When SMM kicks off in early September, marine professionals around the world will look forward to the return of this long-awaited industry event – not only to get a comprehensive overview of innovations, solutions and technologies – but also to enjoy this unique event. the opportunity to meet the people at the heart of the industry.
According to VIKING SVP Benny Carlsen, “VIKING Life-Saving Equipment is returning to SMM in Hamburg this year to strengthen its position as a comprehensive industry partner for safety, whose recent investments have also anticipated the changing needs of supply and service in the shipping world.”
Since SMM 2018, VIKING has fully integrated Norsafe lifeboat OEM and service leader, become a force to be reckoned with in the marine fire service, launched next generation PPE lines and established the unique HydroPen™ system as the market leading container firefighting technology. . But the company has also invested in digital asset management, strengthened its service organization, expanded its “VIKING Academy” training services, and improved and digitized its supply and service agreements.
“It seems like an eternity since the last SMM, but now we look forward to welcoming all existing and potential customers, partners and industry peers to our booth, where visitors can experience our complete maritime security solution” – says Benny Carlsen. “Covid-19 has surely accelerated digitalisation, but there have been other major developments in the supply and maintenance of safety equipment since our last meeting at SMM, and we have responded and driven change. Safety comes first, but to stay competitive in tough markets, successful operators maintain performance while finding ways to maximize efficiency and reduce costs. »
Most owners of over 20,000 vessels whose safety compliance is managed under a VIKING shipowner agreement have included the concept’s subscription-based approach to the supply and maintenance of life rafts; increasingly, customers are adding lifeboat service, marine fire equipment service, PPE exchange and on-demand LSA to their agreements, says Carlsen.
“Increasingly, the VIKING Shipowner Agreement is the preferred framework for customers to ensure safety and compliance on board. It replaces complexity with flexibility and reduces administrative and operational risk, streamlining and simplifying the management of their equipment. »
OEM competence and product innovation remain key, Carlsen stresses, highlighting VIKING’s development of new lifeboats and PPE lines for service engineers, sailors and aircrew. Another eye-catching solution is the unique LifeCraft™ – the world’s first flag- and type-approved advanced lifeboat and evacuation system capable of replacing lifeboats on cruise ships. VIKING is also coming to SMM on the back of successful historic orders to equip the entire fleets of some of the world’s largest container ships with its HydroPen™ container firefighting system. More recently, AP Moller – Maersk adopted the solution for its entire fleet of ships.
“In a way, HydroPen ™ is an embodiment of what we have achieved: it improves the safety of crew, cargo and vessel, and helps the owner to avoid fire risks for crews and assets – as well as significant financial costs.”
However, operators have also increasingly turned to VIKING to cover security needs “as a service,” says Carlsen. SMM therefore provided a key opportunity to showcase its new capabilities in the Marine Fire Services (MFS), following its acquisition of the Drew Marine Fire Safety division in 2019.
VIKING consolidated the company with its own MFS, invested in a fire-fighting foam laboratory, opened an MFS training center and entered into distribution agreements with foam supplier Dr. Sthamer. “The MFS team is now supported by a network of over 150 port locations and serviced by VIKING’s dedicated workshops and authorized service providers,” adds Carlsen.
In terms of business growth, VIKING’s maintenance, testing, modernization and overhaul services for lifeboats, lifeboats, launching and dropping gear provided another relevant example. “We ensure quality and flexibility by controlling the entire service value chain, including booking, administration, spares, fulfillment, documentation, training and support,” he declares.