The conference focused on DNV GL's vision for the digital transformation and showcased the emerging solutions  which will take class into the future.

The attendees had the opportunity to take part in a virtual reality (VR) presentation, on a tour of the Shanghai Express, a modern container ship. The VR presentation demonstrated how advanced sensor technology, powerful satellite connections, and the digital data being created and transmitted from vessels was opening up a new range of possibilities for shipping.

For example, the presentation showed how ship data could be combined with survey results and a 3D model of the ship to build a digital twin – a digital copy of a vessel, modelled to exactly represent its properties. It was further explained how this digital twin could be used to optimise the design, test how the networks on board respond to cyberattacks and even identify when equipment needs maintenance.

Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, DNV GL – Maritime CEO, showed how the classification society was using digitalization and modern survey techniques to improve its services:

“We are using intelligent software agents to help customers find the best time and place to book a survey,” he said.

While on-board, DNV GL was the first classification society using drone technology to improve surveys:

“Our surveyors can now use camera-equipped drones to visually inspect large cargo holds and tanks. Using a drone opens up a lot of possibilities. Drones could eventually be piloted remotely or even autonomously, meaning the surveyor could work from the desk thousands of miles away from the ship.”, he added

The opportunities and challenges of the rapid digitalization was at the heart of the panel discussion, which followed the VR presentation, and featured DNV GL – Maritime CEO Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, DNV GL – Group President and CEO Remi Eriksen, and DNV GL Group Technology and Research Director Pierre C. Sames.

Group President and CEO Remi Eriksen lead off the discussion, noting that:

“Digitalization does not change our core purpose of safeguarding life, property and the environment; it does not change our vision or our values. But I think DNV GL, uniquely, brings something very special to digitalization: trust.” Eriksen went on to present DNV GL’s new Veracity data platform, stating that:

“Veracity is a data management platform where DNV GL acts as a neutral data custodian – offering different companies and industries a way to manage the quality of their data and a controlled environment for the further use of that data for value creation.”

Data platforms would operate in a connected frame work, suggested Mr Ørbeck-Nilssen:

“I foresee a multi-platform business, with platform owners each having their own dedicated domain knowledge. And The more different data sets we combine, the more value our customers, the asset owners and operators, will get out of their data. Which means we need to connect the platforms and work on standards to exchange data for the benefit of our customers.”

Looking ahead, DNV GL Group Technology and Research Director Pierre C. Sames, explained how two trends were guiding the development of DNV GL’s class services, and the importance of Veracity to these future offerings. The first trend “model-based” revolved around using digital models to describe ships and their systems. The second trend “condition-based” revolved around using continuous data from the ships and their systems to tailor survey intervals for vessels in class. 

The VR presentation will be available to visitors to the Disruptive Sustainability hall (Hall A) throughout Nor-Shipping. For further details of this and a full overview of DNV GL’s activities at Nor-Shipping 2017, please visit