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Steering and maneuvering device with a rotatable plate to give commands for an azimuthing propulsion unit

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000238666D
Publication Date: 2014-Sep-10
Document File: 5 page(s) / 587K

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The IP.com Prior Art Database

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The device has a touchscreen operating panel to indicate actual angle, angle reference, dimming options and control acceptance. Steering order is done by using a rotating plate for accurate order giving. The order accuracy is done by turning the rotating plate either really slowly affecting only to decimal of steering angle order, or turning the plate faster when the desired affect is a degree or more. Angle order can be also set on a touch screen. System gives user a color indication of the turning direction by illuminating steering plate with green/white/red signal colors. When turning port side it is lid in green, when starboard it is red and white can indicate the control position, for example when you take the operation place from Bridge center to wing. This helps to reduce wrong interpretations and gives clear indication for the rest of the crew. One touch operating panel indicates actual angle, angle reference, RPM control, dimming options and control acceptance between units.

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Steering and maneuvering device with a rotatable plate to give commands for an azimuthing  propulsion unit 

Today's challenges in ship operation 

Maneuvering of a ship is traditionally done by using a wheel and azimuth levers. The key points of  operation situational awareness are a need of accuracy in controlling and a clear indication and  feedback of wanted command. In today's command bridge solutions all the bridge controllers are based  on analog technology. The digital indicators feedback is just a half way for digitalizing the whole ship  controlling system. Precise and accurate operation with existing controls can be difficult and sometimes  requires also inappropriate methods. For example when the operator want to adjust the given value  such as revolutions per minute, power or steering angle of the Azipod® propulsion unit, using the  conventional azimuth control lever or mini wheel, sometimes the operator must tap the lever with a pen  to enable fine and precise change. In those situations also the feedback of analogical indicators on the  lever is not delivered clearly for the rest of the bridge crew. 


Revolutionary Azipod® Plate 

ABB Marine Finland has invented a new way of controlling the ship. The new ship controller - Azipod®  Plate is adaptable, accurate, multiuse and hygienic. This new idea significantly increases the accuracy of  steering and propulsion commands, and therefore saves energy and mechanics. In addition on this it  increases safety in the operation. Normally operator has to look at the lever in order to know what  command he/she is giving at the time, and feedback instead is visible elsewhere. This invention of new  Azipod® Plates tackle many problems at once.  

Steering order can be done by using a rotating plate for accurate order. The order accuracy can be  adjusted by turning speed, really slowly affect is only to decimal of steering order, turning faster affect a  degree and really fast even faster.  Angle order can be also set on a touch screen. Azipod® Plate gives  user a color indication of turning direction by illuminating a plate with green/white/red signal colors,  reducing wrong interpretations. 


Advantage of improved technologies 

Fully digitalized azimuth plates enable users' more accurate steering orders, varying the order accuracy  due to the turning speed. This can be programmed to affect the turning speed of Azipod® as well. 

Propulsion orders are shown exactly and in the right place /places. Touchscreen technology together  with Azimuth plates ensure removal of human error...