“The new Wärtsilä Ship Design entity is basically a sales organization doing sales support and project management,” said Jaakko Eskola, group vice president, Wärtsilä Ship Power. “It will be a real global design company, currently with 14 operating units across the world.”
Wärtsilä has combined its various ship design units into a single entity called Wärtsilä Ship Design. The units involved in this reorganization include Vik-Sandvik of Norway, Conan Wu & Associates (CWA) of Singapore and
SCHIFFKO of Germany, as well as the company’s conceptual ship design unit in Finland. The new setup will generate a variety of new designs, from simple, low-cost, standard vessels to high-end, groundbreaking tonnage.
Wärtsilä, now with a broad and high-quality offering of ship design services, expects to increase its share of the ship design market by focusing on a full design-scope approach. “There will be close collaboration between our Ship Design unit, other parts of the Ship Power organization and other Wärtsilä businesses,” said Arne Birkeland, vice president of Ship Design, Wärtsilä Ship Power. “Our long-term ambition is to create standard proven designs with predefined solutions, and to provide operational services with performance guarantees and fixed prices. This may lso include extended services, such as yard selection and supervision support in the construction phase.”
“Often the initial contact comes from shipowners, but the real orders are placed by shipyards,” said Birkeland. “In Southeast Asia the innovations are driven by shipyards and designers, who then sell the designs to the shipowners. In Europe the shipowners play the innovative part, and then sell the solutions to the yards.” “We will gradually launch a series f designs developed as a result of the knowledge shared between the different units, and brand them as Wärtsilä Ship Designs,” said Birkeland. “It is our goal to establish Wärtsilä as an independent ship design brand, which will become the customer’s first choice. The selection of engines and propulsion systems is for the customer to decide. Although we can offer a special knowledge here, to be neutral will be both necessary and a challenge.”
The expansion into ship design isn part of Wärtsilä’s strategy to strengthen its position as a total solutions provider. Through ship design, Wärtsilä can offer solutions that will lead to better total efficiency, improved environmental performance and reduced life-cycle costs for its customers. One of the first designs to be fully accredited as a Wärtsilä Ship Design is the W Tug 80. It is a compact, high-performance escort tug of 35 m, capable of carrying out ship assist duties at offshore terminals, as well as high-speed escorting, push-pull operations and coastal towing. The W Tug 80, designed for 80 ton bollard pull, can attain a speed of 14.5 knots. Due to its compact ize and two Wärtsilä Azimuth steerable thrusters, the tug is highly maneuverable.
The rounded bow profile with oderate flare is optimal for pushing — reducing the risk of slamming. A large skeg combined with a forward hull hape results in a 250 ton steering force during escorting. The W Tug 80 is powered by two eight-cylinder inline Wärtsilä 26 engines, each rated at 2600 kW and 1000 r/min, whose fuel can be light or heavy. A modular propulsion concept with various engine arrangements can be configured within the same basic design. This allows for hybrid-type propulsion, where diesel engine power is combined with electrical assist. The towage and escorting uties are served well with a forward 112 ton towing/anchor winch, as well as a 91 ton towing winch that is sited aft of the superstructure. The tug can be equipped for fire-fighting duties and can operate up to 200 nautical miles from the coastline.
“The new organization will cover a wide range of marine vessels, including merchant, offshore, cruise, special and naval vessels. It is interesting to see the many projects we are engaged in at the moment with a variety of shipyards,” said Birkeland. “When the time is squeezed like it has been for years, has not left much time for new designs, only standard solutions. Today, the innovative part of our business is stronger and this year much work is to be done for the future.”