leverage investments in innovation and technology beyond the needs of the marine industry.
All industries are grappling to harness and manage the massive amounts of data generated by modern technology. How is this challenge affecting the maritime sector?
PDG: Data is everywhere. Among the shipping industry, the container ship segment is perhaps the most advanced in terms of understanding how to take advantage of big data. The larger companies are implementing end-to-end traceability of containers via instrumentation on vessels, plus the right network to transmit the data.
WE BELIEVE THAT ADOPTING AN INTEGRATED PLATFORM WILL BE A KEY ENABLER, NOTABLY BECAUSE WE WILL HAVE TO APPROVE AN INCREASING NUMBER OF INNOVATIVE DESIGNS.PRESIDENT OF THE BUREAU VERITAS MARINE & OFFSHORE DIVISION
We also are beginning to see a transformation in how the ship construction segment approaches data, notably with the integration of tools onto a common collaborative platform, which helps to ensure more end-to-end productivity of design and manufacturing.
Bureau Veritas is also leveraging the new generation of solutions to more effectively communicate with our clients. We are confident that this will lead to new levels of productivity. For instance, we are now developing web services to ensure a secure and smooth transfer of drawings and information between shipyards and ourselves, and vice versa.
How does investing in technology improve your competitiveness?
PDG: Digital transformation is a major initiative across BV. Our Marine & Offshore division is piloting this effort, the most important piece of which is a 3D modeling initiative. This includes adopting cutting-edge solutions to support the customer experience, solutions linked to our own productivity, as well as a scheduling tool to assist the surveyors.
“BY ADOPTING NEW TECHNOLOGIES, BV CAN ASSIST THE INDUSTRY TO STAY ON TOP OF COMPLIANCE THROUGHOUT THE ASSET’S LIFECYCLE.”PRESIDENT OF THE BUREAU VERITAS MARINE & OFFSHORE DIVISION
We recognize that digital transformation will be a never-ending, always-evolving effort and that it is essential to create strong technological partnerships to stay on top of the latest innovations. We expect our technology partnerships to have an impact that goes far beyond our Marine & Offshore division.
With both the maritime and offshore sectors in a down cycle, is this a difficult time to invest in new technologies?
PDG: The marine and offshore markets are not homogeneous. Some segments, such as dry bulk, are having difficulties due to overcapacity. On the other hand, we see the cruise ship industry booming. In offshore, new developments are on hold due to the low price of oil, and we’ll probably have to wait before those resume.
In the short term, technology helps classification societies to address the opportunity linked to new regulations, notably in the environmental field. Regardless of market conditions, shipowners must comply with, for instance, new ballast water management regulations as well as air emissions (CO2, Sulfur, NOx) control. By adopting new technologies, BV can assist the industry to stay on top of compliance throughout the asset’s lifecycle and validate more effective designs in terms of fuel consumption.
The offshore market will take some time to rebound. However, if fewer platforms are being built, existing platforms may stay in service longer, triggering a need to develop new tools to ensure effective asset integrity management services. This is one of the topics we are addressing by developing a new Asset Integrity Management System (AIMS) with our technology partner.
How does an integrated business platform help you achieve your strategic objectives?
PDG: Technological innovation is key in the marine and offshore businesses. Ultra large container ships and the opening of Arctic routes are just two examples of why a new generation of vessels is required. These vessels will have many technological improvements that need to be understood, addressed and proposed.
The same can be said for offshore. When that sector rebounds, there will be much more subsea technology, so continued innovation for a class society is important. We believe that adopting an integrated platform will be a key enabler, notably because we will have to approve an increasing number of innovative designs. We will need the productivity of an integrated platform to cope with the demand. Having a single representation for all types of calculations will make us extremely more efficient and resilient over time.Back to top
Hear Philiipe Donche-Gay explain BV’s commitment to digital transformation: