A smart show

With a reputation for being the shipping event for the Who’s Who of the maritime industry, this year’s SMM saw industry visitors from around 100 nations attend

Over the years it as been running the exhibition and conference, SMM has gained a strong reputation for showcasing tomorrow’s trends and developments, with 2016 being no different. Taking place from 6th to 9th September 2016, the 27th SMM was enhanced and expanded to offer further valuable insights to those in the shipping industry.

Seeing over approximately 50,000 industry visitors, this year’s event was a great success. “The overwhelming turnout is proof of a general sense of anticipation that was palpable during the four days of the fair, as well,” said Bernd Aufderheide, President and CEO of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH. Considering the difficult situation of the industry, this was an especially encouraging fair, he added. Uwe Beckmeyer, Parliamentary Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs, and Federal Government Coordinator for the Maritime Industry, emphasised the importance of SMM as an innovation driver: “SMM is a very special platform. The world loves to gather here for this event,” he said.

Visitors to 2016’s event encountered all the international key players from the shipping sector, covering the entire value chain. The fair has also become more international with more than 60 nations being represented this time and Iran, Malaysia and Greece all setting up 2016 country pavilions of their own for the first time this year.

Drawing huge interest, SMM had more than 2100 exhibitors registered by June 2016 and was fully booked months in advance even after being expanded by an additional 3500 square metres. Additional changes include the offering of hall A5, which was exclusively dedicated to green propulsion, and the clear division of halls in accordance with product areas. Moreover, visitors of SMM 2016 were guided to exhibitors through the utilisation of specific routes that provided special offers on the themes digitalisation, green shipping, maritime security and careers.

The theme that ran throughout the event was ‘digitalisation’, which was represented across the entire SMM programme this year. Believed to bring fundamental change to the industry, experts are calling it the third revolution of shipping. What makes this topic so very important is the current situation of the industry, which is marked by low freight and charter rates, a weak global economy, and strong fluctuations of the global flow of goods, all of which threaten the financial basis of the shipping sector. At the same time, it is faced with tightening safety and environmental protection regulations. The only way out of this dilemma is to optimise performance further, and the name of the solution is Smart Shipping.

One exhibitor, Christian Ausfelder, Managing Director RWO + System CS Bio, was very pleased with the quality of the content at SMM 2016. “A strong programme line-up drew many of our partners to Hamburg, so we were able to engage in many constructive conversations,” he said. “Digitalisation, sustainability and security – SMM 2016 took a far- sighted look at the top issues trending in the sector.”

At the fair, RWO presented the CleanSewage Bio water treatment system, Seawater Reverse Osmosis SRO-COM as well as a further development of the Oily Water separator OWS-COM. “Visitors to our stand were particularly interested in treating wastewater with the CleanSewage Bio, which saves up to 25 per cent of space compared to other systems, is easy to operate, requires substantially lower maintenance and enables a faster restart,” said Christian.

The Seawater Reverse Osmosis SRO-COM, a desalination system aboard ships, stood out in particular due to its lower capital expenditures, energy costs and a smaller version with a capacity of up to 60 m3/day. An improved version of the world’s leading product of its category, the RWO Oily Water Separator OWS-COM was also presented to those gathered at the stand: New filter cartridges with twice the service life lower operating costs and increase operational reliability.

“’Total Water Management’, or focusing on the totality of on board water systems, was a major topic discussed at our stand. We have been seeing significantly growing demand for integrated water treatment solutions, especially for cruise ships, even prior to the SMM. We took some firm orders here,” summarised Christian. “Our conversations also mirrored the growing significance of digitalisation in marine technology. Of special relevance to us are things like remote inspection and predictive maintenance of the water treatment systems on board and on land.”

SMM 2016 was accompanied by an attractive supporting programme that included the newly created conference Maritime Future Summit on 5th September. Taking place one day ahead of the opening of SMM, the summit saw software experts and CEOs of leading manufacturers of ship propulsion systems discuss the consequences of Smart Shipping and Big Data for the shipping industry of the future.

With smart fleet management and networking viewed as the next step for the industry, companies will need to embrace key new technologies such as telematics, satellite communication, data storage, information technology and automation to remain competitive in the long-term. Because Smart Solutions and the digital revolution are a major topic for this year’s exhibition, digital solutions were naturally central to the portfolios of many of the 2100+ exhibitors presenting their products and services on more than 90,000 square metres of exhibition area.

Part of this exhibition space was comprised of a new area set up to highlight new developments in the field of green propulsion, with LNG a particular focus. Hall A5 covered all aspects of alternative and environmentally friendly technologies in marine propulsion and thus provided shipyards and equipment suppliers the ideal showcase for their alternative and low-emission technologies; these included LNG, methanol, fuel cells and hybrid and dual-fuel propulsion systems. Alongside exhibiting state-of-the-art innovations, SMM also boasted a solid conference programme that included the Global Maritime Environmental Congress (GMEC) on 6th September.

The Ship of the Year Award, run by Norwegian publication Skipsrevyen, is also a popular event at the Show, and on 7th September, the innovative carbon fibre-hulled tourist vessel Vision of the Fjords was announced as the winner. Designed and built by Brødrene Aa, the ship operates an innovative propulsion system that uses a combination of two 749kW MAN Diesel engines and two 150kW Oswald electric motors, with an ABB Onboard DC Grid system. It was chosen as the winner due to its unique approach to sustainable, sensitive and high quality operations in the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Nærøyfjord. The vessel uses the diesel engines up to the entrance of the protected Nærøyfjord, before switching to silent running, emission free electric power. It also features a special hull designed to minimise wake and thus reduce impact erosion on the vulnerable shoreline of the Fjord. The judges were impressed by its modern design and sympathy to the environment in which it operates.

In addition to all of the topics mentioned, SMM was brimming with expert advice and technological developments from a wide range of companies, organisations and speakers on subjects ranging from cyber attacks to career opportunities. For example, the Maritime Career Market (MCM), which concluded SMM 2016, provided companies with an excellent opportunity to meet up with promising young talents and experienced potential leaders.

The countdown is already on for SMM 2018, which is running 4-7th September, 2018.

For more information, visit: www.smm-hamburg.com/en