Automation and digitalisation partnership

X-CONNECT is a universal digital platform for marine automation, control and monitoring X-CONNECT is a universal digital platform for marine automation, control and monitoring

Ulstein and Schottel have announced that they will start cooperating on automation and digitalisation within marine operations.

The former Ulstein subsidiary, Ulstein Blue CTRL, will continue as an independent company under the name Blue CTRL. Both Ulstein and Schottel will own 50 per cent of the shares in the company. Deliveries from the company will be based on the unique .

Norway-headquartered shipbuilder Ulstein has been developing the X-CONNECT platform for future marine automation since 2011. Schottel has long traditions for developing control and automation systems with regards to a wide range of ship propulsion systems.

X-CONNECT is a universal digital platform for marine automation, control and monitoring. All functionality in the system is predefined and configurable supporting the work philosophy; configure, plug and play. Besides systems for newbuilding projects the new cooperation will also offer systems suitable for vessel upgrades. The X-CONNECT platform is the backbone for a range of products; Alarm and Monitoring System, Integrated Automation System (IAS), Energy Management, Power Management System and the BLUE BOX.

“There are many similarities between our companies. We are both privately owned. This implies the possibility of long-term strategic business concepts. We believe that we have products which are highly complementary”, said Tore Ulstein, deputy CEO at Ulstein Group and continues: “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 optimise dynamic positioning and operations. This again will lead to reduced fuel consumption, reduced emission hence greener operations.”

Traditionally German marine propulsion company Schottel is already present on the vessel’s bridge with propulsion control systems. Propulsion controls together with the recent development of further assistance and positioning systems have always been a strategic focus.

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,” said Stefan Kaul, President Industrial Operations & CEO at Schottel.

By Jake Frith

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