Sustainability of fish stocks has become headline news around the world1. Increased demand, diminishing supply, overfishing and legislation are all adding to the pressure that the world’s fishing industry is experiencing. Not helping falling fish stock is the time it takes fishing fleets to analyse their catch to see whether they are within quota. In most cases, due to the time it takes to do this manual analysis, fish have perished and are then discarded back into the ocean. Responsibility and sustainability is a massive challenge for the industry.
In order to solve this problem, a software company in the marine industry developed a solution that could automatically monitor, analyse and advise the crew on catch quotas to help reduce the volume being returned to the sea, typically dead.
To power this system, the software solutions company quickly found that a typical off-the-shelf computer just couldn’t cut it. So, what do you do when you need a computer that can withstand extreme shock and vibration, can power itself in an outage, is able to withstand damaging power spikes, and is certified for use in the world’s harshest marine environments? You turn to Captec.
The team at Captec worked with the software provider to fully understand what needed to be achieved and set about the design of a bespoke computer that could deliver the reliability required.
Due to the extreme nature of where the computer was going to be used, there were added complications that needed to be overcome. One of these was the issue caused by power spikes from onboard generators and inductive loads of motors used in fishing, that would blow a power supply in a traditional computer in an instant, rendering the monitoring solution useless. Additionally, the problem with power outages caused by overloads that occur when winches were strained, also needed to be addressed to ensure recording and analysis equipment including data capture, continued to work during the catch process.
To overcome these challenges, the Captec team designed a computer addressing specific issues including:
- Customised, heavy duty chassis for robustness and to minimise space
- Ability to withstand extreme temperatures with a slow, thermal start up to ensure components are not stressed by cold down to -15°C
- Lockable and removable automotive hard drive that can be easily retrieved for landside analysis
- Ensure compliance with Marine Standard EN 60945
- Custom designed circuit board with “supercaps” that can power the system for up to 10 minutes in the event of a power outage
- Multiple I/O to provide all the connectivity required to manage and run the analysis solution
The result of this design is a system that works (unlike an off-the-shelf variant that would fail almost immediatley) and provides continuous up-time & reliability in a critical environment. With improved identification of a catch and by providing better analysis of the quota, this achieves increasing levels of sustainability, protects the livelihood of the industry and allows officials on the dockside to extract data quickly, to help them analyse the catch quota to ensure it is compliant with legislation now and in the future.
Challenge us with your requirements
If you have a challenge where you need an expert company to think outside the box, turn to Captec. Our skilled team of engineers can design a specialist computing platform to fit your needs. That’s why so many customers around the world have tried us, tested us and completely trust us to deliver robust, reliable and specialist computers.
Get more detail on the computers designed and used in the story: