ABB At SMM

By Jack Burke05 September 2018

The ABB Ability Marine Pilot Control dynamic positioning (DP) system, unveiled at the maritime trade fair SMM, is designed to simplify ship maneuvering with what the company calls an intuitive touchscreen-based user interface.
With its user-centric design, ABB said the Ability Marine Pilot Control reduces the workload on automating navigational tasks and allows bridge officers to focus holistically on the overall control and positioning of the ship. The system is designed to integrate seamlessly with existing onboard equipment and ensures ease of installation and maintenance, adding significant “bridge-to-propeller” value for the shipowners.
ABB said one of the key benefits of the new system is that it allows the operator to switch to joystick control for maneuvering the vessel at any speed and all the way to docking. ABB Ability Marine Pilot Control employs algorithms that calculate the optimal way of executing a command for controlling the vessel in any operational situation. The overall safety of the operation is increased as the crew is able to maintain full situational awareness, rather than having to focus on changing control modes.
The system has obtained Lloyd’s Register’s (LR) Approval in Principle (AiP) certificate, announced at SMM. LR is a leading international provider of classification, compliance and consultancy services to the marine industry.
“Lloyd’s Register 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, Marine & Offshore, Lloyd’s Register. “As digital technologies progress, increased collaboration between original equipment manufacturers, classification societies and ship owners will become key. This project highlights the collaborative work ethic between LR and ABB to achieve this milestone.”
“ABB Ability Marine Pilot Control is an example of pioneering technology that is already available today and will act as a stepping stone into the future of autonomous shipping,” said Mikko Lepistö, senior vice president Digital Solutions at ABB Marine & Ports. “To enable autonomous shipping, we need a DP system that replaces traditional solutions designed for disconnected operations. Embracing new technologies for the human-machine interface and offering tangible safety and efficiency benefits, ABB Ability Marine Pilot Control does exactly that.”
Together with the ABB Ability Marine Pilot Vision, launched in 2017 to offer multiple real-time visualizations of a vessel’s surroundings, the new DP system will create a full 3D situational awareness and an intuitive operating environment with the dedicated purpose of operating the ship in a safe and efficient manner, the company said.
The new DP system can be connected to the ABB Ability Collaborative Operations Center infrastructure, which monitors the performance of ABB technology on board and remotely connects operators with ABB experts.

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