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  • Multifunctional handheld computers on board

    merchant vessels - An end user perspective

    Diploma thesis in the Marine Engineering Programme

    EVA GYBERG

    MELLY WU

    Department of Shipping and Marine Technology

    CHALMERS UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

    Gothenburg, Sweden, 2014

    Report no. Si-14/119

  • REPORT NO. Si-14/119

    Multifunctional handheld computers on board

    merchant vessels - An end user perspective

    EVA GYBERG

    MELLY WU

    Department of Shipping and Marine Technology

    CHALMERS UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

    Gothenburg, Sweden, 2014

  • Multifunctional handheld computers on board merchant vessels

    - An end user perspective

    EVA GYBERG

    MELLY WU

    © EVA GYBERG, 2014

    © MELLY WU, 2014

    Report no. Si-14/119

    Department of Shipping and Marine Technology

    Chalmers University of Technology

    SE-412 96 Gothenburg

    Sweden

    Telephone + 46 (0)31-772 1000

    Printed by Chalmers

    Gothenburg, Sweden, 2014

  • i

    Multifunctional handheld computers on board merchant vessels

    - An end user perspective

    EVA GYBERG

    MELLY WU

    Department of Shipping and Marine Technology

    Chalmers University of Technology

    Abstract

    This report will discuss possibilities in how to improve and secure information management

    on board merchant vessels. With the use of a PDA, it can both assist the end user and reduce

    the steps of information processing. This might be an interesting solution since the crew

    manning have been reduced while the information rate has increased in combination with

    extensive regulations. Therefore, this will require convenient methods to compile gathered

    data for analysis and presentation.

    With the support from a questionnaire that were addressed to active crewmembers in the

    profession; the intention was to determine if these people were interested in a PDA as a

    working tool on board ships. Additionally, if they would prefer to use this kind of equipment,

    the further goal is to establish what features it should contain and what assignments it can be

    utilised for. Fundamental conditions were features that are available in some of the existing

    land based PDAs.

    When the survey was completed, it was compiled and functions or keywords that were stated

    a minimum of two times were presented in the results. The results of the survey were then

    discussed in combination with previously presented facts and findings. Finally, it was

    concluded that PDAs are interesting as a working tool on board merchant ships, mostly for

    different types of inspections. This report can be viewed as an introduction to this topic where

    some features require more studies to become comprehensive.

    Keywords: PDA, Personal Digital Assistant, handheld, computer, on board, merchant vessel,

    secure, simplify, information processing, PMS

  • ii

    Sammanfattning

    Rapporten behandlar hur man kan förbättra och säkerställa informationshanteringen ombord

    på handelsfartyg i kombination med att den administrativa hanteringen minskar för

    slutanvändaren med hjälp av en PDA. Detta kan vara intressant på grund av att besättningarna

    har minskat medan informationsflödet har ökat, i kombination med mer omfattande regelverk.

    Vilket ställer krav på datainsamling; att den kan sammanställas och redovisas, både för

    kontroll och också analys.

    Med hjälp av en enkätundersökning som riktades till yrkesverksamma besättningsmän, var

    intentionen att ta reda på om det kan vara relevant att införa en PDA som ett verktyg på

    fartyg. Om besättningsmännen ansåg det, då skulle det ytterligare tas reda på vilka funktioner

    den skall innehålla och till vilka arbetsuppgifter den främst kan tänkas användas till. Frågorna

    till enkäten togs fram genom att information söktes i olika databaser tillsammans med

    studiebesök hos relevanta företag. Utgångspunkten var vilka funktioner som finns i denna typ

    av utrustning i den nuvarande landbaserade verksamheten.

    När enkäten var genomförd, sammanställdes den och presenterades med grunden på de

    funktioner och arbetsmetoder som nämndes minst två gånger av deltagarna. Detta

    diskuterades senare för att med hjälp av tidigare sökt fakta och enkätresultat, slutligen kunna

    dra slutsatsen att PDA: er är intressanta som arbetsverktyg ombord på handelsfartyg, och då

    främst för olika typer av kontroller. Rapporten kan ses som en introduktion till ämnet där

    vissa funktioner kräver mer undersökningar för att bli fullständig.

    Nyckelord: PDA, handdator, ombord, handelsfartyg, säkerställa, förenkla, information, data,

    förebyggande underhåll,

  • iii

    Acknowledgments

    Eva Gyberg and Melly Wu would like to gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the

    supervisor Henrik Pahlm. His assistance and guidelines developed the progress that gave us

    encouragement throughout the process.

    The authors also wishes to gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the companies; Binar

    AB in Trollhättan, Handheld Scandinavia AB in Lidköping and SpecTec AB in Göteborg.

    These companies provided us with valuable knowledge and information during the

    appreciated study visits.

    Finally, we would like to give a gesture of gratitude to our former teacher Mats Jarlros, who

    without official involvement showed interest in our work. Thank you.

  • iv

    Table of Contents 1. INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................ 1

    1.1. Purpose ........................................................................................................................ 2

    1.2. Questions ..................................................................................................................... 2

    1.2.1. Main Question ...................................................................................................... 2

    1.2.2. Sub Questions ....................................................................................................... 2

    1.3. Delimitations ............................................................................................................... 3

    2. BACKGROUND AND THEORY ................................................................................... 4

    2.1. Maritime regulations and inspections .......................................................................... 4

    2.2. Available technology ................................................................................................... 6

    2.2.1. Rugged, IP- and ATEX-class ............................................................................... 6

    2.2.2. “Offline mode” and redundancy .......................................................................... 7

    2.2.3. Scanning techniques ............................................................................................. 7

    2.3. Recognised method to process information on board ................................................. 8

    2.4. Connecting available technology with recognised working method on board ............ 9

    2.4.1. Barcodes and tags with a scanner function .......................................................... 9

    2.4.1.1. Periodic inspections of fire protection appliances .......................................... 10

    2.4.1.2. Identifying and sounding of tanks .................................................................. 10

    2.4.1.3. Inventory system ............................................................................................. 11

    2.4.2. Other hardware technology ................................................................................ 11

    2.4.2.1. Rugged hardware ............................................................................................ 11

    2.4.2.2. Slipcase ........................................................................................................... 12

    2.4.2.3. Keyboard/tablet-pen/Touch screen ................................................................. 12

    2.4.2.4. Camera ............................................................................................................ 12

    2.4.2.5. USB-port ......................................................................................................... 13

    2.4.2.6. Memory card ................................................................................................... 13

    2.4.2.7. Speakers and a microphone ............................................................................ 14

    2.4.3. Additional software features .............................................................................. 14

    2.4.3.1. History and trend display ................................................................................ 14

    2.4.3.2. SMS/text messages ...................................................