LØRN case C0246 -

Georgios Bourtzos


Ship Reality

Digitization of the sea

I denne episoden av #LØRN snakker Silvija med CEO i Ship Reality, Georgios Bourtzos, om digitalisering og fjern-operasjoner innen shipping. Ship Reality kombinerer unik marin engineering, geometrisk modellering, VR / AR / MR-skipsdesign, CAD-programvareutvikling, spillgrafikk og omfattende amerikansk forretnings-erfaring for å utvikle moderne teknologiske løsninger for skipsindustrien. Georgios forteller oss om hva som er digitale tvillinger sin teknologiske rolle når det kommer til shipping. Han gir også innsikt i hva som skjer når man kombinerer blandet virkelighet (AR) med maritimt ingeniørarbeid.
LØRN case C0246 -

Georgios Bourtzos


Ship Reality

Digitization of the sea

I denne episoden av #LØRN snakker Silvija med CEO i Ship Reality, Georgios Bourtzos, om digitalisering og fjern-operasjoner innen shipping. Ship Reality kombinerer unik marin engineering, geometrisk modellering, VR / AR / MR-skipsdesign, CAD-programvareutvikling, spillgrafikk og omfattende amerikansk forretnings-erfaring for å utvikle moderne teknologiske løsninger for skipsindustrien. Georgios forteller oss om hva som er digitale tvillinger sin teknologiske rolle når det kommer til shipping. Han gir også innsikt i hva som skjer når man kombinerer blandet virkelighet (AR) med maritimt ingeniørarbeid.

18 min

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SS: Hello and welcome to Lorn.tech. My name is Sylvia Seres, our topic today is ocean technology. And my guest is Georgios Bourtzos, CEO of Ship Reality Inc. Welcome.

GB: Thank you very much. Thank you for having me

SS: Georgios. You have many hats and we'll get back to your wide steamship at the University of Athens and your big perspectives on digitalization of the ocean. Before we do that, would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself?

GB: Yes. I studied engineering at Princeton University of Georgia Tech. Then I worked at Los Alamos for this whole period and then started a career in Wall Street where I was a trader at Salomon Brothers for 10 years and then 15 more years as a hedge fund manager in New York. And then I moved back to Greece where one of my classmates from university. He was a professor at the National Technical University and the vice dean of the Department of Marine Engineering and Ship Design, and together with two other professors. We started working together because there were some urgent problems in the shipping industry that needed a lot of skills in a sense. And the three founders, the professors combined the skills because it's a global market. My background as a trader in New York hopping around businesses abroad was instrumental to be able to connect with the outside world because Greece is an important shipping country. But, you know, this is a global market

SS: Then what connects you to Norway?

GB: Norway's a very interesting place combined with Greece, because together they represent 0.2% percent of the world's population, but collectively they control 25 percent of the world's fleet. So a combination of these two countries gives you the maximum exposure to the shipping clients. But in addition, Norway has a very good technology, marine technologies. So a lot of the technological developments that affect the shipping industry are based out of here. So for us, it was extremely important to combine what we had in Greece. And what we had was also a very good pool of trained naval engineers. But we wanted to be associated with Norway as well, because this is where a lot of the shipping technology is being developed and a very good ecosystem of trading and of shipping and technology shipping companies.

SS: So you're a part of Catapult Ocean now?

GB: Yes.

SS: Shipping reality.

GB: Yes.

SS: Tell us a little bit about shipping reality.

GB: Okay. Shipping Reality there we are trying to automate using mixed reality, the process of how you retrofit ships, we think is a very big market. It requires new technologies to solve

because the existing fleet is 95000 vessels. So whatever you tried to do to reduce emissions and improve and comply with the environmental regulations that are coming up from there, IMO you need to retrofit the ships because there's very few new builds.

SS: Yup you can’t just throw away the old ones and look for new ones.

GB: And also the ships have a lifespan of 40 years mostly. So it's not an asset like cars, but you give an incentive if you take out. So the problem is you have to go back to the existing fleet. And in order to do that, this is a major, major project.

SS: So how do you use mixed reality then? I mean, you have a digital avatar of the ship and therefore you can somehow experiment with things that will work or not work or.

GB: Okay. It's a series of steps that combine basically marine engineering, geometrical modeling and mixed reality in a sense to describe it a little bit fast. It's a series of steps. First, do you use a mixed reality to understand the existing space? And usually within the shapes, the existing space is very full of equipment and modifications that have taken place. So you need to understand it very well to extract what is the actual free space in there in that actual free space. The moment you define it, you can actually place, you know, what equipment you need to use and you can place like digital holograms of the equipment, then see what the appropriate space to put them in is. The next step is to find a way to connect this equipment with operations in the ship. So there you do some marine engineering to find an optimal path that will be the best way to connect them. And then you have a database of standard components that you fill out this connection with the components that you need to create that existing connection, then you do really efficiently the job you have to optimize, optimize in terms of space and thermodynamics. So you reduce the consumption that you use, which is a very important factor.

SS: But you talk about retrofitting. So we are not going to change how we are basically going to try to put in batteries and the Internet of things with sensors and connect them to what is retrofitting actually.

GB: Retrofitting a lot of this has to do with the control of the emissions. So you have sulphur emissions, for instance. Their choice for the shipping industry is either to change the fuel that they are using, which is a very big task because they use 4 million barrels a day of fuel. So we are not certain that there is availability of disulfide as fuel for all of them starting in January of 2010. Or install very big equipment which basically come into the exhaust of the ship and scrap in a sense or take out the sulphur as it comes out from the emissions. These are very big equipment that have to be put in the ship, very close between this exhaust and the engine room. And you have to connect them so that they can take water from the sea, take it all the way up and mix it with the exhaust fumes, take out the sulfur that is used that come out, go in tanks, and there's very limited space in there. So these equipment have to find a place to put them in and then connect them. It's not just batteries and I.O.T this is comes after that, but putting big equipment that required in the inside the vessels is really the problem of how you automate this and create the connections that that need that automatically instead of doing it the conventional way, which is very time consuming, requires a lot of trained naval engineers and designers, which today are not available for that scale of the task of 95000 vessels outstanding and problems it has problems with the design is prone to errors,

SS: But there is a solution that simply needs to be optimized for every particular ship.

GB: The solutions exist. Every manufacturer has; for instance, a solution that could move with a feasibility study to decide if that is the solution that needs to go. It's good equipment to go into your vessel and appropriate, but then you have to create the connections and create the drawing. The manufacture of the parts going to the CPR assembles these parts and does not make an error. And on top of that you need to make sure that your design is implemented correctly. But also it's efficient. And because the solution, the way it's done today, it basically depends on one train, let's say engineer. And this is his intuitive solution in a sense. It's not certain that this is optimally thermodynamically and spacing the design.

SS: So, in Norway, my theory is that we have a lot of, very self-thinking and relatively cheap engineers. People who have been trained to think critically about problems and then propose new solutions. Do you find that you get good engineering help when you're here?

GB: There is a shortage of engineers globally in the marine industries. Definitely Norway and some other parts of the world that do have trained engineers and naval engineers, and they are doing a very good job. But the number of these engineers is not sufficient to solve the problem of this scale. So you have to go to the next step and basically automate the process where these engineers actually design the systems to be automated, to do the solutions. So they are actually very good at developing technology companies to do this type of stuff.

SS: So you talked about retrofitting and the use of these digital twins to improve the installation of new tools or more environmental exhausts.

But you also work in remote operations and other kinds of digitalization.

GB: Yes.

SS: Automation, can you tell us more about that?

GB: Yes, if you manage to automate the process of retrofitting, basically what you do is the first change within the ship's engine room and they way to do it automatically you create what is digital models in the sense that you can actually optimize or simulate without having the physical model. So that is a very important part because it creates the first part of a digital twin of a ship. Whatever you have designed and implemented, you have all the parametric models to be able to simulate and do predictive analytics and everything else that you need and to create the full digital twin of a ship. Then you have to go to other parts of the ship from the propulsion to say whatever is needed. And then you get the full model, that digital twin model, which we believe the first step is to go from retrofitting within the engine rooms is a very valuable tool because it's the only way that you can actually enable remote operations. There are no remote operations or eventually autonomous shipping without having the models to understand exactly and monitor what is happening on the vessels. And eventually, because all the new ships that are getting built do actually will have these types of technologies if the existing fleet does not have. It's very difficult to compete against them. And basically what you do is you have an asset that is depleting in value because it does not run as efficiently as the very few new builds that are getting done. And that is a very big problem. So for us, it's a link. It's a step, you know, towards how you will enable that type of efficiency as well in the existing building

SS: So these digital twins, they're actually moving from nice to have to must have in a relatively short time because of the competitive advantage they get.

GB: Yes, because it's impossible, you know, especially for ships that are not very old. They will be in operation for the next 10, 20 years. So they will actually compete with a new fleet with annual builds. And it will be impossible, you know, to if you don't run them efficiently in terms of fuel etc, that costs us so much because some of these machines run 24 hours a day, seven days a week for years to come. So any type of improvement in efficiency translates to a lot of money.

SS: And for those of us who are not in shipping. Help us understand at a very, very high level the economics of a ship. So, you know, there is the cost to build and then there is the cost to maintain. And then there is the cost to run, including fuel and load and unload and probably the regulatory costs. I mean, these twins will probably help with all the admin stuff as well.

GB: They can help with the admin stuff. And basically with the operation and maintenance, it's very difficult to do proper maintenance if you cannot predict or see how your actual operation

behaves versus what theoretically should be. And a lot of the time, you know, the maintenance schedules, they should be kept with more up to date information that is just another intuitive way of doing it. And the other very important thing is when something goes wrong in a vessel, it happens in the middle of the ocean. So to fix it, you have to find somebody that is an expert and take them all the way over there, which is very costly takes time and the ship cannot operate. And then if they go there, do they have all the required equipment and information to solve the problem? The mixed reality comes in. It gives you a solution which is perfectly fit for this, because you can have, in a sense, visualize the same thing from the actual ship. And the chief engineer would be back in his home office. And then whatever information he sees, you can superimpose the digital information in there and then provide the solution to the remote operator with all the guidance that he needs, visualizing exactly what's in there.

SS: We didn't talk about autonomous shipping technology. Can you say a few words about that?

GB: That is also, you know, the future and it's connected with the remote operations the moment you start being able to monitor remote operations. Then you can start designing autonomous ships. There are more things that are involved in that. You have obstacle avoidance. You have sea condition monitoring. You have a lot of other things. But everything is combined with remote operated tools. So it's an extension. The moment you solve that problem, then you and already big technology companies have already started working on the new builds on how to do parts of the autonomous operation.

SS: So what's your plan for ship reality?

GB: Our plan is to be and to establish our connection although we are here in Norway with the partners that we have and potential partners that we'll find here, and then we start developing all the software that is needed to go through these steps that we think the industry will go anyway. So we just hope to be the first that managed to do it. And we're in a good position with our partners here in Norway and we are a U.S. company and from there on will sell and hopefully globally around the world and the user base in Greece to do a lot of research and development, because we have a big pool of available engineers down there that is very beneficial to us.

SS: If you were to leave a quote as a little gift to our listeners, what would you say?

GB: I think the best goal to understand where the world is going is whatever you can digitize in this world. It will happen. So either you do it or somebody else in the future, but it will happen.

SS: And then better to do it yourself and stay in control

GB: And do it fast. So you create an abundance for yourself.

SS: If people are to remember one thing from our conversation, like an overarching idea, what would you like it to be?

GB: That in shipping, there are some unique opportunities and the future for them because it's a traditional industry. It has in a sense been a little bit behind on technology applications. But there's so many applications that can happen that can help improve from pollution to operations, that is a very big part of the future of shipping and Greece and I would play a very important role.

SS: Naturally in heaven

GB: Yes

SS: Georgios Bourtzos, the CEO of Ship Reality. Thank you for bringing the digital twins of ships to us in Norway

GB: Thank you very much and thank you for having us here. Thank you.

SS: And thank you for listening.

What are you doing at work?

I am doing the management, business development, structuring, fundraising, networking and presenting the company to industry and investors.

What are the most important concepts in marine technology?

Automation, alternative fuels/power systems, digital twins and autonomous shipping.

Why is it exciting?

Because all technology applications in development is enabling efficiency optimization, emission reduction, predictive maintenance and remote operations in shipping.

What do you think are the most interesting controversies?

What the optimal route and best resource use is in order to reduce environmental impact in shipping.

Your own favourite projects in marine technology?

Combining mixed reality with marine engineering to create software addressing automation. And optimization of retrofits, energy efficiency, digitalization and remote operations in shipping.

Your other favourite examples of marine technology internationally and nationally?

Autonomous shipping technology and hybrid energy solutions.

How do you usually explain marine technology?

Technology applications for the industry.

What do we do particularly well in Norway of this?

Norway is a traditional shipping nation with the most advanced technology in the sector.

A favourite future quote?

Whatever can be digitalized will be.

Georgios Bourtzos
Ship Reality
CASE ID: C0246
DATE : 190128
DURATION : 18 min
Maritime Digitalisation & Communications
MR (mixed reality)Shipping reality Retrofitting
"Norway is a traditional shipping nation with the most advanced technology in the sector."
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