Delivering a Digital Future for Shipping

Charge met with Accelleron’s President of Digital, Cristian Corotto and Shailesh Shirsekar, Head of Digital Sales, to understand more about the department’s mission, its plans for 2024 and its approach to enabling an emission-free future.

What is the broad mission of your department?

CC: Through digital technology, we are enabling the sustainability transformation of our customers in marine and power generation. We’re giving them the capability to make data-driven decisions, through measurements, alerts and advice, using which they are able to reduce their engines’ over-consumption of resources. 

We also address over-consumption in broader ways than the operation of the engine. So, for example, we have a software application to measure the effectiveness of the hull and propeller, which lose efficiency over time. If that is not addressed, then the vessel’s efficiency and fuel consumption will be adversely affected, so we are able to monitor the efficiency and advise on the optimal point at which cleaning should occur. 

We support the reporting on emissions that shipowners and operators need to submit now. But really, we want to help them achieve very clear decisions that will help them to reduce emissions and improve their efficiency. This is part of why we also focus on simulations that help to clarify the impact of many different parameters, and use those simulations as part of the software – because then, they can focus on the future and how to improve performance, rather than simply recording the past. Our value to customers is almost entirely in how they can optimize performance rather than monitoring. 

Cristian Corotto Cristian Corotto

How mature is Accelleron’s offering?

CC: The engine monitoring module and the foundational platform in Tekomar XPERT is very mature, and has been operating for over ten years. As the market leader, we have upwards of 150 customers, with over 2400 vessels, and we have been capturing data from around 10,000 engines for many years. But it is also continually evolving, as we respond to new challenges or devise additional capabilities. The emissions module is newer, having been created to help shipowners and operators respond to the new requirement for CII reporting in a more automated manner. We launched the main module in 2023 and have now added the reporting functionality. That has helped us gain significant traction in China and in Northern Europe. When it comes to the Hull and Propeller module, the method for calculating loss of efficiency has existed for many years. The new part was building it into the Tekomar XPERT platform, alongside the engine efficiency and emissions modules.

SS: Today, a lot of customers are focused on emissions and what we are offering is a combination of the technical and commercial opportunity to address the emissions topic, as well as engine efficiency, which was already established in the market. It’s very attractive to our customers to be able to work with one supplier to deliver all of this information through a single platform in a common, interoperable format.

What are your ambitions for 2024 in terms of product development?

CC: Our products are in continuous development with new releases, containing a mixture of larger and smaller features, at least quarterly, and sometimes more frequently. More and more data over time gives us the opportunity to fine tune our algorithms, too, so the recommendations created become more useful and accurate over time. We respond thoughtfully to customer feedback with ongoing additions and changes that affect usability, whether that is through direct communications or by looking at how they are using the tools. 

We’re also looking into ways we might apply recent developments in Generative AI – particularly regarding ways we can improve the efficiency of how information is conveyed to customers, to be able to deliver better answers in a shorter period of time. It’s possible, too, that this technology will allow us to expedite the development of multi-language versions of the platform and tools. The technology isn’t quite there yet, but there’s little reason to believe it won’t be before long. 

SS: The application of AI is also of considerable interest when it comes to customer support. Like a lot of technology vendors, we get a lot of questions that are very similar from multiple customers. An AI trained on all of our existing materials could deliver correct answers faster, and support our personnel to deliver consistently and correctly.

We can’t really comment on future, full modules for Tekomar, but there are certainly other ship and power plant operations where we can certainly add value and are evaluating the possibilities. 

Look out for more insights into Accelleron’s digital ambitions in coming weeks.