Working with companies which offer a complete provision of control solutions on superyachts, including engine remote controls, alarm and monitoring, valve control systems and pneumatics, seems an easy way to ensure that your owner and crew have a safe and efficient journey. But what exactly does ‘complete provision’ mean, and should owners be working more with this type of company?
It might go without saying, but companies offering this complete service ensure that the full life cycle of a yacht is covered: from consultancy, to development, to refit. This is beneficial because the industry today is a very specific market which poses challenges to technology. Superyacht customers need tailor-made system solutions to meet the diverse demands of their yachts. At the same time, the limited availability of commodities and environmental aspects must gain more and more influence on the engineering.
As engineering rapidly develops, it can sometimes be difficult to access, understand and correctly fit/repair new and legacy parts on different yachts. However, with a proper and complete archive of all parts and documentation, support and refit teams can more readily know what to expect.
Below, we explore how innovation, environmental considerations and retrofit can stand to benefit from the ‘complete provider’ approach.
The fact that these companies provide control systems for a range of products within the marine industry allows them unique insight into what needs to be improved. This can lead to accelerated innovation, solving real-time issues for engineers.
For example, market leader Aventics Marine provides complete solutions for the control and monitoring of drivetrains from different stations. The company argues that its control levers and new joystick system meet today’s technical crew requests for easy and intuitive operation with state of the art design.
“Solidly based on the experience of many years, Aventics Marine is constantly keeping up with the demands of the time. Our engineers do not cease to further develop our modular ship control Marex OS along with the changes in engine and propulsion technology.
Customer specific solutions as hybrid systems, special functions or displays are also possible; developed and commissioned in close contact with our clients by our experienced team of project engineers in Germany.
We continually extend our product line with new functions and products because we are quick to recognise demand. For example, in 2015 the MAREX 3D joystick system entered the market. A handy addition to the MAREX OS III system, it allows for intuitive operation when manoeuvring in marinas.”
Patrick Ciebilski, Sales Manager at Aventics Marine
Electro-pneumatic options for less risk
A full understanding of different engine systems also means that complete providers are very aware of the environmental demands of the time, and how best to meet them.
With many years’ experience creating efficient systems, Aventics Marine tries to keep up with these demands by fitting intelligent electro-pneumatic systems to control tanks which contain different kinds of fluids, e. g. fuel, potable or bilge water. The scope includes control cabinets, butterfly valves and actuators, SOS units and backup panels. Using air, these electro-pneumatic systems are much greener than oil-based hydraulics, with the added benefit that there will be no leakage if a pipe is broken. Pneumatic actuators are more reliable than electric alternatives and they can be located in tanks directly.
Systems like these can also be made easy to operate through intuitive interface options such as remote touch screen operation, monitoring and data bus communication. This allows for anyone, no matter their level of technical expertise, to be aware of the vessel’s tank ballast control.
A major part of business for a complete provider of control systems is refit, but knowledge of the refit process is bolstered significantly by knowledge of previous consultation and development. Retrofit planning, delivery and commissioning should be advised upon by an expert who is aware of the technical challenges to be considered.
For example, Aventics Marine advises that vessels using previous versions of AVENTICS controls e.g. WABCO Westinghouse, Mannesmann Rexroth, or Marex RG II control systems can be updated easily. Optimal functionality, safety and legacy part-availability poses a challenge when using older systems and their components. So, the company makes spare parts readily available to its customers, with fast preparation and delivery.
So should owners seek out a complete provider for engine control solutions in the approach to this year’s Refit season? Every owner is different, and obviously it depends on their preferences, as well as that of their engineers. But it certainly seems like a good way to ensure a worry-free journey.