A long history of experience and performance
For close to 100 years, Jotun has provided products to keep ship hulls clean from biofouling. Even at the very beginning, our focus was on solving important challenges for the industry and delivering effective and practical products. Jotun has joined the industry in the modernization through technology shifts, changing requirements and steep competition. One thing never changed, our ambition to provide our customers with the best possible products to assure efficient and reliable operations.
Through these years, Jotun has gained massive experience in how to understand and respond to the shifting needs of the market. Our scientists have built a solid foundation of understanding of the fundamental challenges and the technical solutions to address this, allowing us an agile and proactive approach to innovation. The cumulative knowledge and the unique competences within the R&D team makes it world-leading in this scientific field.
Adapting the scope to stay ahead
Customers and end-users are our focal points, also when it comes to developing new technology. Through our years in the industry, we have experienced many changes to technical needs as well as regulatory changes that have spurred new development. An important learning from this has been for us to expand the scope of our work and how far into the future we aim when we do our technology development.
Being able to predict and anticipate needs and direction is closely related to an in depth understanding of the industry. In our work we aim at staying in close dialogue with the entire value chain that meets our products, to make sure that we can understand how to deliver to and exceed expectations in the best possible manner.
The products that are performing in the market today had their inception several decades ago and again rely on knowledge and experiences from their predecessors. In that way, we make sure to leverage what is best with our current technologies and use that to further enhance future innovations.
Radical innovations and incremental development
Our philosophy on innovation is both to incrementally improve our products by introducing new technologies and technical tools to enhance them, as well as radical shifts where we bring transformational solutions to the market. A balance between this has been a successful approach, to assure that our customers quickly get access to new improvements and that we also thoroughly test, and quality assure the radically new solutions.
A good example of radical technology shifts and transformational solutions is the SeaQuantum technology. At the end of the last millennium, the long-standing TBT antifouling coatings were regulated and banned from use, and the industry was looking for an efficient and reliable alternative. Anticipating this, Jotun had worked on alternatives for a long time and had data and experience to introduce the silyl(meth)acrylate technology into the market. The results speak for themselves, and still – more than 20 years later – these products are still performing at the top of their game and providing the shipping industry with the ultimate performance. Starting off as a radical technology shift, this has later shifted to an incremental evolution of the product platform, where new variants with improved performance or properties are regularly introduced.
The technology shift spurred by the SeaQuantum products also represents the start of an expanded view to our contribution to the industry. Through the Hull Performance solution, the high performing products were combined with monitoring methodology to provide clear evidence of the performance of the vessels. Not only did the customers gain insight into the actual performance of their vessels, but this also raised the awareness across the industry of the importance of keeping hulls clean. For our customers the initial main benefits of the Hull Performance Solutions was the fuel savings, and this has later been further extended to also comprise the avoided emissions through a more effective operation.
The Hull Skating Solutions is our most recent radical innovation and represents a quantum leap for the whole industry. Once again, Jotun has been a first mover to introduce a solution that holds the potential to transform the industry and provide the foundation for the cleanest possible hulls – assuring both performance and biosecurity. Even though this is in its early stages, the platform represents a massive opportunity to innovate and provide customers and the entire value chain new and groundbreaking opportunities.
Bringing the evidence and earning trust
Our customers also evolve and require increasing amounts of evidence to the performance we report for our products. To provide robust performance and assure that products are effective and reliable they undergo extensive testing, from early technology stages throughout the lifetime of the products.
In our R&D facilities, we have advanced instruments to test all aspects of our design parameters. Everything from surface appearance, coating integrity and hardness, through storage stability is thoroughly tested and evaluated.
Through an extensive network of test rafts, we are exposing prototypes to natural, static fouling conditions spanning all climatic conditions. This allows extensive understanding of the robustness of various products and their suitability for different vessel types and operational patterns. Raft testing also gives deep insight and understanding into the biological processes of fouling and enable new and innovative approaches to provide customers with the cleanest possible hulls.
Testing under realistic conditions is an important measure to assure that products work under the conditions our customers experience. We have established the Beyond program as a framework to allow us to work closely with selected customers to test product prototypes and monitor existing products to quality assure and quantify performance. This framework allows us to confidently bring new products to the market with clear performance expectations and an established track record that makes selection and use easier for all stakeholders.
Understanding the fundamentals of the surfaces and their behaviour in water through the field of hydrodynamics has expanded the extent to which we are able to design and quantify high performing products. Jotun has, to the best of our knowledge, one of the very few flow cells in our R&D lab. This tool allows us to accurately recreate conditions very similar to those on the hull of a full-size vessel and quantify the frictional effects of different coatings. Hence, we can accurately develop low friction products more efficiently and across a wider scope of platforms. Using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), we can simulate the effects of various surface conditions and also provide full scale modeling of real size vessels to give a relevant scale to the data we are creating.
Partnerships to extend reach and knowledge
As a further means to extend our reach and accelerate the creation of new knowledge, we are partnering with selected academic and external research partners. Both through long term, strategic collaboration on scientific topics and in funded consortium projects with multiple partners, we are building new competence and preparing the ground for future innovations.
We are working extensively with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) on topics covering a range of disciplines. This collaboration includes one of our staff serving as an Associate Professor, several of our scientists giving guest lectures on a regular basis and hosting master students and other project activities on relevant topics.
SeaZero is an example of a large consortium project lead by the Norwegian coastal express (Hurtigruten), involving more than 20 partners. The aim of the project is to design and build the first zero emission coastal express to be put into service by 2030. It is an ambitious project and together with the partners, leading in their respective fields, Jotun contributes by providing expertise knowledge and new solutions that enable this ambition to realize.
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