Ulstein and Schottel team up to develop ship digitalisation and automation

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche
ShipInsight

15 July 2019


Norwegian shipbuilder Ulstein Group has teamed up with propulsion equipment manufacturer to co-operate on developing automation and digitalisation within marine operations.

The former Ulstein automation subsidiary, Ulstein Blue CTRL, will continue as an independent company under the name Blue CTRL. Both Ulstein and Schottel will own half of the shares in the company. Deliveries from the company will be based on the X-CONNECT platform.

X-CONNECT is a universal digital platform for marine automation, control and monitoring developed by Blue CTRL since 2011. 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.

“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 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 optimise dynamic positioning and operations. This again will lead to reduced fuel consumption, reduced emission hence greener operations.”

Traditionally 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 for the company.

“We very much look forward to this cooperation in Blue CTRL and to start the common development of intelligent systems for marine automation and digitalisation. 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 serve our customers as the innovative and global propulsion experts,” said Stefan Kaul, President Industrial Operations & CEO in Schottel