Carnival Cruise Lines recently completed a world-class fleet operations center (FOC) at its headquarters in Miami, FL courtesy of systems integrator Constant Technologies; the new FOC is the third and largest in Carnival Corporation’s global FOC network, which includes facilities in Seattle, WA and Hamburg, Germany.
The 35,000-square foot space is custom-designed for hands-on, around the clock monitoring and support of the line’s 26 cruise ships. Seating over 100 operators, the FOC also has the ability to monitor all nine Carnival Corporation lines and 104-ship fleet, the largest fleet in the cruise industry.
The facility supports the work of a variety of Carnival’s cross-functional teams—including technical, nautical, port and guest operations, environmental operations and compliance, occupational safety, and technical services.
“The project was truly unique in the sheer magnitude of user groups needing to collaborate and react to live information,” said Brad Righi, president, Constant Technologies. “As a systems integrator, our team considered all technical and architectural factors to achieve optimal awareness and allow Carnival’s operation staff the ability to respond rapidly to any situation.
The systems integration for the FOC space includes a 74-foot video wall made up of 57 Leyard/Planar MX55HDX LED panels, mounted using Leyard/Planar’s EasyAxis mounting system, with a composite resolution of 17280×3240. There are also multiple conference rooms in the facility that are linked to the main LED video wall via video monitors to be utilized by support teams in the event of an incident; the conference rooms feature a variety of Leyard/Planar screens and Peerless-AV mounts.
“In designing the FOC, we combined best practices from the military, government, and industry to achieve a generational leap in facility design, sophisticated technology, and utilization, creating the largest and most advanced fleet operations center in the industry,” said Christine Duffy, president, Carnival Cruise Lines. “Nothing is more important than the safety of our guests and crew, and this new facility enhances our already comprehensive approach to safety and operational excellence.”
To further facilitate collaboration and to provide a turnkey solution, Constant Technologies contributed custom, ergonomic adjustable height command center consoles. Seating is arranged in open pods arranged by Carnival’s ship classes to promote collaboration, integration, and streamlined communication between these and other departments.
Tom Sheeran, senior vice president of Constant Technologies, created the conceptual design and managed the Carnival FOC project. “This FOC is special in that it encompasses an entire collaborative floor versus a single room. Everything from the furniture, spatial layout, break-out areas, and technology is centered around collaboration, situational awareness, monitoring, and efficiency among the different teams and user groups,” Sheeran said. “I envision that Carnival will set the standard for Fleet Operations in their industry when this FOC is introduced.”
Constant Technologies’ collaboration with Carnival also included custom programming for its video wall control system. Benjamin Watkins, the company’s vice president of technical engineering said: “Carnival needed a system to visualize a high volume of data for a diverse set of teams in their fleet operations. Constant has developed a custom integrated technology platform that provides a powerful and scalable environment that seamlessly fits into the workflow of the FOC. Sophisticated capabilities are no good if operators cannot access them when they are needed, so Carnival’s FOC is built to make leveraging them simple and intuitive. From daily operations to critical events, the operators are able to focus on their core tasks instead of the mediating technology.”
Concluded Righi: “Teaming with Carnival was truly a pleasure from start to finish. My team worked with some terrific and talented people to achieve the new standard in Fleet Operation Centers. Everyone involved should be very proud of their accomplishment every time they step into this work environment.”