In control

Focused on providing superior vessel control solutions to the international offshore and commercial shipping industries since its establishment in 2002, Marine Technologies LLC (MT) has become a world leader in the development of vessel control systems and a one-stop-shop resource for clients operating in the shipping and offshore industries. Having equipped its first vessel with an improved dynamic positioning (DP) system 16 months after its formation, the company went on to deliver more than 300 type-approved DP systems of all IMO classes alongside less complex DP and joystick solutions.

Based on a distributed architecture that focuses on both redundancy and segregation, the company’s Bridge Mate DP concept boasts a robust design with distributed operator stations, DP control computers and distributed thruster and sensor interface units. Each interface can be placed close to the thrusters, reference systems and sensors to be interfaced, while the interfaced units design makes the Bridge Mate system highly suitable for retrofit and upgrades.

Three systems are available to clients: Bridge Mate DP 1, DP 2 and DP 3. The first system is based on a fully distributed concept and has a single control computer, one operator station and separate IO units that interface the sensors, power source, positioning reference system and thrusters. The DP 2 system has the same modules as DP 1, but instead uses three control computers and two operator stations to comply with Class 2 rules. Using three control computers makes majority voting possible between the computers and also for a computer to be rejected, should it break down or fail. Meanwhile, the DP 3 system has an extended hardware configuration and consists of a triple redundant DP controller, three IO units to interface components and a physically separate, fire-safe compartment where one control computer, one operator station and one sensor IO unit are to be located in order for the system to comply with Class 3 requirements.

Since it was previously featured in Shipping & Marine magazine in July 2015 the company has responded to the challenges that are currently taking place within the offshore oil and gas industry by expanding into new markets; these include yacht, cruise, windfarm, fish farming and general maritime industry. This has proven to be a judicious decision for the firm, which today boasts a healthy order book thanks to a new contract to supply new windpower vessels that are being built by Ulstein as well as a number of other large contracts for clients within the offshore and commercial shipping industries.

“Over the last nine months we have mainly been operating on windmill support vessels,” says Sveinung Tollefesen, Managing Director & R&D manager of Marine Technologies LLC. “We have delivered a number of complete bridges for the windfarm support vessels. Based on the feedback we have received and the requirements for the next delivery to Ulstein on the Windea vessels we are now in the stage of delivering the first vessel that has extended functionality for windfarm support vessels. This includes functions to minimise the time used to get the vessel ready to connect the gangway and automatic sailing from one windmill to the next. The MTECDIS have also added special functions like drawing the vessel and gangway to the windmill in exact dimensions, time to other windmills and so on.”

He continues: “We have also been involved in specialised DP operations and delivered the first two cable lay and anchor assisted vessels in March 2016, which means special functions for cable lay and anchor/towing assistance are now available in the system. This is also able to be used on the external force environments. Furthermore, we have added more applications to the yacht specific market to our integrated solution; this is for navigation light, search light and other small bridge functions to get them available in the integrated solution.”

While it is presently in the process of starting to commission the first of the two Windea vessels on the Ulstein yard, MT is also focused on delivering high quality solutions to Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) – the company’s first entry into the cruise market. “MT got the first contract with RCCL for an upgrade of the DP system on one of their Cruise vessels. This is an important step into this company and market for MT and we hope to demonstrate our products successfully here so more Cruise vessels can be added to our project list,” highlights Sveinung.

Having taken a step away from more traditional markets, the company is currently enjoying a wave of success. However, not a company to rest on its laurels, MT has also maintained its focus on the development of new products and enhancement of existing products; a trend that will remain at the forefront of its operations, as Sveinung explains: “The upgraded MT-BB100 VSAT antenna has been in the market for almost a year now and we have received very good feedback on it. So we have extended this upgrade also to the MT-BB125 and MT-BB150. On top of this, we are also in the process of upgrading our IBS solution with several new or improved features and functions, including a new radar basis, a new chart radar, new navigation support applications as well as preparations for INS approval. Overall we believe this will make our total integrated bridge solution one of the most comprehensive and user friendly in the market.”

Keen to stay at the forefront of innovation in the maritime technology sector, both within the DP segment and with regard to integrated solutions for navigation, automation and communication as a whole, Marine Technologies’ goal of steady growth in all business segments is certain to continue as further opportunities in a diverse range of markets open up to the dynamic firm over the coming years.

Marine Technologies LLC
World leading developer of vessel control systems

Expanding into new markets such as cruise, windfarm and fish farming

Enhanced newest broadband system in 2016