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AutoCrew- Automated Muster System
Automated Personnel on Board Emergency Roll Call / Muster Stations

The AutoCrew™ is an IT based solution that provides multiple management stations and unlimited number of readers (data collectors) for real time situational awareness and readiness assessment. Real time personnel status reports, whether on board or ashore, provides compliance to ISPS regulations for passenger and merchant vessels.
  • The muster roll call reports are instant and will show who is in attendance, who is missing and who is at the wrong station or area.
  • Within seconds the reports can be printed to multiple printers or exported to third party systems or databases
  • Drastically improves the speed at which employees and guests can respond to an emergency situation and be able to track and the results in a report form, automatically.
The AutoCrew™ solution provides accountability and attendance of personnel during emergency situations like vessel evacuation, hazardous material spill, fire, or man overboard drills. The system will provide situational awareness in real life emergencies, including but not limited to chemical, nuclear and manufacturing plants, hospitals or any personnel assembly.

In addition the AutoCrew™ installs on a standard corporate network. Identification however is done at the device or station, not on the network server.  This allows for communications to remain open while data is being transmitted each time the stations are used.  The software developer kit (SDK) allows for integration with access control, video surveillance, third party databases and Command and Control systems.

Also known as an auto muster roll call system, muster stations reporting system,emergency evacuation system, automated muster system, fire drill roll call, life boat drill muster count, emergency muster drill software, emergency muster reporting system, electronic muster id systems, Personnel On Board accountability system, POB System Station List (Crew Change), Muster Station List (Emergency) and Personnel list display.

The Muster Drill
The Muster Drill (a lifeboat drill or a boat drill) extends originally from the marine industry. Typically a Muster Drill on a cruise must be performed upon departure. The emergency drill (or Muster Drill) is also a common practice or requirement for chemical plants, nuclear plants, dams, hospitals, schools or any critical group assemble. The general purpose of the muster drill is that in case of an emergency, all senior staff is available at pre-determined stations in order to facilitate emergency measures related to hazardous materials, man over board, or mass evacuation.  For a MCA Guideline on Muster Drills see   http://www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/mgn71.pdf

The marine environment requires personnel on board (POB) and readiness for any situation at all times. The muster drill is a mandatory procedure to accurately account for every person on board and his/her location. The exercise sounds simple but on a large ship the logistics of this critical exercise is quite daunting.  For example, cruise ships have up to 1200 personnel on board and as many as 2400 passengers. 

A Muster list and drill is basically an emergency plan.  The Emergency Plan / Muster Drill must include the following:

  • A Muster List that specifies and conveys an emergency plan to the officers, the crew and passengers.
  • The emergency plan or muster drill must also take into account that there are multiple languages spoken on board.
  • The list will convey where everyone is to report, who is responsible, their duties and the chain in command in the event that someone is missing.
  • Duties will include but are not limited to assembly and control of passengers, and emergency tasks related to hazardous materials, fire, and mass evacuation.
The primary objective of the Muster List and Drill is to gain operational awareness as soon as possible.  The captain and the officers must know who has reported to their stations, who is missing from their stations and who has reported to the wrong area or who has not reported at all. 

An accurate POB and muster drill is a crucial in assessing the situation and
providing the relevant data for the captain to dictate the proper orders. 

Previous Options
The conventional method of recording POB and performing a muster drill required yellow tablets and communications over radio. The POB and drills are performed on “yellow tablets” meaning a person is manually writing down who has entered and exited the vessels. The POB sheets can be lost, requiring the crew member who performed the task to perform a recall by memory to account for crew members who have come and gone.

Moreover, a vessel with 200 plus personnel operating on this archaic method means the muster drill could take up to or longer than one hour. In an emergency situation this is unacceptable. Imagine a fire, explosion or possible situation requiring an abandonment decision. Every second counts.   The captain cannot decide to abandon ship or look for lost (or unaccounted for) crew members in a fire until he gets an accurate situational awareness. 

In addition, large vessels could have between 12-24 muster stations.  The captain and his officers are responsible for compiling a full report of POB and the results of the muster drill.

The muster drill report is then created with the following information: date and time of muster drill, attendance, missing persons and how long the drill took to complete.  Weekly muster reports must be inputted in standard format and saved for viewing by management or the appropriate regulatory agencies.

The AutoCrew™ Solution

Applications:  Large Vessels, Work Platforms, Critical Assets, Dams, Nuclear Plants, Chemical & LNG Plants, Hospitals, Military Installations, Universities, etc…

The AutoCrew™ is an IT based solution that provides multiple management stations and unlimited number of readers (data collectors) for real time situational awareness.  The muster roll call reports are instant and will show who is in attendance, who is missing and who is at the wrong station or area.  Within seconds the reports can be printed to multiple printers or exported to third party systems or databases.

Attendance at each of the muster stations is taken automatically by wireless scanners, keypad, proximity, and/or biometric readers.  The Muster roll call and tally is compared against the personnel on board (POB) recorded by AutoCrew system.  The number of muster stations is limited only by the client’s hardware capabilities and the readers can easily be installed on conventional local area networks (including wireless) for an easy and inexpensive install. 

Benefits of the AutoCrew™ solution:
The key benefits are real time, accurate POB reports and the ability for the captain and crew to collect situational awareness information real time. AutoCrew system provides the ability for management to collect situational awareness in real time in order to make critical decisions involving the health and safety of the crew, contractors and guests more accurate and effective.

The Muster system can produce accurate real time reports without manually inputting data to confirm the success or failure of the Muster drill.  These reports in most environments (critical assets, evacuation plans, fire drills and Muster drills) are mandatory, and they can affect the competiveness of their HSE record, their insurance rates provide an accurate benchmark in steadily improving the drill

The AutoCrew™ System is inexpensive, increases employee health and safety, and saves time and money


Implementation

Design
The customer’s application, premise, onsite facilities, and design objectives will be summarized and confirmed.  A proposal will be completed and design agreed upon between the installing company and end user.  The system is modular in design and based on the customer’s requirements. Design of the system would include the following:

  • Management software (Registry system, Access Control, Time and Attendance, Muster Features)
  • Management stations
  • Muster Stations & software
  • LAN software
  • Developers Kit for Integration (possible integration into access control or Video surveillance system)
  • Readers, (bar code, keypad, proximity, biometric & combination)
  • Door Controllers & Hardware
  • Extended Warranty & Support
Install & Integration
The AutoCrew™ system is installed on a standard corporate network, either as a standalone system or subsystem within an existing site. 

In addition the AutoCrew™ system communicates via TC/IP, RS232, RS485 or wireless. 

The system can also interface into existing databases, time attendance, access control, fire and video surveillance systems and command and control system.

Support
The AutoCrew™ system is a standard install, using standard communications and support protocols.  The requirement for training is minimal and ongoing support for the system is typically done by the IT department and or the existing security company.

Case Study / The Customer Experience
International Drilling Company based in Europe

Customer Situation: 
In the oil and gas industry muster drills are mandatory, often held a minimum of once a week. Reports on the timing, and success or failure of the drill affect their insurance and ultimately their own competiveness as a benchmark rating on their safety measures and record.

The muster drill is labor intensive, includes all 200+ personnel on board and is expensive (see ROI below) to run.  In addition, real time information accounting of all personnel in a timely matter is a must. These reports confirm attendance and missing persons are extremely difficult to produce (attendance, missing persons or persons in wrong positions) in an emergency evacuation drill because most persons are recorded manually by paper and pen. 

The AutoCrew™ systems features offered to the customer 

  • Incoming and outgoing readers to track arriving and departing personnel.
  • Two management stations (laptops), one for helipad safety room for new employees to register and be provided safety procedures.  The second management station was used on the bridge to track muster results.
  • Biometric scanners at all mustering stations for faster throughput. The end user requires  no cards and management is guaranteed positive ID
  • Report Generator
AutoCrew Reports
  • Several reports including attendance, location, missing personnel, personnel in wrong locations
  • Personal data, language spoken, name of craft, parent company, and date and time signed in.
  • Export capability to third party databases (i.e. Excel). 
Benefits to the Customer
  • Expert muster program improves health and safety of crew, employees and passengers because of accurate information.
  • Routine mustering exercises will be quicker and easier with state-of-the-art equipment and software to produce reports and an accurate account of personnel.
  • Time spent searching the ship, especially in potential hazard area, looking for someone who isn’t missing will be reduced.
  • The almost instantaneous report from the muster exercise will prevent delays in the Captain’s options, such as calling for an Abandon Ship.
  • Sign-in sheets cannot go missing.
  • The report will show where each person signed in and in case they are needed to support the emergency, the person can be summoned swiftly.
  • As an added benefit, the system can produce a report at the time of the muster exercise of vessel, plant or other facility.  This report will reduce redundant data entry and reduce errors.
  • The muster system will show in real time, the personnel unaccounted for to provide the Captain with a clear picture of the progress of the muster exercise even if radio contact is disrupted or congested with other emergency messages.
  • System saves time and money
Cost Savings with an Automated Muster System 
Currently, the customer is required to have a Muster Drill once a week which is taking approximately one hour to complete.  With the AutoCrew™ the Muster Drill can be completed in less than fifteen minutes.  The estimated savings per year on labor only is as follows:
 
Application:
Oil Rigs
60 Minute Drill 45 Minute Drill 30 Minute Drill 15 Minute Drill
   Per Hour Per Year Per Year Per Year Per Year
Number of Personnel $250
Average Labor Cost $32
Labor Cost per Hour $8,000 $416,000 $312,000 $208,000 $104,000
Labor Savings $104,000 $208,000 $312,000
Capital Cost of a Deep Water Rig is $100M TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

The calculation does not consider the following:

  • Insurance fees saved as a result pristine safety record.
  • Reduction in rates charged by “First Responders” because customer knows which area missing personnel are located.
  • Savings from the capital cost and lost production time for the rig and support vessels
Daily rates for a submersible rig is $400,000/day, a jack-up rig is $140,000 (www.rigzone.com)

Daily rates for AHTS is $70,000, supply vessels, $3,820-10,700 and crew boats range from $2270 to $4325 depending on size (April 2010 Work Boat Magazine)