Looking forward to the future of bridge operation

31 Dec 2010

Kongsberg Maritime unveiled a new focus for its offshore aft bridge workstation during SMM 2010. The K-Master platform is now available in a new, redesigned version, as a forward looking bridge, workstation, enabling skippers and crew to navigate and manoeuvre from a single seated position, with all relevant systems, such as propulsion control, chart radar and conning display, at their finger tips.

“K-Master was originally conceived as an intuitive, safety and efficiency enhancing control solution for more complex offshore operations such as anchor handling,” explained Roy Larsen, marketing manager, Kongsberg Maritime. “However, the concept of a seated operator with all systems on-hand naturally transfers to other applications, so our engineers have re-designed K-Master to make it suitable for forward bridge operations.”

K-Master’s touch-screen operation is designed to ensure that all control functions and data are within easy reach of the sitting operator. The original version was introduced to the market at Nor-Shipping in June 2009 and can include a wide variety of sub-systems including dynamic positioning, independent DP joystick, thruster control, machinery automation and cargo control, chart radar and conning display, and bridge auxiliaries.

With K-Master as the primary navigation and manoeuvring workstation, the company says that vessel builders now have the opportunity to completely re-imagine the integrated bridge system. One particular market area where the new K-Master version is targeted is superyachts and megayachts, but Kongsberg Maritime says it is applicable to any vessel where style and individuality are high on the owner’s wish list. K-Master is based on research into human factors and ergonomics carried out by Kongsberg over the course of several years, with the end result offering safety and operational improvements, leading, according to the company, to improved efficiency and fewer operator errors.

“We have found that many luxury vessel makers and owners look to the offshore and merchant market for systems and inspiration, because they know it’s where they will find the top-end equipment that will ensure fault free and functionality rich operation,” said Larsen, adding that the K-Master design was recognised with an award for design excellence from the Norwegian Design Council earlier in 2010.

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