Barrow: We embrace new technology and digital innovation to enhance the maritime sector
by Effat Mostafa
David Barrow, Director, Innovation, Marketing and Sales, LIoyd’s Register has exclusively explained to Marasi News LR’s main innovation pillars and its approaches to implement new technologies.
Can we have an overview about your recent technology and innovation accomplishments in the maritime industry?
It’s clear that Shipping needs an innovation strategy to tackle the operational issues and regulatory challenges, and to find ways of being more competitive, environmentally and financially sustainable. Lloyd’s Register has supported the development of new concepts and technologies for more than 250 years and now our global technology centres (GTCs) play a major role in supporting this. To maintain our position as a leading global provider of services, we need to keep at the forefront of technology and increasingly understand the fundamental science and academic analysis behind new technologies.
At LR, we have achieved significant progress in technology and innovation. For instance, we classed the World’s First Remotely Controlled Ship for Rolls-Royce. The building of such vessels is going to be the revolution in shipping during the next 10 years. Lack of prescriptive Rules was no barrier for “de-risking” this project and LR provided assurance against LR’s Cyber-Enabled Ships “ShipRight Procedure Guidance”, whilst considering the safety implications associated with the first closed demonstration.
More important than the development and implementation of new technologies, is our ability to exploit innovative combinations of technology to drive new business models and applications; and combine new technology with effective ways of working.
We have also recently published the Low Carbon Pathways 2050 report in collaboration with the Shipping in Changing Climates “SCC”. The report looks at fuel and technology trends for the marine industry and it aims at developing new knowledge and tools that can contribute to policy debate. We found out that shipping will need to start its decarbonisation imminently – as stringency increases over time, increasingly high-cost mitigation steps are required. The later we leave decarbonisation, the more rapid and potentially disruptive it will be for shipping.
Can you tell us more about your Cyber Secure Program for Marine?
Recognizing the need to go further than ensuring the safe integration of cyber technology, we have recently launched the “Cyber Secure Program for Marine”. This new end-to-end set of solutions addresses the need to keep people, assets and systems secure within the constantly changing cyber security landscape. The new program delivers cyber security analysis and other readiness services to owners, operators and other clients against the US Coast Guard Strategy on cyber security and forthcoming IMO regulations as well as the cyber security best practice already established in other industry sectors, such as Naval.
Our cyber security specialists work closely with clients to identify the specific risks posed to their people, assets and business, and co-create a tailored cyber security management plan. They will also work to incorporate cyber security across their organisation, ensuring that people know how to respond effectively if something goes wrong.
Since we appreciate the importance of having the best capabilities, so have chosen to partner with QinetiQ, a leading science and engineering company operating primarily in the defense, security and aerospace markets. Through this unique partnership, we can bring the benefits of QinetiQ’s world-leading cyber security skills, knowledge and experience to help our clients manage cyber security risks and operate safely and performing cyber ships.
What is your certification framework for 3D printed manufactures? How does these guidelines support the long-term sustainability of marine sector?
Back in January 2016, LR launched the first ever in the market Guidance Notes for the Certification of Metallic Parts made by Additive Manufacturing, or what it is called “3D Printing”. This guidance was written to provide confidence to end users and manufacturers in the quality and performance of 3D printed (Additive manufactured) parts. The guidance represented the best support to this nascent industry to adopt the technology in the absence of well-established international standards, supporting the qualification of this novel technology.
LR is providing assurance and certification to additive manufacturing processes and products by supporting our clients and partners to develop a robust, tailored approach in each individual case to align with the specifics of the process and service conditions, taking into consideration the production routes. By supporting the development and safe adoption of additive manufacturing, we are working towards enabling our partners to secure a simpler, more agile and more economical supply chain.
LR launched a new global certification framework to help manufacturers and end users of equipment and components achieve ‘best practice’, what is the implications of additive manufacturing (AM) on the marine industry?
AM has the potential to revolutionize marine industry in many ways. Designers would be able to optimize by rapid prototyping, using AM to quickly produce parts and iterate new concepts and ideas, creating a better performing or more suitable part faster. They will also be able to simplify complex parts, by creating single parts where before they needed to combine a series of them; also by manufacturing parts with different materials. Additionally, they can produce lighter and stronger parts for users to benefit, simple structures could be made lighter, and complex structures could be made simpler, and then lighter.
The future of AM for marine is open and the range and spread and depth of adoption of this technology will hinge around technological advances that could be prototyped and then certified safe, assured on quality and performance. Many stakeholders play a key part in making marine transform alongside AM technology and LR plays and will continue playing a key technology qualification role and parts and processes certification and assurance role of this very exciting technology for the whole society and multiple sectors.
The main stream development of additive manufacturing in the marine industry has the potential to change marine supply chains in many significant ways. New materials can be manufactured into complex geometries that were previously not possible. In other industries, we are now seeing advanced additively manufactured polymers replace metals in some cases, reducing weight and simplifying the supply chain (perhaps bringing spares manufacturing completely in-house, or on-site). It is also now possible to produce AM polymer components with embedded carbon fibre, providing strengths approaching their conventional metallic equivalents in some cases. AM can also reduce production costs, by efficiency savings in removing steps in the manufacturing process.
How do you guarantee implementing high safety standards while coping with the new technologies?
We aim to make a recognised and distinctive impact on enhancing safety of critical infrastructure important for society through building scientific knowledge, promoting technology application, and enhancing the uptake of research evidence into policy and practice. We also support organisations where activities enhance the safety of life, property and the environment. Our main priority is to help our clients design, construct and operate their assets to the highest levels of safety and performance.
How do you see the maritime industry pursuing technology in a decade from now?
I can confirm that in a decade from now the shipping industry will be totally different than it does today especially after the digitalization will be imposed in all aspects. We are now moving ahead toward 2030 with its new technology opportunities that will definitely leads to an industrial revolution. The industry will be also witnessing a new era of innovative green ships. The shipping industry must continue to enable global trade and prosperity while contributing to a more sustainable future globally.
Finally, automation will transform on-shore elements of shipping, from port infrastructure and cargo handling through to the land-based logistics and transportation chain. Ultimately, the goal will be a just-in-time service where shippers and customers are able to instantaneously tailor dispatches and receive deliveries from this autonomous logistics transport chain.