While there are countless new product, system and service launches at major trade fairs such as the recently concluded SMM in Hamburg, Germany, when a company with the stature of Furuno unveils a system, it is a show within the show.
Furuno, a $1 billion business with 80% coming from the marine sector and 2500 employees globally in the marine sector, introduced its new ECDIS models FMD-3200 and FMD-3300, saying they are ready for launch during the autumn 2012.
“A big emphasis of this project was to make it (the new ECDIS models) easy to use and understand,” said Bill Haynes, Deep Sea Product Manager, Furuno. Importantly, all hardware for the system is Furuno-built, and features of the new system incorporate insights and advice from real navigators. For example, the InstantAccess Bar.
Key to the new system is a streamlined chart management scheme designed to provide easy chart management independent of the chart providers.
The new ECDIS is compatible with Jeppesen Dynamic Licensing and it supports the Admiralty Information Overlay (AIO).
Focus on the Man/Machine Interface
The new units were created to provide the operator with quick access to the tasks and functions to be performed in the midst of vessel operation. The new ECDIS employs intelligently arranged Graphic User Interface elements: Status Bar and InstantAccess Bar, that deliver task-based operation scheme to give the operator direct access to necessary operational procedure. The Status Bar at the top of the screen provides operating status, including modes of operation and presentation. The InstantAccess Bar on the left edge of the screen provides quick access to functions available in each of the ECDIS operating modes. The contents of the InstantAccess Bar change according to the operating modes selected on the Status Bar. This combination of the Status Bar and InstantAccess Bar covers virtually the entire operation. The new ECDIS uses advanced chart-drawing engine that delivers instantaneous chart redraw with the seamless zooming and panning, hence making the ECDIS operation stress-free.
Moreover, its operation philosophy is based upon the same logic as the control scheme of a mouse that people are accustomed to in using a PC, and all operations can be controlled with the use of trackball of the control unit by means of left-clicking, right-clicking and using a thumbwheel.
(As published in the October 2012 edition of Maritime Reporter - www.marinelink.com)