ClassNK has granted its Innovation Endorsement*1 for Products & Solutions to HermAce Remote Monitoring & Troubleshooting Platform developed by FURUNO ELECTRIC CO., LTD (FURUNO) and issued a certificate to the company. In addition, for ClassNK registered ships flagged with the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), the HermAce voyage data recorder (VDR) digital twin and remote service has been accepted as an alternative to the onboard VDR Annual Performance Test (APT) by the RMI Maritime Administrator. It is now possible to conduct VDR APT remotely for those vessels.
HermAce is a solution for remotely monitoring the operational status of FURUNO's navigation equipment and includes the capability to collect VDR data online. Each year a VDR requires an APT by a qualified engineer, who must visit the vessel to check the operation and record of voyage information. However, for vessels equipped with HermAce, VDR data can be extracted remotely. Its remote diagnosis uses real-time and historical data, prepared and formatted for periodic inspections, which can be confirmed by engineers based on logs and other evidence. This enables engineers to conduct performance tests equivalent to conventional methods, even in remote locations. It is expected to reduce personnel costs by reducing the time required for engineers’ ship visits and their arrangements.


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ClassNK has verified the functions of: 1. Onboard data collection and visualization by HermAce; and 2. Improving the quality of maintenance for navigation equipment made by FURUNO, and issued the certificate to the company. Furthermore, based on the efficacy of the functions verified through certification, the use of HermAce has been accepted by the RMI Maritime Administrator as an alternative means of onboard APT mandated by SOLAS.
Mr. David Wamsley, Deputy Commissioner of Maritime Affairs, Republic of the Marshall Islands Maritime Administrator said: “The Republic of the Marshall Islands Maritime Administrator (the “Administrator”) has evaluated and accepted the submitted documentation regarding the Furuno Electric Co., Ltd. HermAce VDR Digital Twin and Service as an alternative to Annual Performance Tests (APTs).  The comprehensive rigorous testing and evaluation conducted by ClassNK provided the Administrator with the necessary assurances for this acceptance. We were pleased to work in cooperation with ClassNK on this program and look forward to continuing to work with them on these innovative projects in the future.”


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Mr. Kazuma Waimatsu, Senior Executive Officer, FURUNO said: “FURUNO has devoted itself to the digital shift in the maritime industry by fully utilizing its know-how and expertise gained in the field. We are extremely delighted that HermAce is recognized as an advanced technology by ClassNK this time. We are also looking forward to translating our technologies into value for more clients. FURUNO will continue to strive for technological innovation and spare no effort to achieve better safety, security, and comfort to bring about a society and sea navigation that considers the needs of people and the environment.
Mr. Masaki Matsunaga, Corporate Officer / Director of Plan Approval Technical Solution Division, ClassNK said: “ClassNK is delighted to issue the fourth Innovation Endorsement certificate for Furuno’s solution. Thanks to the forward-looking flag administration and manufacturer, shipping companies can now use the new option to prepare for a statutory requirement. To contribute to the spread of innovative technologies pursing safety, efficiency, and sustainability, ClassNK will further strengthen comprehensive certification services, including Innovation Endorsement, and also apply the cutting-edge technology to our survey framework.
*1 In order to promote the spread and development of innovative technologies, ClassNK has offered Innovation Endorsement as a swift certification service in cooperation with technological front runners to establish appropriate evaluation criteria. Among the certification categories, "Products & Solutions" covers equipment and software technology installed for use on vessels.




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Issue 83 of Robban Assafina

(Jan./ Feb. 2023)


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