Photo: Bachmann

Bachmann, RTI team up on DDS-based solution for autonomous shipping

Austrian electronics manufacturer Bachmann electronic and US software company Real-Time Innovations (RTI) have partnered up to support Germany’s network Platform Industrie 4.0 through cross-vendor interoperability without a gateway.

Ulstein vessel graphic. Courtesy of Bachmann

Together, RTI and Bachmann provide secure connectivity from edge to cloud for real-time data exchange regardless of vendor, platform or domain, to benefit industrial use cases such as autonomous shipping.

As informed, Bachmann, a global automation solutions provider for the energy, industrial and maritime sectors, will provide users of the Bachmann M1 Controller System with a customized Connext software framework to enable a flexible platform for automation projects.

An example of a forward-looking maritime automation products developer, which foresees a positive outcome of this cooperation for the maritime industry is Blue Ctrl.

“Blue Ctrl develops and delivers future-oriented … marine automation products based on the X-CONNECT platform. X-CONNECT has been using RTI Connext DDS as its communication middleware for many years, and supports controllers from Bachmann as external information gateways,” Ronny Hamre, Senior Development Engineer at Blue Ctrl, commented.

“Systems based on X-CONNECT have been … delivered on more than 50 ships, ranging from small aquaculture support vessels to large cable laying vessels and cruise ships. Blue Ctrl believes that this partnership between RTI and Bachmann will not only make it easier to use Bachmann hardware in X-CONNECT products, but also make it easier for the maritime industry to gain access to data through future-oriented smart protocols, such as DDS.”

RTI Connext is based on the Data Distribution Service (DDS) standard and offers capabilities specifically designed for the most demanding distributed computing environments. RTI is also said to offer advanced services and support to help architect a future-proof system that offers massive scalability and minimizes project risk.

Specifically, supported native port eliminates integration challenges between DDS and non-DDS users, increases application security and reduces time to market.

According to the duo, the partnership delivers a successful solution to several customers in the maritime industry, where a safe and secure connectivity framework is particularly crucial for diagnostics and data center applications.

“Together, RTI and Bachmann are helping marine operators enable safe, reliable and massively scalable remote operations across platforms – making it uniquely suitable for remote operation of autonomous systems,” Ronald Epskamp, Head of Maritime at Bachmann electronic, said.

“This announcement builds on the work that we initiated in 2016. We are pleased that our maritime-approved controller system with its full range of benefits, has now been integrated into RTI’s standard Connext DDS software.”