Effective fleet management in shipping through reliable data transfer

In its fleet management, Flotte Hamburg relies on Welotec high performance routers and antennas to transmit detailed information from the vessels to a central system.

About Flotte Hamburg

Flotte Hamburg was founded in July 2017 as a subsidiary of Hamburg Port Authority AöR and focuses on the holistic fleet management of Hamburg’s municipal vessels. The fleet currently comprises around 50 vessels, most of which are inland waterway vessels such as fire-fighting and police vessels, transport ships and icebreakers. Flotte Hamburg offers a full service in which vehicles, equipment and qualified personnel from the 130-strong team can be chartered. As an innovation driver, the business model, which is unique in Germany, focuses on solutions for low-emission shipping and thus serves as a pioneer for modern environmental protection and digitalization in fleet management.

© 2021 Hamburg Port Authority AöR, Andreas Schmidt-Wiethoff - All rights reserved
© 2021 Hamburg Port Authority AöR, Andreas Schmidt-Wiethoff – All rights reserved

Initial situation

In the “Big Data” project, Flotte Hamburg is pursuing, among other things, the goal of increasing the operational readiness and operational reliability of the fleet vehicles. This includes monitoring the on-board and starting batteries with the help of the AEC system (Active Equipment Connect) from Zeppelin Power Systems GmbH. These are now checked around the clock by means of the on-board control system.
In the event of an alarm, notifications are immediately transmitted to the fleet management tool “AEC.View” and all relevant contacts are informed.
Particularly in the case of unmanned vehicles and outside working hours, this enables an early response to disruptions in the energy supply. This measure significantly reduces the risk of long downtimes.
In order to transmit the signals, a stable Internet connection is required, which is ensured by the Welotec industrial routers as well as Welotec MIMO antennas on board. In the future, the available parameters (e.g. load profiles of the propulsion engines) will also make it possible to design new ships even more energy-efficiently for their intended use.

© 2021 Hamburg Port Authority AöR, Andreas Schmidt-Wiethoff - All rights reserved
© 2021 Hamburg Port Authority AöR, Andreas Schmidt-Wiethoff – All rights reserved

Solution & result

As described above, data is to be transmitted from a control system in the ships to a central system for early reaction to malfunctions and to reduce failures. In addition, both GPS data and AIS data are to be collected. According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) performance standard, AIS is used, among other things, for collision prevention and as a tool for monitoring and directing traffic by traffic control centers from shore. To achieve these goals, industrial routers and antennas from Welotec are used in the setup. These are convincing due to their robust product characteristics and are optimally designed for reliable use on the ships of the Hamburg fleet.

Industrial router from Welotec

Flotte Hamburg relies on the LTE WLAN GPS industrial routers TK815L-EGW of the TK800 series on its ships. The routers also have five Ethernet ports, RS-232 and RS-485 interfaces. Thanks to the integrated GPS service, extended position information can be determined. The robust housing and DIN rail mounting make the industrial routers suitable for a wide range of applications, especially in demanding environments.

© 2021 Hamburg Port Authority AöR - All rights reserved
© 2021 Hamburg Port Authority AöR – All rights reserved

Industrial antennas from Welotec

On the ships themselves, powerful industrial antennas are deployed in addition to the industrial routers already described. This is the LPCA MiMo antenna with LTE, GPS and WLAN, which offers protection against water ingress primarily due to its IP67-compliant housing. Due to its robust as well as relatively flat design, it is made for use in difficult environments and impresses with reliable data transmission even when using multiple sim cards and providers.