Astronaut Presides Over Propulsion R&D Center Opening
This past weekend, the stern tube seal and propulsion firm AEGIR-Marine opened a new Propulsion Workshop, R&D Center and "Academy" in Wijk bij Duurstede, the Netherlands. The grand opening featured a two-day seminar attended by some 400 customers and partners.
Dutch astronaut André Kuipers gave a keynote speech at the opening ceremony. Kuipers spoke about his trip to the International Space Station and the focus on safety and security in the aerospace industry. In addition, Kuipers talked about the continuous drive for innovation, the demands on the flexibility of astronauts and the need to converge knowledge from various scientific disciplines – which is, according to Kuipers, comparable to the shipping industry.
The seminar also featured Simon Zielonka, Fleet Director of Royal Caribbean Cruises. Zielonka spoke about the extreme focus on security and maintenance in the cruise industry – a logical point of emphasis, as the firm's 23 ships can each transport between two and three thousand passengers. To ensure security, Royal Caribbean Cruises is increasingly using big data and data analysis.
Karin Orsel, the CEO of MF Shipping and the chairman of the International Shipowners Association, addressed the topic of sustainable growth for the maritime industry. MF has grown explosively from six to 58 ships over the last 23 years. "Growth is good, but it must be manageable," she said. "Growth is not a result of sheer luck but of entrepreneurship . . . Everything is related, you must be on top of innovations and developments in this industry." In addition, she cautioned that fear is a bad advisor. "Instead of fearing inspections, we welcome them," she said.
First brand independent seal
During the opening event, AEGIR-Marine also launched its own, brand-independent shaft seal. This is the first brand-independent seal with official certification at component level from classification agencies Lloyd's Register and the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). Johan van de Loenhorst, project manager at AEGIR-Marine officially received the certificate during the seminar.