Fuusion Use Case: Data Migration from a Manual to Digital Process
John Goldie
March 29, 2021

Modern ship engines are complex engineering pieces, easily as complex as modernday cars, complete with internal computers, sensors, and gadgets to ensure optimum efficiency at every process. And like any computer, ship engine computers have software and firmware, which need regular updates. A ship engine company has to support all the ship engines it produces, wherever in the world they might be. And that can be a lot of places.  

Modern ship engines are complex engineering pieces, easily as complex as modernday cars, complete with internal computers, sensors, and gadgets to ensure optimum efficiency at every process. And like any computer, ship engine computers have software and firmware, which need regular updates. A ship engine company has to support all the ship engines it produces, wherever in the world they might be. And that can be a lot of places.  

This interactive map shows the sheer number of shipping vessels traversing our globe at any given moment. Now imagine if even a fraction of these vessels, say all from a particular engine producing company, required updates even two or three times a year. Imagine that sensor data needed to be gathered and brought back for analysis? Imagine this had to be done manually, by physically traveling to the ship with a USB key, to manually update the ship’s systems? Well, you don’t have to imagine it, because this was indeed the process until recently. 

The ship engine company sent employees to ships worldwide, rendezvousing wherever was most convenient to update a ship on a given schedule, then manually applying the update to ship systems. As you can imagine, this was a very timeconsuming process and not at all costeffective. They needed an automated way to update ship firmware on-demand over slow, transient networks. This solution needed to be one that did not involve travel or human intervention. 

Buurst Fuusion was ready to tackle the unique challenges by offering complete solution for the ship engine company. Despite the many moving parts and the significant distribution of the endpoints, the solution was pretty simple. Data and firmware updates for the ship engine company are centrally stored and managed in Microsoft Azure. To combat the challenges of low latency and intermittent satellite connectivity, Fuusion UltraFast was used, making the most of satellite linkups whenever they became available. On the ships themselves, containerized Fuusion Edge nodes receive the updates and configurations that need to be pushed to the engine’s firmware and deliver the firmware to the targets. The same Fuusion infrastructure could also be leveraged to return engine sensor data and statistics back to the ship builder for monitoring status as a bonus. 

Switching from a manual process, which involved significant travel and manual intervention on thousands of engines a year, to an automated system, pushing updates globally based on satellite connectivity schedules, will save the company a great deal of time and expense. Considering the vast number of companies still utilizing a manual process for updates, the market for such a solution is clear. We are here to help show you the value that Fuusion could provide for your company. 

Anyone with long-distance updates to numerous endpoints over spotty network connectivity can benefit from a similar solution. This could be oil and gas, from wells in remote locations to a central hub, gathering tracking data from oil tankers across the world’s many oceans, or any number of things. Contact us to find out how we can help! 

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