Wilson Sons moves ahead on tugboat fleet digital transformation

Written by Nick Blenkey
image description

Wislon Sons operates Brazil's largest fleet of tugboats

Wilson Sons, Brazil’s largest integrated port and maritime logistics operator, is implementing a Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) and network cabling project for its tugboat fleet of nearly 80 vessels.

Developed by its innovation laboratory, Tuglab, in partnership with the IT management of the company’s Towage Division, the project will involve installation of a local internet network and 480 cameras.

The equipment has already been installed in almost half of the tugboat fleet, distributed in the main ports of Brazil. The remaining vessels will receive the new system this year, under a schedule that will take into account all the protective measures being implemented by Wilson Sons in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The implementation of the camera system brings increased security to the fleet by allowing real-time visualization of operations and maneuvers, including by customers. It also makes it possible to store and retrieve images, over a period of 30 days, for accident and incident investigation analyses, and tug and crew performance studies.

In addition to the internal image system, the tugboats have Wi-Fi hotspots on the bridge and in the galley and engine room. The internet allows the crew to connect to Wilson Sons systems by cell phone or tablet and to videoconference with shore based teams.

“The tugboat cabling makes it is possible to migrate several on-board processes to the digital environment, increasing information reliability and facilitating data traceability,” says Project Manager Simone Prado Simone Prado.

The Towage Division is also integrating several systems, via a new online platform, that previously were not accessible on board vessels. Among the benefits this allows is the registration of maneuvers on the platform, in real time, by cell phone or tablet. Another advantage is availability to the crew of a dashboard report with information about the tug, such as water, oil and fuel levels, and other data such as inspection cycles, maintenance activities, purchase orders and other onboard processes, enabling the streamlining of many daily activities.

Created at the end of 2017, Tuglab has about 10 professionals from different areas, such as IT, engineering (maintenance, operations, HSE), Human Resources and administration. It has a number of projects in progress, including the use of artificial intelligence, QR code and other solutions to streamline and increase the security of operations.

“The lab is one of the company’s most innovative initiatives. Today the speed of technological change is much higher than 20 years ago. We need to be prepared for this new scenario in the naval sector,” says Juliano Maia, IT manager of the Towage division. “Our goal is to make our processes more agile, allowing all resources and information to be on board at the right time, making them more efficient,”

Categories: News, Tugs & Barges Tags: , ,