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Use Case: Real-time support on the high seas – how Alphatron Marine solves problems remotely with ivii global assist

25. June by DIGITAL2GO in Use Case

Digitaler Assistent
5 minutes reading time

With the addition of ivii global assist to its product portfolio, DIGITAL2GO is taking an important step when it comes to digitizing maintenance processes and support. Live and remote, anytime and anywhere with virtual step-by-step instructions – these features also convinced Alphatron Marine and now the company supports its customers offshore with expertise from a distance. 

Standardized market readiness analysis from the user's perspective

If a customer has a problem, they need a fast and uncomplicated solution. Particularly when any delay is linked to high costs. In Alphatron Marine’s case, however, that problem often occurs on the other side of the globe. As a provider of integrated bridge solutions and a manufacturer of marine complementary solutions, the company faces unique challenges in the support area. After all, getting technicians on board a ship is not just a costly affair, external circumstances and the more stringent voyage conditions resulting from COVID-19 also make access difficult for the support team. Any delays, deviations from the planned route or an extended stay in port, however, will cost the ship operators dearly – a good reason for the Dutch company to use a digital remote frontline solution.

From cell phone snapshots to lossless streaming

What used to be accomplished with sending photos of malfunctioning parts via e-mail and countless phone calls, is now done by ivii global assist with the live transmission of crystal-clear images. Reliability and the ability to adapt the system to the requirements of the shipping industry are what impress Alphatron every time it is used.

Jeroen Kortsmit, Group General Manager Key Accounts at Alphatron, now sees ivii global assist as an indispensable part of day-to-day work and the backbone of the company: “Support or repairs without ivii global assist would be a lot of back and forth, troubleshooting and guesswork without solving the problem reliably. ivii global assist brings us into the exact situation. It lets us know precisely what’s going on, what to do and what parts to send.”

The remotely controllable camera and the zoom feature of the glasses deliver a quality that is second-to-none, clearly setting it apart from comparable products. Displays on screens are legible for the support team and even small technical details in the dark corners of the ship’s consoles are clearly visible.

Alphatron now delivers new ships only with ivii global assist on board, and also includes the offer in its warranty services. This not only saves the company money, but increases customer satisfaction. Using the glasses in combination with a smartphone, tablet or computer is simple and requires no special training. Thanks to the additional recording function, support calls can be captured and the videos can be used for training purposes or as offline help.

Use of Digital assistance

Like all products on the DIGITAL2GO platform, ivii global assist is a stand-alone tool that is characterized by its ease of use in addition to its wide range of applications.

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ivii global assist as the standard on new ships

Alphatron now delivers new ships only with ivii global assist on board, and also includes the offer in its warranty services. This not only saves the company money, but increases customer satisfaction. Using the glasses in combination with a smartphone, tablet or computer is simple and requires no special training. Thanks to the additional recording function, support calls can be captured and the videos can be used for training purposes or as offline help.

The biggest challenge proved to be the occasionally unstable internet connection on board. Depending on the position of the ship and its hotspot equipment, there are sometimes massive reception problems that render stable streaming impossible. ivii found innovative solutions for this as well, allowing even older ships to be retrofitted. The high costs of a transmission via satellite were reduced with a high compression of the files – without losing quality.

In use week after week 

Alphatron now has nearly 15 glasses in use on ships and also uses the system to complete orders themselves. Thanks to ivii global assist, technicians no longer have to be flown in from different countries. The international teams can now work remotely with each other, completing jobs efficiently and saving money. For example, recurring problems on a ship off the Ivory Coast were solved by a support team whose members were based in the Netherlands, Japan and Korea. It’s a form of collaboration that was completely unthinkable just a few years ago.

“We use the system every week on ships and our technicians are so enthusiastic about the quality and reliability that they are developing further applications,” Jeroen Kortsmit tells us about Alphatron’s plans with ivii global assist. In the future, the augmented reality function will also be used more often, for example in the annual inspection of ships or in the development of precise instructions that are available at any time and can be edited by the operator. With its flexible use, ivii global assist fits perfectly into the DIGITAL2GO portfolio as a stand-alone solution and is a key building block for the step-by-step digitization of processes.


What is ivii global assist? 

With ivii global assist, expertise for repairs, service, specialist inspections or troubleshooting is available anywhere in the world. Wearables, i.e. glasses equipped with video and augmented reality functions, in combination with mobile devices enable on-demand advice from specialists. This allows customers to solve problems themselves, but under the guidance of a professional. This reduces the duration of possible system failures, and service teams can provide customers with rapid and uncomplicated support, thus saving time-consuming and cost-intensive on-site deployments.

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