ABB Ability Marine Pilot Control DP system has an intuitive touchscreen interface (Image: ABB)
ABB showcased its new ABB Ability Marine Pilot Control dynamic positioning (DP) system at maritime trade fair SMM in Hamburg, Germany on 5 September.
ABB Ability Marine Pilot Control automates navigational tasks by using algorithms to calculate the optimal way of executing a command for controlling the vessel in any operational situation. This enables bridge officers to focus holistically on the overall control and positioning of the ship, simplifying manoeuvring processes and increasing operational safety. Operators can also easily switch to using manual joystick controls to manoeuvre the vessel at any speed and all the way to docking if necessary.
“To enable autonomous shipping, we need a DP system that replaces traditional solutions designed for disconnected operations,” said Mikko Lepistö, senior vice president of Digital Solutions at ABB Marine & Ports. “Embracing new technologies for the human-machine interface and offering tangible safety and efficiency benefits, ABB Ability Marine Pilot Control does exactly that.”
Designed to integrate with existing equipment on the bridge, the DP system is part of the ABB Ability platform, which uses the Microsoft Azure cloud. It can be combined with ABB Ability Marine Pilot Vision, which was launched in 2017 to offer multiple real-time visualisations of a vessel’s surroundings, to provide ship captains and marine pilots with full 3D situational awareness. Plus, the DPS system can be connected to the ABB Ability Collaborative Operations Center infrastructure, which monitors the performance of any onboard technology from ABB and remotely connects operators with ABB experts.
“ABB Ability Marine Pilot Control works to leverage our experience with all aspects of the ship from bridge to propeller and enables operators to navigate the vessels of the future regardless of propulsion system or power generation,” said Juha Koskela, managing director of ABB Marine & Ports. “By designing solutions from the ground up to meet today’s requirements, we position our technology in a way that is able to incorporate future technologies in a secure, yet easy way.”
International classification society Lloyd’s Register’s (LR) has already awarded the system an Approval in Principle certificate.
“LR is focused on supporting the introduction of new solutions to the shipping industry that enhance safer, more efficient and sustainable ship operations,” said David Barrow, commercial director for Marine and Offshore at LR. “As digital technologies progress, increased collaboration between original equipment manufacturers, classification societies and shipowners will become key. This project highlights the collaborative work ethic between LR and ABB to achieve this milestone.”
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