Control Systems News

27 Mar 2020

Opinion: Getting Ahead of the Reality

Frank Coles, CEO, Wallem Group

In a few short months, the mayhem wrought by coronavirus has changed the world. Our response to the epidemic [more than the virus itself] has the potential to permanently alter the balance of the global economy. But it might be the kind of Black Swan event that we need to trigger real change in the shipping industry – and in particular its approach to digitalization of vessel operation.Like the worldview bubbles created by social media algorithms and fake news, the maritime industry is living in its own digitalization fantasyland - one fueled by vendor delusion and media misinformation.

30 Mar 2020

AAM Takes Over Hydrogen Ferry New Build

(Photo: All American Marine)

All American Marine, Inc. (AAM) won a contract by SWITCH Maritime (SW/TCH) to complete the aluminum construction and outfitting of a 70-foot 84-passenger zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered, electric drive ferry that will operate in the California Bay Area (referred to as the ‘Water-Go-Round’ project).Prior to transfer to AAM, the project had begun at Bay Ship & Yacht shipyard in Alameda, Calif. where the aluminum hull and superstructure had been started. Bronson Lamb, AAM Marketing Manager…

25 Mar 2020

EPA Tier 4: Difficult and Contentious, 12 Years and Counting

© JinnaritT / Adobe Stock

When it comes to complying with EPA’s Tier 4 emissions regulations, there’s no shortage of creativity emerging from America’s maritime engineering firms. Companies such as Hug Engineering are offering flexible, customized aftertreatment-based control systems that can assemble almost in modular like fashion. Other companies, such as ABB Group, offer battery-hybrid power sources to complement combustion power and avoid threshold diesel emissions. Engine manufacturers, such as Cummins…

24 Mar 2020

Ransomware: The IT Danger on the Horizon

© arrow/AdobeStock

Two decades into the 21st century, we’re seeing a growing and pernicious threat to global information security: ransomware. Even non-technical folk have loosely heard of it, but the broader implications haven’t yet penetrated the public consciousness. In different industries, that general lack of awareness could be a big problem—and the maritime sector is a good example.Ransomware hits at the confluence of two critical trends in modern technology: the ever-increasing integration of IT systems into daily life, and the interconnectedness of those IT systems.

02 Mar 2020

MAN Rolls Out Cyber Security Solution

MAN EngineVault prepares shipowners for developments within the increasingly important
area of marine cybersecurity (Photo: MAN Energy Solutions)

MAN Energy Solutions’ after-sales division MAN PrimeServ announced a new digital addition to its retrofit portfolio to prepare shipowners for developments within the area of marine cyber security.MAN EngineVault aims to revitalize existing engines, machinery, auxiliary systems, instrumentation and control systems that have already operated in the field for multiple years, protecting main-engine networks from online and physical cyber attacks.Set to come as come as standard in newbuilt ME-engines from May 2020…

02 Mar 2020

Business and Personnel Considerations in the Age of Autonomous Ships:

Image: videotrinkets/AdobeStock

There is much talk among maritime professionals about how automation and autonomous vessels will make the industry safer. In truth, innovation will be driven by the bottom line and will take time before it is commonplace in the industry. Early examples are likely to be limited to smaller vessels and coastal waters. Autonomous ships are predicted to reduce human error, a major driver of accidents, but crews will still have an important role on board vessels for the foreseeable future.Recent TrialsIn December 2018…

25 Feb 2020

Kongsberg to Equip Mystic Cruises Newbuilds

Photo: Kongsberg Maritime

Kongsberg Maritime said it has won contracts worth approximately 300 million NOK ($32 million) to equip three adventure cruise ships, with a fourth to follow, for Portuguese cruise company Mystic Cruises.Built by WestSea Viana Shipyard in Portugal, the vessels are to be used for expeditions in the polar regions.The 126-meter, 9,300-metric-ton luxury craft will join an existing trio of sister ships to bring the fleet to seven identical vessels, the first of which – World Explorer – entered service in 2019.

07 Jan 2020

USCG, ABS Approve Wireless Helm System for ATBs

The Sea Machines SM200 Wireless Helm System (Image: Sea Machines)

U.S.-based autonomous marine systems developer Sea Machines announced on Tuesday that it has received class and regulatory approval to install its commercial wireless helm system aboard a class of U.S.-flag tugboats that support articulated tug-barge (ATB) sets, marking an industry first in wireless vessel control.The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) approval for Sea Machines’ SM200 follows a review of the Boston-based company’s technology and the system’s applications aboard ATB tugs, deeming the system satisfactory for shipboard installation and trials.

19 Dec 2019

LR Awards Wärtsilä Cyber Certification

Photo: Wärtsilä

Lloyd’s Register (LR) has awarded Wärtsilä system-level cyber certification for its network architecture relating to Wärtsilä’s integrated main and auxiliary machinery. The LR’s ShipRight SAFE AL2 certification, which is with Wärtsilä’s Data Collection Unit (WDCU), gives Approval-in-Principle (AiP) for the entire Wärtsilä integrated system network, rather than for any individual component. The certification is one of the first of its kind to be awarded globally.At a time when information and operational technologies onboard ships are being networked together…

18 Dec 2019

Risk & Reward of The Internet of (Maritime) Things

Copyright: THATREE/AdobeStock

The Internet of Maritime Things (IoMT) is coming! Start planning now.The Internet of Things (IoT) is already with us. You can get a doorbell camera that allows you to see on your smartphone who is at or approaching your front door. You can also get a refrigerator that keeps track of items inside and will advise you when you are running low (maybe on beer). It can also automatically place orders with your local grocery store for replenishment. Your automobile will attempt to keep you in your lane and avoid collisions while keeping track of where you are…

11 Dec 2019

ABB Delivers for Icebreaking LNG Carrier Fleet

Photo: ABB

The final vessel in 15-ship series enters service for Yamal LNG project ahead of schedule.Yakov Gakkel, owned by joint venture between Teekay LNG Partners and China LNG Partners, joins a fleet of 15 specially designed tankers transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) year-round from one of Russia’s most significant export developments in a generation, Yamal LNG.Built in less than six years and to ARC7 ice class, fifteen 170,000m3 capacity vessels have opened the Northern Sea Route…

09 Dec 2019

Rolls-Royce, RAL Collaborate on LNG Pushboat

DNV-GL issued an Approval In Principle to Robert Allen Ltd for its shallow-draft pushboat design developed in conjunction with Rolls-Royce, featuring MTU gas engines from Rolls-Royce. (Photo: Rolls-Royce)

Rolls-Royce and Canadian vessel designers Robert Allan have developed the world's first shallow-water push boat powered by LNG natural gas engines. DNV GL gave its “Approval in Principle” to the new design at the International Workboat Show in New Orleans. “The interest of the market regarding the design study of Robert Allan and Rolls-Royce confirms that the decision was right to develop a lean-burn gas engine. We have found operators across the globe who have seen the benefits of operational costs in addition to the reduction of environmental impact…

20 Nov 2019

VDRs for Inland Vessels: Does It Make Sense?

Image Credit: Danelec

It just might. And, you’ve got options.The Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) carriage requirements apply to all passenger ships regardless of gross tons or year of build, and to all cargo ships 3000 gross tons or larger built after 2002. A simplified VDR (S-VDR) is allowed on older ships built before 2002. The performance standard was updated in 2014. That said; a full type-approved VDR is not a requirement for inland vessels under 3,000 GT. Nevertheless, a good case to be made for installing a (less costly) data recording device on such vessels…

19 Nov 2019

Naval Dome Unveils Maritime Security Solution

Pic by  Naval Dome

Israel-based cyber security specialist Naval Dome has introduced a new software-based cyber protection that can be easily installed on all ship, port, or offshore OT systems, including navigational equipment, machinery control systems and cargo handling equipment.S-Marine Dome and S-Port Dome are aimed at those ship, offshore energy and terminal operators requiring instant protection without having to go through lengthy type approval processes or can no longer afford to wait for suppliers to upgrade or replace critical systems.Naval Dome Vice President…

14 Nov 2019

USCG PSC Equals meaningful Polar Presence

An emperor penguin poses for a photo in front of the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star in McMurdo Sound near Antarctica on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. The crew of the Seattle-based Polar Star is on its way to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze 2018, the U.S. military’s contribution to the National Science Foundation-managed U.S. Antarctic Program. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Nick Ameen.

The Coast Guard needs a ship that can do more than just break ice; it needs a multi-mission ship to provide for the nation’s security, asserting its sovereign rights, and protecting its long-term economic interests. That ship is the Polar Security Cutter.Since Russia cashed the check in 1867 for the purchase of Alaska the U.S. has been an Arctic nation. Today, it is one of eight countries that have territorial land or seas above the Arctic Circle or in the polar region (six of those countries have Arctic Ocean coastline or an exclusive economic zone above the Arctic Circle). The U.S.

13 Nov 2019

Taming Ferry Wakes and Reducing CO2

Image: Glosten

Will Moon was one of my very early engineering interns (and also helped me finish out the second story of my house decades ago). He has since moved to the West Coast and has worked for the naval architecture firm Glosten for quite a while now. On Marinelink.com I saw a quick flash of a foiling passenger ferry and the name Glosten and I contacted him for a closer look.Will provided me with more information and this is one of those cases where I really like what I see. This is still an early concept that was developed with the designers and composites engineers at Bieker Boats…

12 Nov 2019

DMC Steering System for Sunstone

Pic: Damen Marine Components (DMC)

Netherlands-based Damen Marine Components (DMC) will supply the rudders and steering gear for SunStone Ships' fifth Infinity-class polar expedition cruise ship.The 200-passenger vessel will be built by China Merchants Heavy Industries to an Ulstein design. The contract was awarded once again by propulsion specialist Brunvoll Volda, with whom DMC is working on this ongoing series.DMC will supply two Van der VeldenATLANTIC rudders and two Van der Velden COMMANDER rotary vane steering gear systems.

14 Nov 2019

DMC Chosen for SunStone’s Fifth Infinity-Class Vessel

Photo: DMC

Damen Marine Components (DMC) received acontract to supply the rudders and steering gear for the fifth Infinity-class vessel to be built for SunStone Ships by China Merchants Heavy Industries to an Ulstein design. The contract was awarded by Brunvoll Volda, with whom DMC is working on this ongoing series.DMC will supply two Van der Velden ATLANTIC rudders and two Van der Velden COMMANDER rotary vane steering gear systems. The ATLANTIC is a full-spade rudder with a surface area of eight square meters and steering gear torque of 110 kNm.

06 Nov 2019

Goldwind Wins Certification LiDAR Tech

Photo: DNV GL

Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Goldwind is the world’s first OEM to receive DNV GL’s Component Certification for its LiDAR Assisted Control system.The certificate is issued according to DNV GL’s own Type and Component Certification Service Specification in conjunction with the Recommended Practice for new Technology Qualification.LiDAR, which stands for “Light Detection And Ranging”, is a technique where a laser source is used to sense the incoming wind field in front of a wind turbine rotor.

10 Oct 2019

Autonomous Shipping – Cyber Hazards Ahead

A look at the typical areas most frequently seen as the scene of common accidents on board workboats. (source: European Maritime Safety Agency [EMSA])

If autonomous vessels are the future of maritime shipping, then cyber threats may be its Achilles heel. Congested shipping, restricted visibility, limited maneuverability, and intensive docking activities all contribute to port hazards – 42 percent of EU reported marine accidents (injury/death/damage to ships) took place in port areas and 44 percent of workboat fatalities occurred on Tugs. Autonomous shipping should provide numerous benefits including increased safety by relieving crewmembers of unsafe and repetitious tasks.

11 Nov 2019

Wes Amelie Retrofit for Synthetic Natural Gas

Photo: Wärtsilä

The technology group Wärtsilä, in collaboration with PSA Marine, has achieved a breakthrough in its IntelliTug project.Following the successful installation of a first-of-its-kind Dynamic Positioning (DP) system onboard the harbor tug ‘PSA Polaris’, trials are now being carried out in the Port of Singapore under real-world conditions. This phase of the project implementation, which has been approved by Lloyd’s Register, moves the bar higher on safety standards for vessel automation and autonomy.

14 Oct 2019

INSIGHTS: Michael G. Johnson

Michael G. johnson, Sea Machines CEO & President

Sea Machines Robotics CEO & President.Michael Gordon Johnson is a marine engineer, an accomplished entrepreneur and sector leader with a primary goal of building progressive and sustainable innovation for modern society. He is the founder of Sea Machines, a Boston-based tech company that is a leading provider of autonomous control and intelligent perception systems for marine vessels. Johnson earned a marine engineering degree from Texas A&M University before starting a career focused on complex projects in offshore oil and gas, marine transportation and salvage.

15 Oct 2019

Cyber Hack: Fortifying Maritime, Port Security

© denisismagilov/Adobe Stock

The United States Coast Guard Marine Safety Alert 06-19 (USCG MSA 06-19) outlines a February 2019 incident aboard a deep draft commercial vessel that called on the Port of New York / New Jersey after experiencing a significant cyber incident that impacted their shipboard network. The Safety Alert stated in part:“An interagency team of cyber experts, led by the Coast Guard, responded and conducted an analysis of the vessel’s network and essential control systems. The team concluded that although the malware significantly degraded the functionality of the onboard computer system…

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