Schottel, Ulstein Announce Digitalization Agreement

By Jack Burke12 July 2019

Ulstein and Schottel said they will cooperate on automation and digitalization within marine operations through the former Ulstein subsidiary, Ulstein Blue CTRL.

The two firms said Ulstein Blue CTRL will continue as an independent company under the name Blue CTRL with Ulstein and Schottel owning 50% of its shares. Deliveries from the company will be based on the X-Connect platform, which Ulstein has been developing for future marine automation since 2011. X-Connect is described as a universal digital platform for marine automation, control and monitoring. All functionality in the system is predefined and configurable supporting the philosophy of configure, plug and play. Besides systems for newbuilding projects, the new cooperation will also offer systems suitable for vessel upgrades.

“There are many similarities between our companies. We are both privately owned. This implies the possibility o

f long-term strategic business concepts. We believe that we have products which are highly complementary”, said Tore Ulstein, deputy CEO in Ulstein Group. “Seen from the designer’s perspective, we believe that a closer integration between the development of the marine platform and the propulsion system will give far better operations of the vessel. If we manage to streamline more data between the different systems on board, we can optimize dynamic positioning and operations. This again will lead to reduced fuel consumption, reduced emission hence greener operations.”

Schottel is oftentimes already present on the vessel’s bridge with propulsion control systems, the

Tore Ulstein

companies said. Propulsion controls together with the recent development of further assistance and positioning systems have always been a strategic focus for Schottel.

“We very much look forward to this cooperation in Blue CTRL and to start the common development of intelligent systems for marine automation and digitalization,” said Stefan Kaul, president, Industrial Operations and CEO of Schottel.  “The Blue CTRL systems will not only enable us to offer our customers smarter and integrated controls for both newbuilding and existing vessels, but also provide a solid system for the offering of hybrid and electric solutions. Partnerships are essential in the current market. With the independent set up of Blue CTRL, with a clear focus on the development of automation and digital services, we ensure that we continue to serve our customers as the innovative and global propulsion experts.”

Stefan Kaul

The companies described the X-Connect platform as the backbone for a range of products; Alarm and Monitoring System, Integrated Automation System (IAS), Energy Management, Power Management System and the BLUE BOX.

The Schottel Group, with its headquarters in Spay/Rhine, is a leading manufacturer of propulsion and steering systems for ships and offshore applications. Founded in 1921, the company has been developing and manufacturing azimuth propulsion and maneuvering systems, complete propulsion systems with power ratings of up to 30 MW, and steering systems for vessels of all sizes and types, for around 70 years.

Ulstein, founded in 1917, is a family-owned company with presence in five countries and headquartered in Ulsteinvik, Norway. Ulstein delivers products and services within ship design, shipbuilding and equipment packages to the international market. In total, Ulstein Verft has built more than 300 vessels, and more than 100 vessel designs with the X-BOW has been delivered from Ulstein Design & Solutions.

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