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INTERSCHALT at the SMM Shipbuilding, Machinery & Marine Technology Trade Fair on September 4-7 in Hamburg, Germany: Hall B6, Booth 307

09-06-2012 11:19 AM CET | Industry, Real Estate & Construction

Press release from: INTERSCHALT

/ PR Agency: PRX


Innovations at the SMM 2012

- Green shipping: The new TROP trim optimization solution yields sustained reductions in fuel consumption
- IAMCS alarm monitoring system now with improved interface
- Bluetracker and Bluefleet - Online connections with your ship
- All-in-one (hardware, infrastructure, content) satellite communications solutions
- INTERSCHALT - A complete service provider, now with an expanded range of products and services

Schenefeld, Germany, August 7, 2012 - INTERSCHALT maritime systems AG will be presenting several highlights at this year's SMM trade fair, ranging from its new TROP trim optimization software and IMO-compliant ship monitoring system all the way to satellite communications and service solutions.

Illustration: The INTERSCHALT booth at the SMM trade fair
Caption: INTERSCHALT presents its latest innovations at the SMM 2012.
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The maritime-shipping industry has also been forced to contend with the key issues of energy efficiency and sustainability. Optimizing the trim of a ship is a good way to achieve lasting reductions in fuel consumption. In fact, trim optimization has been an object of investigation since the 1990s. Back then, forward-thinking German shipowners were using models in towing tests designed to determine the trim that produced the lowest resistance as a ship moved through water. These tests showed that in many cases a slightly lower forward draft yielded the ideal trim. Based on these findings, INTERSCHALT added a ballast optimization tool to its MACS3 loading computer system. However, over the next 15 years interest in this special module declined because the costs for conducting the associated towing tests proved to be too high.

Illustration: TROP screenshots
Caption: The TROP module from INTERSCHALT determines the ideal vessel trim, even for entire voyages.
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"These days, towing tests can be realistically and economically simulated with special software," states Bernhard Finke, a software developer at INTERSCHALT. "However, determining the optimum trim is one thing; being able to practically apply these findings in actual ship operation is another." After a ship has been loaded, the crew usually has only one method left to alter its trim: by using the ballast tanks. But here the following questions arise: How do the tanks need to be filled to achieve the ideal trim? How will this affect stability and strength? The new TROP trim optimization module, now fully integrated into INTERSCHALT's proven MACS3 loading computer system, answers these critical questions. As Bernhard Finke notes: "The user can now even automatically determine the best ballast distribution necessary to save the greatest amount of fuel." In making its calculations, TROP also takes into account all safety regulations pertaining to stability and strength.
So how much fuel can be saved? The answer to this question does depend on many factors, such as the size of the ship, its speed, the weather, how calm or rough the sea is, and so on. Here's an example for a medium-sized container ship with approximately 7,500 TEU of capacity: At a speed of 20 knots, it's realistic to expect savings of 2 to 3%. At a bunker price of around $600 per ton of fuel, this yields savings of from $1,500 to $2,200 per day.
At this year's SMM, INTERSCHALT will present its new TROP trim optimization software to the broader maritime industry for the first time.

Illustration: STOWMAN screenshots
Caption: INTERSCHALT's STOWMAN stowage planning system supports semi-automated stowage planning (left) and provides a fast overview of a ship's entire stowage area (right). The new TROP module will now also be integrated into STOWMAN.
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Transmission of ship data in close to real time

At the SMM, INTERSCHALT will also present its Bluetracker solution for complete, integrated remote monitoring of vessels. Whether it's inefficient vessel operation causing excessive fuel consumption, malfunctioning ship systems or the current status of fuel bunkers, Bluetracker's system of automatic acquisition and transmission of operational data provides an almost real-time picture of exactly what's happening onboard. At regular intervals, Bluetracker automatically queries data from various onboard systems, such as engine-room monitoring and control systems, automation systems and bunker fill-level sensors, collects it, and then saves it in an SQL database.
The data is transmitted to shore, where the ship's owner can view it by means of a web application without having to install any additional hardware. Different modules allow this captured data to be displayed, processed, analyzed and exported as required. What's more, the data can be stored over a period of many years, thus facilitating long-term analyses. With Bluetracker, a ship's owner is always virtually on board the ship and can provide optimum support to its crew.

Illustration: Bluetracker screenshots
Caption: Bluetracker keeps owners in close touch with their ships: For instance, the levels of a ship's fuel bunkers can be monitored (left) as well as its route (vessel tracking), allowing its current position to be immediately determined (right).
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INTERSCHALT is continuously further developing its well-proven Bluefleet fleet management system. That's reason enough to demonstrate the software's powerful capabilities once again at this year's SMM. In the standard version, Bluefleet contains everything that ship owners need to manage their business operations, including modules for planning preventive maintenance, managing documents (DMS), managing addresses and contact information (CRM), managing warehouses and inventories, and much more. Bluefleet can be enhanced with additional modules such as those for controlling, crew management and risk assessment, making it truly a complete suite of software for comprehensive fleet management. Its integrated Workflow Generator allows processes to be customized as needed, such as for procurement/ordering or risk assessment. With this flexibility, Bluefleet will constantly help to lower operating costs.

Its user-friendly and self-explanatory graphical user interface, with functions and tools that are very similar in look and feel to Microsoft Outlook, enables users to quickly learn the software. In addition, user training is simplified with the integrated computer-based training (CBT) modules. The data transfer between ships and their shipping companies occurs in a manner similar to that with Bluetracker. However, because of the larger data volumes transmitted by Bluefleet this transfer is only initiated whenever the most economical transmission channel, such as a harbor-based WLAN, becomes available. There's also a major benefit for larger fleets: Bluefleet features Excel-based templates that allow data from one ship to be readily transferred to another, thus cutting deployment times and costs.

Illustration: An overview of Bluefleet: modules and screenshot
Caption: The integrated modules for the fleet-management solution (left) and the interface for the Bluefleet Counter (right).
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Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System

What's been mandatory for new ships since the middle of 2011 will now also be required for entire fleets by July 2014, as per IMO resolution MCS 128(75): a bridge navigational watch alarm system. The good news is that INTERSCHALT's BNWAS can be seamlessly retrofitted into existing systems. If desired, a ship's onboard technicians easily and quickly install the BNWAS system themselves. INTERSCHALT's BNWAS is notable for its easy operation and long, maintenance-free service life. In fact, in just the last two years alone more than 1,000 of these systems have been installed worldwide.

Illustration: BNWAS components
Caption: Intelligent, user-friendly and easy to install: The INTERSCHALT BNWAS (Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System).
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INTERSCHALT Automation now with improved interface

The alarm and monitoring systems on board almost all types and classes of ships cover many and diverse areas, ranging from the engine control room to the decks as well as the various tank systems. INTERSCHALT has now improved its system, which has been well established in the market for years, with new, modern control functions and will debut it at the SMM 2012. The upgraded system, which can be operated by means of a browser and touch-panel functions, also features an intelligent guidance system for handling alarms. The IAMCS (Integrated Alarm, Monitoring and Control System) offers an intuitive user interface that makes monitoring system alarms much easier to do. The system's open and standardized interfaces allow all areas of a ship to be integrated and monitored. Even standardized systems from industrial automation, which are becoming increasingly utilized in ship construction, can be seamlessly integrated.

AIRTIME - A global Ku band solution for ship-to-shore communication with an intelligent 1-meter VSAT antenna

A small-diameter Ku band antenna is compact enough to be installed on any ship. And since it can be set up to provide global coverage, ship owners then have an economical solution in place for satellite communication. In fact, it was the ship owners themselves that approached INTERSCHALT to request precisely this kind of space-saving communications solution. "In recent years, we've already equipped quite a few ships with Ku band and C band antennas," reports Rainer Twisterling, the Chief Technical Officer at INTERSCHALT. "Our customers want compact, lean and economical VSAT systems." In collaboration with the satellite operator Telespazio, INTERSCHALT has now developed a comprehensive Ku band solution, including airtime, hardware and software, whose antenna is only an amazing one meter in diameter. The big advantage: This solution not only costs far less than conventional VSAT systems but also can be more quickly installed. "A 1-meter antenna with a 1.5-meter radome (a weatherproof enclosure protecting the parabolic antenna) is simply much easier to mount than a 2.4-meter C band antenna along with its 3.7-meter radome," Twisterling points out.

Even so, the smaller system provides full bandwidth. With the exception of a few regions, the teleport hubs operated by Telespazio permit almost full, global Ku band coverage. "Our all-in-one solution complete with airtime, hardware and software is designed to meet the needs of shipowners and all types of ships," Twisterling adds. In fact, just recently INTERSCHALT's experts equipped some passenger liners that regularly transport freight between Europe and Asia with these compact Ku band antennas. Within this operating area, the multiregional coverage provided by two satellite footprints is fully sufficient, for they both can cover the complete route traveled during a voyage. "In this case, a multiregional Ku band solution is perfectly adequate," Twisterling notes. However, for those ships that don't travel regular routes and need large amounts of bandwidth, he recommends a correspondingly "large solution."

INTERSCHALT's intelligent Ku band solution is scalable and can be customized to meet specific user needs, from regional to multiregional satellite coverage all the way up to global service. Those who desire real-time, remote ship monitoring, electronic transmission of nautical charts and also want to provide crews with all options for communications by means of laptops, mobile devices, tablet PCs and smart phones have WLAN and Internet access available on ships, such as in mess halls, lounges and cabins. In contrast, the system can also be configured for those who only need an Internet-capable PC and a mobile telephone.
INTERSCHALT offers Airtime at an attractive flat rate. The hardware can also be leased. If shipowners decide to go with the all-in-one solution, then the software licenses for the Bluetracker and Bluefleet applications are included at no extra charge.

Illustration: Ku band service coverage map
Caption: A global Ku band solution provided by INTERSCHALT in collaboration with Telespazio: The economical all-in-one solution with global coverage and an integrated router for fully automatic switchovers between satellites.
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Illustration: Ku band antenna mounted on board
Caption: Compact, extremely powerful and high-performance: With an antenna measuring only 1 meter in diameter, the global-coverage Ku band solution from INTERSCHALT is even easier and cheaper to install than a C band antenna. Using satellite communications, the Ku band can also transmit data from the Bluefleet fleet management software and the Bluetracker monitoring system to shore in real time.
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INTERSCHALT - A complete service provider

An experienced and capable service provider is an invaluable partner to ship owners. Understanding the problems facing ship owners and responding accordingly is the key to having an effective service model. Long wait times for replacement parts or service increase the risk of unnecessary and costly ship laytimes (off-hire periods).
In addition to its own equipment, INTERSCHALT is also able to service and repair other brands of systems. Maintenance contracts keep costs transparent and manageable. They also eliminate the need for other inspections since INTERSCHALT, as a service provider, keeps a record of regularly scheduled service and maintenance work.

INTERSCHALT's experienced service representatives assist ship owners and ensure that maintenance and repair orders are completed in a timely manner, no matter where, when or how often work is requested. Furthermore, INTERSCHALT's worldwide service team (based in seven major locations) works closely with the inspectors from maritime shipping companies.

INTERSCHALT's experienced and dedicated service technicians will still attempt to find solutions in cases where others would have already given up. Regularly scheduled training courses ensure that the technicians from our service partners always provide consistently high levels of service.

"Our concept of proper service goes far beyond the norm. We offer approaches designed to get real results," stresses Dariusz Wagner, VP for Service at INTERSCHALT. In addition, INTERSCHALT operates a 24/7 support hotline to assist its customers and service partners with their technical questions.

And when it comes to retrofits, INTERSCHALT has its own service project managers who precisely plan retrofitting projects. INTERSCHALT's experienced dispatch team works closely with reliable logistics partners to ensure that orders for systems and replacement parts are delivered right on time. In addition, service technicians based in Schenefeld, Rotterdam, Shanghai, Houston and Fort Lauderdale have access to their own local parts warehouses which always have sufficient stocks of commonly needed wear parts.

Illustration: INTERSCHALT's service network
Caption: Full service provided at the ship keeps off-hire times to a minimum: Today, many maritime shipping companies - operating a total of 200 ships worldwide - benefit from INTERSCHALT's maintenance and repair service backed by maintenance contracts as well as a 24/7 support hotline.
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INTERSCHALT maritime systems AG - The premium partner for the maritime-shipping industry

With its broad range of products and services, INTERSCHALT maritime systems AG covers the entire service lifecycle of ships and their associated value-added chain. This value-added chain includes high-quality, highly efficient satellite communications solutions, automation systems, electrical/electronic systems as well as service, support and training. In short, INTERSCHALT is a comprehensive provider serving the entire maritime industry.
In addition to its headquarters in Schenefeld, Germany (near Hamburg), INTERSCHALT has eleven branch offices in Europe, North America and Asia. These worldwide locations form a comprehensive and efficient service network that is supplemented by the expertise of local partner companies. INTERSCHALT has more than 300 employees and annual sales of some 60 million euros.

Press office:

maritime systems AG
Olga Stettinger
Assistant to CEO
Osterbrooksweg 42
22869 Schenefeld, Germany
Telephone: +49 (0)40 83033-261
Fax: +49 (0)40 83033-107

Agentur für Public Relations GmbH
Ralf M. Haassengier
Kalkhofstrasse 5
70567 Stuttgart, Germany
Telephone: 0711/71899-03/04
Fax: 0711/71899-05

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Green Shipping from INTERSCHALT
Improved fuel economy thanks to new trim optimization Schenefeld, Germany, October 5, 2012 - INTERSCHALT maritime systems AG presents its new fuel saving TROP trim optimization software. The maritime-shipping industry has also been forced to contend with the key issues of energy efficiency and sustainability. Optimizing the trim of a ship is a good way to achieve lasting reductions in fuel consumption. In fact, trim optimization has been an object of