Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Semtech, Wilhelmsen and TTI put LoRa on ships

Steve Rogerson
January 14, 2020

Semtech, Wilhelmsen and The Things Industries (TTI) aim to transform the maritime industry with LoRa-based connectivity.
Norwegian maritime firm Wilhelmsen is implementing LoRa in its portfolio-wide digitalisation strategy; the maritime IoT network using Semtech’s LoRa devices should help deliver cost-effective, robust and proven IoT to Wilhelmsen’s customers worldwide.
Wilhelmsen, a global maritime industry group founded in 1861, has partnered with Dutch company TTI and selected Semtech’s LoRa devices as the foundation for its global 2.4GHz maritime IoT network to deliver an ecosystem of cost-effective, robust and proven IoT for its global customers on land and at sea.
The global maritime shipping industry is expected to register a CAGR of nearly 17% from 2019 to 2024. With this expected market growth, Wilhelmsen is deploying the LoRa-based connectivity in its own operations to improve efficiencies and will also offer its customers proven, connected IoT services. Wilhelmsen serves 20,000 vessels out of 2200 ports in 70 countries and handles more than 220,000 product deliveries per year.
“We have evaluated wireless solutions for decades to deliver efficiencies at land and sea,” said Jon Helge Ulstein, senior project manager at Wilhelmsen. “The technology of choice needed key capabilities to revolutionise our strategy – long range, low power and a strong, open ecosystem. This new system is expected to benefit our customers immediately and is a step towards autonomous vessels and Industry 4.0. Spearheaded by Wilhelmsen’s ship management division, this new IoT platform will be utilised to deliver, among other things, digital condition monitoring, asset tracking and logistical applications. This goes hand in hand with the group’s onboard app store project, ShipOs, headed by RaaLabs.”
Traditionally, sensor data on ships are carried through wired systems, or managed via periodic manual readings. However, LoRa-based wireless sensors can monitor many variables, including condition of machinery, fuel efficiency, environmental metrics and cargo, and these data are used to conduct preventive maintenance.
An established tool in the onshore manufacturing sector, predictive maintenance decreases the risk of vessel idle time due to repair or incidents. In addition, the system can optimise the performance of processes, reducing manpower, waste and cost.
Wilhelmsen chose TTI to develop its IoT platform, which allows Wilhelmsen to tap into an existing global ecosystem of vendors and service providers, providing access to a marketplace of certified sensors, hardware designers, systems integrators and application developers.
“We are excited to be a partner in this important project and we are looking forward to working with the broader LoRaWan ecosystem to make this a success for Wilhelmsen and the maritime industry,” said Wienke Giezeman, CEO of TTI.
Marc Pegulu, vice president of Semtech’s sensing products group, added: “Wilhelmsen’s rich history of industry expertise and innovation, combined with Semtech’s proven LoRa devices, offers its customers a flexible ecosystem to deliver robust and cost-effective IoT to transform the maritime industry. Our work with Wilhelmsen showcases the flexible, proven and scalable capabilities of LoRa in a variety of industries and verticals.”