Digitread has developed an application that monitors floating docks using various sensors. The purpose is to monitor the condition of the floating dock and detect deviations by triggering alarms if an undesired event occurs.

“From time to time there are accidents with floating docks and only this autumn there have been several cases we know about. One floating dock capsized in Denmark, two other docks sank, one in Norway and the other in Murmansk, and on top of that there was a dock in Germany that caught fire. All of these cases show that there is a need for more control and monitoring of the state of floating docks, something the application we have developed helps solve,” asserts Christoffer Lange, Industrial IoT Product Manager at Digitread who often titles himself as the IoT nerd.

A global market
The app’s initiative came from a large, inter-European shipyard group, which contacted Digitread to find a solution to address its challenges. The plan was to make a product for this group only, but Digitread believes that the need for the solution is huge and thinks that other shipyards around the world will request this app. Once the app is finished, it will be sold through Siemens own MindSphere App store.

Control of critical data
The purpose is to get a better insight into how a floating dock behaves. To extrapolate the critical data, the dock is equipped with various types of sensors that measure the location of the dry dock in the water, the temperatures of different components, and the pressure in the ballast tanks. The docks are also equipped with sensors that can detect leaks. Digitread is using the Siemens MindSphere IT platform to develop this solution. MindSphere acts as an operating system for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and can collect data from all types of sensors.
“If any of the sensors detect abnormal conditions, a notification is sent to your phone via the app, as an sms message, or as an email if you wish,” Lange continues.
“The monitoring of equipment via data collection from sensors is not new in itself. The exciting thing here is that data collection is moving towards a scalable industrial IoT platform. The platform has a number of features that will facilitate learning from the extracted data. It can provide increased knowledge and insight into the behavior of the equipment. We at Digitread see IoT technology as an enabler to connect the physical and digital world together. By simulating and understanding through the use of digital media, increased efficiency and security are achieved in the physical world.

Wide professional knowledge
The development of such a solution is dependent on broad industrial understanding and knowledge of modern software development. Digitread possesses this competence. The digital thread has to be handled entirely by the data read by the sensors until it is uploaded to the cloud and processed by the algorithms. Ultimately, it is about presenting the data to the user so that the right decisions can be made.
Should advanced analyzes, calculations or machine learning be required, MindSphere also includes a number of underlying cloud services that are custom-made solutions in the form of available APIs that developers can build on.
“So far we have developed the monitoring app, and right now we are developing the application for alarms along with another that will provide insights into history and trends, presented as graphs. The next step is to further develop the applications so that the analysis of the historical and real-time data can predict that something will happen in the floating dock if no action is taken. Thus, this will be a very powerful tool”, he explains.
“It is encouraging to discover that shipyards are showing an interest in our solution plus we are engaging in concrete dialogue with a larger German shipyard about this,” adds Lange.

Digitread shows the way
Digitread is Siemens’ only Gold partner in the Nordic region when it comes to developing industrial IoT solutions (IIoT) with MindSphere as a platform. This will enable Digitread to expand its solutions internationally. Digitread also plans to develop and launch several other applications in 2019; these apps will target different industries other than shipyards such as the energy market.
“There has been a lot of talk about Industrial IoT, but, currently, we find that nothing particularly concrete is being developed. With their own efforts, Digitread is showing through practical efforts how industrial IoT solutions can both be developed and put into practice,” concludes Lange.

PUBLISHED: December 21st 2018