Schottel, Ulstein Partner Up on Maritime Automation, Digitalization

Norway’s Ulstein and Germany’s Schottel have decided to start cooperating to take the next step in automation and digitalization within marine operations.

As informed, the duo will cooperate in a new company and focus on the development of intelligent systems for marine automation and digitalization.

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 percent of the shares in the company.

Deliveries from the company will be based on the X-CONNECT platform that has been developed by Ulstein for future marine automation since 2011.

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.

“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,” Tore Ulstein, deputy CEO in Ulstein Group, explained.

“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.”

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

“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,” he added.

With its headquarters in Ulsteinvik, Ulstein focuses on products and services within ship design, shipbuilding and equipment packages.

Based in Spay/Rhine, Schottel manufactures propulsion and steering systems for ships and offshore applications.