Tech File: NS Workboat

Marine News

ABS mobile application is purpose-built for the workboat, inland sectors. 

ABS Nautical Systems, the ABS enterprise fleet management software suite, has launched a new mobile application, NS Workboat. The latest in a line of new tools that ABS has developed to help workboat operators gain compliance with the pending Subchapter M regulations, the ‘app’, which leverages the Nautical Systems enterprise software, is a mobile solution that is purpose-built for the workboat and inland-shipping sectors, where ease of use is of paramount importance.
Simple Interface Supports SubM Compliance
ABS discussions with stakeholders revealed a demand for easy-to-use solutions designed with crews in mind. The ABS NS Workboat App a simple interface is designed to support day-to-day, allowing users to manage the process for Sub M requirements while improving the accuracy of compliance reporting.
The Coast Guard’s Sub-M regulations gave owners multiple options to achieve compliance, recognizing the varied operating environments for the 6,000-odd vessels affected. One way to gain compliance with Subchapter M is for vessel owners to qualify for a certificate of inspection from the U.S. Coast Guard. Another option is to implement a Towing Safety Management System (TSMS). On the auditing side, the owner has several options to demonstrate compliance with Sub M requirements. They can comply by using a safety management system (SMS) within the ISM Code, the AWO’s Responsible Carrier Program, or through a custom-made SMS reviewed by an authorized third party such as ABS. 
Regardless of how owners comply, data will need to be collected and new procedures will need to be implemented. In response, ABS offers a wider portfolio of class-centric products and services, including supporting the regulation with ABS Nautical Systems software. The NS Workboat application is delivered preconfigured with the user’s choice of the Sub M compliance options. A cloud-based solution offered by subscription on iOS or Android operating systems, deployment to the cloud minimizes further IT investment.
Plug & Play
No software is required onboard the vessel. Because the program is based on the daily activities of the crew and offered on a familiar mobile device, only training is required. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLDD), Bering Marine Corp and Genesis Energy are among the first subscribers. Operational data is automatically captured by crewmembers during regular operations, simplifying back-office operations and supports accuracy of compliance reporting. For example, bringing together all health, safety, quality, environment and maintenance programs under one software program provides crews with a way to ensure that everyone has access to required tools and data. 
The NS Workboat application rounds out a complete set of solutions as the deadline for compliance with Subchapter M regulations draws near. On January 1, all companies that operate towing vessels over 26-feet in length (over 300 GT) will be required to hold a Certificate of Inspection and to comply with a complex set of regulations that cover everything from construction and operations to safety equipment and recordkeeping. 
Gaining compliance will be a resource-intensive process, one that is further complicated if the owner has to coordinate multiple service companies and suppliers. Unique in the U.S. marketplace, ABS is a central resource for all Sub M requirements, providing engineering plan review services that cover all aspects of design review, including structural arrangements, machinery, piping, electrical systems and equipment, fire protection and lifesaving equipment. Using ABS Engineering means an owner will not need to send drawings to multiple individuals or entities based on the scope or discipline of their engineering licenses.
As a Recognized Organization and an approved third-party organization, ABS can provide a custom approach that supports SubM compliance during plan review, construction and throughout the service life of the vessel. Moreover, approval of plan reviews so operators can avoid multiple submissions to the Coast Guard can be provided. As technology and increased connectivity complicates all aspects of vessel operations, class must offer a deeper portfolio of technical services. Software such as NS Workboat is one part of that requirement. 
(As published in the July 2017 edition of Marine News)
Marine News Magazine, page 52,  Jul 2017

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Marine News is the premier magazine of the North American Inland, coastal and Offshore workboat markets.