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Furuno receives LR AiP for its voyage data recorder digital twin.

First of its kind verification for a digital twin designed to provide a remote service as an alternative to onboard annual testing.

Furuno Hellas has been awarded Approval in Principle from LR for the HermAce voyage data recorder (VDR) digital twin and remote service as an alternative to onboard annual VDR performance testing. This is the first verification carried out by a classification society of a digital twin specifically designed for this purpose.

LR’s verification and subsequent approval has been recognised by the Republic of the Marshall Islands Maritime Administrator, allowing a pathway for the certification of HermAce VDR digital twin and remote service as an alternative to VDR annual performance testing (APT).

Following verification by LR, the new solution received Approval in Principle against “Digital Twin Approved”, the second stage of LR’s ShipRight Digital Compliance Framework, ensuring that elementary functions, capabilities and limitations of the digital twin were defined and evaluated. The solution, including the digital twin, was also qualified by Nettitude, the cyber security arm of LRQA, as having level three cyber security maturity in accordance with LR’s Cyber Security ShipRight procedure.

Furuno was previously awarded LR Digital Twin Ready certification for HermAce, the first time that the Digital Twin Ready certification was granted for a Digital Health Management (DHM) developer in the marine and offshore industry.

Luis Benito, Innovation Director at LR, commented: “This is an important step in shipping’s journey towards digitalisation and we’re proud to perform verification services for the industry’s first digital twin specifically designed as an equivalent to statutory testing. Furuno’s HermAce digital twin solution will deliver reliable VDR operation at the lowest life cycle cost for shipowners, while minimising the disruption caused by onboard functional testing and inspection.”

Kazuma Waimatsu, Director of Marine Divison at Furuno Electric Co., Ltd, commented: “Nowadays, there is a technological trend and remarkable interest in implementing systems that can collect, store, and monitor the data of a company’s navigation and communication equipment installed onboard in real-time. Additionally, the requirements for bidirectional communication and remote access have become more necessary than ever. In an effort to satisfy above needs Furuno Hellas has developed and produced a secure, consistent advanced remote monitoring system, HermAce, an IoT development engine for Furuno’s digital transformation. HermAce acquired “Digital Twin Ready” in September 2020 and was assessed by Lloyd’s Register for developers’ capability to implement digital twins. The “Digital Twin Approved” Approval in Principle of HermAce VDR digital twin and service as an alternative to VDR annual performance testing by LR and the Republic of the Marshall Islands shows that Furuno is heading in the right direction in performing remote VDR APT in the near future.”

Theodoros Katemidis, Managing Director at Furuno Hellas, added: “Furuno Hellas is consistently offering innovative solutions in the market of marine navigation and telecommunication systems, enabling shipping companies and ship managers worldwide to operate their vessels more efficiently. Nowadays, the need for real-time information from vessels increases significantly. The “Digital Twin Approved” Approval in Principle of HermAce VDR digital twin and service as an alternative to VDR annual performance testing by Lloyd’s Register and the Republic of the Marshall Islands is an achievement with an eye to the near future of Furuno Hellas in performing APTs remotely.”

Simon Bonnett, Deputy Commissioner of Maritime Affairs of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, commented: “The Republic of the Marshall Islands Maritime Administrator was interested in participating in the evaluation of a digital twin because of the potential to monitor compliance and to optimise both operation and maintenance aspects. A rigorous verification process is vital before the digital twin can be trusted to reflect reality, and the LR compliance framework is providing the necessary assurances. The work done is an important first step for the verification of digital twins and potentially blazes the path for much more complex systems to be considered. Once all work is completed this particular digital twin will enable Furuno Hellas to continuously monitor the VDR’s functionality and perform APTs remotely.”

Furuno HermAce
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