Since its founding in 1974, Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (SHI) has received orders for and delivered over 1,000 ships (as of 2017) from the world’s leading shipping companies. The company continues to be recognized for its leading maritime technology and production efficiency, in high-tech, high-value shipbuilding sectors. SHI is introducing industry 4.0-related high-tech Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) into processes, from shipbuilding to post-vessel-delivery operations, to reduce costs through “vessel digitalization” and to transform itself into a higher-value-added business. Industry 4.0 encapsulates the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies.
Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has built its next-generation SmartShip systems, S.VESSEL and S.FLEET, for ships and onshore command centers, respectively. These systems provide integrated management of all vessel-related data using satellites, aiming to provision a land-ocean integrated system, from offshore fleet operation to maritime vessel obsolescence management system services.
SHI offers fleet management capabilities to ship owners through S.FLEET, a web-based onshore fleet management system, by providing real-time vessel location monitoring, claim management collaboration, and vessel performance analysis. S.VESSEL is the onboard vessel navigation system that monitors fuel consumption and motion safety, and automates reporting functions at sea.
SHI’s SmartShip platform needs to converge ship operations and information and communications technologies because it will be the building block for SmartShip operation. A SmartShip requires sensors connected to a Global Positioning System, high-resolution cameras, and ship navigation systems, to ensure secure, safe, and reliable navigation. This system also collects, analyzes, and processes all types of onboard communications. Meanwhile, an onshore command center system needs to monitor and control vessels at sea in real time and interpret all types of information inside and outside the vessel through channels such as interactive smart screens, voice recognition service, and virtual-reality images.
SHI’s SmartShip platform must be able to:
- Handle large data sets generated by new services due to the expansion of SmartShip operation technology.
- Provide platform flexibility, scalability, and high availability to users.
- Secure its core SmartShip platform and protect its information management system against cyber threats.
- Provide an environment where new SmartShip solutions can be developed and deployed with high efficiency and agility.
“We chose AWS so that we could provision new S.FLEET services, without upfront capital expenditure,” says Jaewoo Kim, senior researcher, Ship and Offshore Research Institute of SHI. The team had earlier considered an on-premises infrastructure to develop the S.FLEET, but found it too slow, inflexible, and expensive.
SHI used S.FLEET in the AWS Directory Service to implement a common system between ships, shipyards, research institutes, and shipping companies. This makes it easy for them to add Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) instances to the domain, and use AWS enterprise IT applications as a group. SHI uses Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) peering to connect networks between SHI and shipping companies to route data traffic. It also uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to configure a data lake where all information from vessels is stored, and Amazon Elasticsearch Service to analyze remote fleet management system logs, search full text, and monitor applications. SHI adopted AWS Key Management Service (KMS) for data encryption; it integrated KMS with AWS CloudTrail to provide logs of key usage, enabling it to meet various regulatory and compliance requirements.
By moving IT resources to AWS, SHI could focus on its core feature development, which led to a timely launch of S.FLEET for its customers. It estimates that it saved three months in development time compared to using an on-premises solution.
“For the successful launch of S.FLEET, AWS proactively engaged with us to understand our business requirements and supported with technology workshops and architecture review meetings. Also, AWS partner Megazone, a managed services provider, manages SHI S.FLEET with a one-year reserved instances plan, so that we could focus more on R&D and testing of new ideas,” says Kim.
“To improve the level of services provided to our customers after vessel delivery, we have developed and implemented a ship navigation big data analytics service using Amazon Redshift and a smart customer support system that provides ship management notification services based on Amazon Polly and Amazon Lex, in collaboration with SHI. These services are provisioned to more than nine ship owners. We are now developing other innovative services for SmartShip operation, including a 3D-based digital twin, based on Amazon Sumerian,” adds Jinhee Kang, assistant manager, CS Group of SHI. The CS Group’s role is to resolve any post-vessel-delivery issues for ship owners.
In addition to achieving scalability, performance, and availability for its core platform on AWS, SHI was able to simultaneously establish a SmartShip information protection management system to respond to cyber threats in the shipbuilding and marine industry.
“We obtained the world’s first certification of cybersecurity technology for our SmartShip solution from American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), a global provider of classification and technical advisory services to the marine and offshore industries, by leveraging AWS’s compliance reports as a basis for compliance validation and evidence request,” adds Kyungwon Bae, senior researcher, Shipbuilding and Maritime Research Institute, SHI. “This helped saved us up to six months of man-hours in obtaining the certificate.”
“AWS services provide a highly flexible development environment for R&D in maritime sector. Being able to freely implement and validate ideas is one of the greatest benefits of using AWS, and we are very pleased that it continues to provide innovative services that we want to apply. I believe SmartShip technology is a stepping stone toward the realization of future autonomous vessels. We are very proud of having a platform in which the SmartShip technology will continue to grow,” says Dongyeon Lee, vice-president, Ship and Offshore Performance Research Center at SHI.
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