"The failures have been hardware problems of the computer," stated the manager who reported the problem that occurred on one commercial vessel. "Of significance is that all the computers were of the older RS6 type, of between 2-4 years old depending when they were supplied to the yards and also how long they had been in storage. Now ECDIS units supplied by TRANSAS have the newer RS6B which we understand to be far more reliable."
"Allegedly the PCs that are currently in place are the older RS6 computers which have fans, so these would need to be cleaned after a while to help with air flow," the manager continues. "The new RS6B computers don’t have any fans and also have solid state hard drives, so less moving parts results in less things to go wrong. This results in the units being a lot more reliable and less failures because they have been designed to get rid of the heat in different ways."
“I am currently checking ECDIS units on board the entire fleet to see if they are the older RS6 type computer," the manager advises. "If so, they could fail at any time, placing the vessel in a difficult position. In that case we're preparing contingency plans in case of an ECDIS failure and have contacted providers to replace older RS6-type computers with the newer RS6B-type computers."
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