TechBinder comes up with a panacea for a secret risk

An undiscussed risk in the maritime sector is the massive departure of retired operational experts over the next ten years, while the complexity of the technology is increasing rapidly. TechBinder expects the way of managing data and securing knowledge to change completely as a result and supplies the software for this. “We don't so much solve technical problems, but business issues. The biggest challenge is to make the relevance penetrate the maritime sector.”

Bram van den Boom (left) and Aldwin Schroot, founders of TechBinder

TechBinder develops software together with partners to improve efficiency in the maritime sector. With their background in maritime technology and process technology, founders Bram van den Boom and Aldwin Schroot see opportunities in crossovers. “What works in the food or pharmaceutical industry also works maritime. After all, a ship is just a floating machine. The process industry is miles ahead of the maritime industry. There is still a lot to be gained on the water, in an accessible way," Bram van den Boom assures.

The 2019 startup helps processes on ships, drilling platforms or wind turbines run more efficiently with the help of digital technology. Developed together with partners, students from various universities of applied sciences and since December 2022 with investor Reikon.

What do you supply the maritime sector?

“It is common practice in industry to collect data about production lines. Which uses the least water, where can efficiency be achieved. Based on that data, you can improve all lines and operational processes.

This is also possible with ships. Many data are already available. About all sorts of things; fuel consumption, sailing routes. By collecting them, maritime operations can be continuously optimized, and ships can sail much more efficient routes, for example.

With Smart Vessel Optimizer we provide a data analysis platform to increase the performance of vessels and equipment. The customer receives more detailed information ashore and can see where profit can be made.”

TechBinder has been nominated for the Offshore Wind Innovators Awards with Smart Field Support. What is that?

“We noticed from the data analyzes that a lot of inefficiency is related to inadequate operation or maintenance. There is not the right knowledge on board to push the right buttons.

Smart Field Support is an augmented reality tool for maritime maintenance. We extract knowledge from the heads of experienced operators and visualize it. That can be super practical information: 'when you hear this rattling, you have to tighten that screw'. But also a detailed manual. Crew members or technicians with less experience can get precise information about the equipment on site by scanning it with their phone or tablet. This way we can also safeguard experience and prevent it from being lost over time. In addition to the new knowledge that data analysis generates.

We built up our customer base in corona time, I'm pretty proud of that. About fifteen customers now use Smart Field Support, from Van Oord and Rijkswaterstaat for maintenance of the Afsluitdijk, to Reikon and Aegir.”

What sets you apart?

“Our software fully complies with the industry standard, but the combination of data collection and an augmented reality tool is unique. Something simple: if a machine needs a new filter after 10,000 operating hours, you will receive a signal after 9,500 hours thanks to the data platform. At the same time, you can see step by step what is needed to replace that filter: put on protective clothing, switch off the power, open a specific cover, et cetera. In addition, the technician who is on site can consult an expert remotely.”

“Working this way prevents anyone from getting on a plane for a minor reset. Or that you have to find out on the spot that the right parts have not arrived. Customers indicate that the number of repairs that go right the first time has increased by 30 percent. And that they have earned back the investment in our product in one to six months,” says Bram van den Boom.

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