Wilhelmsen Ship Management brings new software to dry-docking for increased predictability.

Words: Eeva Haaramo Photos: Wilhelmsen

Dry-docking is a costly and time-consuming process for shipowners and managers, but new digital tools are making it easier than ever to keep unexpected costs and delays under control.

Wilhelmsen Ship Management (WSM) has been using dedicated defect reporting and docking software for the past two years and seen clear benefits to the predictability, cost-control and transparency of the dry-docking process. The software, REFMAN (short for Refit Management), is used to collect, analyse and manage various project data from schedules to quotations.

Mr. Sanjiv Rastogi (Head of Department of NETS), Samantha Yap (Project Control Officer), Mat Saad Yahaya (Project Engineer) and Leong Chee Sion (Project Engineer).

“We now have in one database the full details of 60 dry-dockings we have done and we know what to expect from different types of ships,” says Sanjiv Rastogi, head of New Building and Technical Services (NETS), a specialised dry-docking team at WSM Asia.

“We are trying to minimise any unplanned costs by knowing all the vessels well and by preparing every detail before the dry-dock so we go and do exactly what was specified.”

How does this work?
Prior to dry-docking the ship crew uses an onboard REFMAN module to communicate with NETS which then uses that information, data from lifecycle inspections and previous dry-dockings to prepare accurate specifications, manage quotations and evaluate potential shipyards within the software.

During the dry-dock the software is used for daily reporting and monitoring to anticipate any issues and it creates a detailed project report and analysis after the dock is finished. All relevant data is stored in the same database for easy access.

While REFMAN and similar softwareis increasingly used by shipowners and management companies, what sets WSM apart is its comprehensive approach.“We are using the software practically to its full capability because we have set up a small group of superusers who do all the work in the software,” explains Rastogi.

“This group of specialists executed 30 dry-docking projects in 2015. A vessel manager, who may have one or two annual dockings, can go to a shipyard with a professionally ready-made docking package and is freed up to concentrate on normal vessel operations.”

Rastogi believes the use of digital tools will continue to grow and benefit both shipowners and shipyards. NETS itself is currently involved in the construction of a large gas carrier in South Korea and REFMAN will be used from the start.

The future is digital.