The automated braking system is the new digital solution for ship safety
Royal Caribbean Group and ABB have collaborated to develop the ABB Ability Marine Braking Assistance system, which is designed to minimise a ship’s stopping time and distance without compromising steering capability.
Once activated with the push of a button, the Marine Braking Assistance system triggers an automated braking sequence, which optimises the angles and power of all the Azipod propulsion units on a vessel based on its vessel position, heading and speed. This allows maximum braking efficiency and gives operators time to address other urgent matters while retaining control over steering.
Automating the braking sequence minimises the wear and tear caused by vibration cavitation and braking transformers heating up under manual control. The system also eliminates the risks associated with using manual braking to hard stop a ship in an emergency, such as the chance of steering loss in vessels with shaftline propulsion and the need for increased crew intervention on ships with podded propellers.
ABB’s system was first installed onboard Royal Caribbean International’s Wonder of the Seas and was tested by French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique before the vessel embarked on its maiden voyage in March 2022.
“We at ABB take great pride in introducing new technologies to the industry to improve safety and add value for our customers,” said Kalevi Tervo, global programme manager at ABB Marine and Ports. “Marine Braking Assistance is a good example of a co-creation project where we, in close collaboration with Royal Caribbean Group, developed a solution that makes a real operational difference.”
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