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Wärtsilä: Shipping must be open to digitalization

If the shipping industry wants to fully exploit digital opportunities, the whole industry will have to share data with customers, regulators and potentially competitors, says Mikko Tepponen, head of digital at Wärtsilä.

Photo: Wärtsilä

A helmet and a pair of so-called Google glasses have opened new opportunities for the Finnish company Wärtsilä, which supplies engines and environmental equipment to the shipping industry. When a problem arises on board, one of Wärtsilä's experts can assist without setting foot on the vessel. They're called "virtual service engineers" and a digital system allows both parties to see what the other is doing and the on-land engineer can demonstrate exactly how a problem should be resolved.

This is just one example of the possibilities opened up by digitalization, which has become a strategic arm of Wärtsilä, who have begun to implement it across the company's operations, its head of digitalization Mikko Tepponen tells ShippingWatch.

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