ABB paves the way towards autonomous shipping

ABB has launched the AbilityTM Marine Pilot Control dynamic positioning (DP) system, simplifying ship manoeuvring with an intuitive touchscreen-based user interface.

Featuring a user-centric design the AbilityTM Marine Pilot Control dynamic positioning (DP) system allows bridge officers to focus on the overall control and positioning of the ship by further automating navigational tasks. The system integrates seamlessly with existing onboard equipment, and ensures ease of installation and maintenance, adding significant “bridge-to-propeller” value for the shipowners.

One of the key benefits of the new system is that it allows the operator to switch to joystick control for manoeuvring the vessel at any speed, including docking. ABB AbilityTM Marine Pilot Control employs algorithms that calculate the optimal way of executing a command for controlling the vessel in any operational situation. Crew can maintain full situational awareness rather than having to focus on changing control modes, enhancing the overall safety of the operation.

The system has obtained Lloyd’s Register’s (LR) Approval in Principle (AiP) certificate.

“ABB AbilityTM Marine Pilot Control is an example of the pioneering technology available today. It will act as a stepping stone into the future of autonomous shipping,” says 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 AbilityTM Marine Pilot Control does exactly that.”

Used together with the ABB Ability™ Marine Pilot Vision, which offers multiple real-time visualizations of a vessel’s surroundings, the new DP system will create full 3D situational awareness.

“Our ‘Electric. Digital. Connected.’ vision is based on the principles of simplicity, efficiency and safety. ABB Ability™ Marine Pilot Control uses 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,” says 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.”

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.

ABB Ability™ is the company’s unified, cross-industry offering extending from device to edge to cloud, integrating data to and from products, systems, solutions and services to deliver actionable information. The ABB Ability™ platform uses Microsoft Azure as the cloud for its integrated connectivity, so users can access enterprise-grade infrastructure that benefits from Microsoft’s significant investment.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products. As title partner in ABB Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees. www.abb.com

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