MAN hosts ship data exchange gathering

02 Mar 2010

The Shipdex conference took place at the MAN Diesel PrimeServ Academy in Augsburg

The fourth Shipdex conference took place at the MAN Diesel PrimeServ Academy in Augsburg, Germany on 16 February, where the Shipdex protocol was declared ready and available for use.

Shipdex (ship data exchange) is an international business rules protocol, based on, and fully compliant with, S1000D. It was developed to standardise the exchange of electronic technical data within the shipping community.

The Shipdex protocol aims to ensure a high quality of technical and logistical data and simplify the exchange of data within the industry. For application service providers, Shipdex is a basic specification for implementing data interfaces from technical manual solutions to maintenance and purchase or any fully fledged ERP systems.

The purpose of the Augsburg event was to bring together the different sub-groups of the European maritime industry and show the milestones reached during the development of a solution to the long-standing industry challenge regarding paper manuals, namely the on-board availability of correct maintenance data.

On the day, there were over 100 attendees, including owners, classification societies, shipyards, equipment makers and software providers of maintenance systems. Speakers included Shipdex founding members Grimaldi Group, Intership Navigation, MacGregor (as part of the Cargotec group), Alfa Laval, SpecTec and MAN Diesel, as well as Rolls Royce Marine, Germanischer Lloyd, United Arab Shipping Company, Corena and the S1000D council.

Promising, concrete signs of the new protocol’s acceptance were also revealed in a series of announcements that:

• MAN Diesel is ready to deliver manuals in Shipdex format

• MacGregor Cranes will shortly be ready to deliver manuals in Shipdex format and MacGregor RoRo and MacGregor Hatch Cover will follow

• SpecTec is offering its Shipdex-compliant CMMS, the AMOS Business Suite

• Shipowners are ordering Shipdex data for their new building projects

• United Arab Shipping Company has announced that it has requested Shipdex datasets for nine coming newbuildings

• Germanischer Lloyd is exploring the possibilities of using Shipdex in its customer communication and approval processes

• Rolls-Royce Marine has become a registered member of the Shipdex community

InterManager, the international trade association for ship managers that represents a fleet of over 1,000 ships globally, was represented in Germany by Alexandre Albertini, who said: “InterManager is showing great interest in Shipdex as additional proof of the positive moves the shipping industry is making towards self regulation and improved governance. InterManager is interested in discussing the project further and checking the interest of its members in such a standardisation initiative.”

Henrik Striboldt, business development manager at MAN Diesel PrimeServ representing Shipdex, said: “Today’s declaration of the Shipdex protocol as a viable means of universal data exchange within the marine industry marks a significant milestone. We have already gotten off to an excellent start with its acceptance by some of the key players within the industry, and I predict its widespread adoption in the near future.”

Shipdex is an independent standard and is open to all members of the maritime industry. As such, anyone can become a Shipdex member, by registering at www.shipdex.com, and all contributions to improving the Shipdex protocol and the exchange of data are encouraged. All presentations are available from the downloads documents section at the website.

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