Case Wärtsilä: Building the backbone for digital business
What we did?
Wärtsilä, a global leader in marine and energy markets, has gone through a digital transformation in which data and IoT hold an important role. We built a digital central nervous system for Wärtsilä’s critical operational data to boost the company’s business and product development.
The ongoing digital transformation in the industry is changing the way in which engineering companies conduct their business. This global trend also affects the marine and energy sectors. Wärtsilä, a publicly listed company first established in 1834, has a long tradition of evolution and reaction to market changes.
Instead of individual machines, spare parts, or field maintenance, Wärtsilä’s future business will rest more and more on lifecycle services. The company does not simply sell engines – Wärtsilä provides data-driven insights, optimization, predictability, and, ultimately, cost savings to its customers. The keys to unlocking this value chain are IoT and organizing data into a digital central nervous system. Houston has been Wärtsilä’s close partner in building this solution.
Data Bridge connects everything
Data Bridge is the backbone of Wärtsilä’s digital business. Data Bridge manages, enriches and distributes IoT data from ship fleets and power plants in real time. Business-critical operational data collected in the central nervous system is passed on to Wärtsilä’s internal and customer stakeholders through Data Bridge in an actionable and enriched format.
We have also participated in the development of Wärtsilä Expert Insight, a tool for Wärtsilä’s customers for viewing data. Wärtsilä Expert Insight collects data from IoT units, processes it with Apache Kafka and provides a real-time view to individual targets or the entire fleet.
Enriched data, enriched business
What makes data processing challenging is not only the enormous volume but also the fact that the data comes from various sources and in various formats. Therefore, the platform’s capability to take in data will be constantly developed and expanded. In addition to WDCU data, the platform can process data from various collection units, such as WOIS, NEPTUNE, COSMOS and GEMS.
Wärtsilä is currently enabling new use cases for the platform. The provision of enriched data to customers is not just an additional feature to promote the sales of products and services. The architecture created by us together with Wärtsilä can be utilized to create entirely new services and business areas.
Future potential includes an even closer integration to Wärtsilä’s platform. Close integration allows customers to work with their data in a full-featured, secure environment without having to invest in their own, potentially long and expensive IoT projects. This type of potential provides Wärtsilä’s customers with significant added value.
Nearly limitless possibilities
In addition to customer use, data utilization supports Wärtsilä’s own product development. Operational data is not only collected from ships or power plants but also from Wärtsilä’s test laboratories. In the future, product developers can better compare optimized baseline results with data from live engines in customer use. This allows designing for use cases that simply cannot be simulated in a controlled laboratory environment.