Furetank transforms former office into advanced training centerWritten by Nick Blenkey
Swedish family-owned shipping company Furetank is probably best known internationally for its cutting-edge eco-friendly 17,999 dwt Vinga series dual-fuel tankers. Those advanced vessels call for new crew routines and skills, so, when Furetank moved into new offices in downtown Gothenburg, back in December, its former office on the island of Donsö outside Gothenburg, was given a new role.
It is being transformed into a maritime educational center with a state-of-the-art ship simulator complex for training, assessment and certification. From summer 2023 it will be available for the entire shipping cluster on Donsö as well as external customers.
The rapid development in the shipping industry demands constant updates of on-board routines and seafarer skills, says Furetank. Greener shipping and the adoption of newer and smarter technologies pose a huge skilling challenge to shipping companies. In tanker shipping, the upcoming launch of an updated ship inspection report program, SIRE 2.0, will further increase demand for company-specific courses and skills development.
“Furetank has ordered a large range of new-built vessels to be delivered in the coming years, and manning these ships is a great challenge, says Jonas Gunnarsson, personnel manager at Furetank. “The situation is the same for many of our fellow shipping companies on Donsö. The lack of access to simulator environments has been a bottleneck for us. This easily accessible training center will be a positive contribution to Swedish shipping.”
Designed by Wärtsilä, the simulator complex holds 14 students at a time. Physical simulation bridges are combined with virtual, augmented and mixed reality applications. Together they create highly realistic learning environments for navigation, maneuvering, eco navigation, docking, cargo handling and safety procedures — as well as proper use of new ship technology like shore-power connection or LNG/PBG bunkering.
The equipment includes a full size class A navigational bridge simulator using eleven portrait-mounted 75 inch displays, giving a 240 degrees horizontal field of view and good vertical height. In addition, there will be a virtual reality bridge / bridge wing and tugboat simulator as well as an engine room simulator including a virtual machinery space.
A multi-player feature allows interaction between captain/pilot, bridge/engine room etc, for training in communications skills required in real-life scenarios. A cloud simulation solution allows the simulator to connect to other training centers and perform remote joint exercises.
“We can simulate 50 ship models ranging from pilot boats and cruise ships to tankers and towboats. You can navigate several fairways, going into the ports of Gothenburg, Rotterdam, the Oslo Fjord etc.,” says Gunnarsson. “We can also simulate moving through ice or rough sea. Only our imagination sets the limits for what shipping companies can do in this simulator.”