The complete propulsion system from a single source
Years of excellence: Voith propulsion systems are in use all over the world and in all kinds of marine vessels. For each individual propulsion system, Voith offers a perfectly matched control system – electronic or mechanical.
As a marine propulsion system specialist, Voith offers a full system solution with a wide range of suitable control system options. Control signals can be transmitted mechanically or electronically. Each system is customized to the specific propulsion plant as well as to the operating conditions, thereby guaranteeing comfortable control and efficient vessel operation.
Electronic control system
Mechanical control system
Precise and efficient propulsion system control
With its electronic control system, Voith provides an all-encompassing solution for marine propulsion units. The modular control system is customized to the characteristics of the proven Voith Schneider Propeller (VSP), eliminating the need for complex interface integration. As a result, commissioning time and costs are reduced. This electronic control system is primarily used in applications requiring precise positioning, and examples include offshore supply vessels, vessels for the installation and servicing of offshore wind farms, tugs based on the RAVE concept, as well as double-ended ferries.
By following its handling recommendations, the electronic control system also reduces fuel consumption. Various electronic control functions and interfaces with other systems permit precise propulsion-system actuation and control. Remote diagnostics via the internet allow operators to monitor the propulsion system, and all data and status reports are logged. Monitoring is possible both from the bridge as well as from the machine or propeller room. Open interfaces to third-party systems ensure the integration of existing systems. Communication is via CAN bus, Modbus, TCP/IP, Modbus RTU, Profibus DP or NMEA.
Its control components, which can be a joystick, steering wheel or propulsion control lever, are ergonomically designed according to the latest research. These features add to the ease and comfort of operating a vessel via Voith’s new control system.
Safe, straightforward and reliable control
On the mechanical control system, the control signals are transmitted to the propellers via a push-pull linkage and turning shafts. The mechanical control system is easy maintain- and operateable and is used in applications with close proximity of wheelhouse and propellers, as is the case with most Voith Water Tractors.
The equipment of Voith’s ergonomically designed control stand is tailored to the propulsion system used. Vessels fitted with Voith Schneider Propellers, for example, are provided with a steering wheel for transverse movements and propulsion control levers for movements in longitudinal direction. With these control components, magnitude and direction of thrust can be easily adjusted.
Optional components, such as a second control stand, ensure that the mechanical Voith control system can meet virtually all expectations. An optional auxiliary servomotor, for example, ensures optimum propulsion control-lever smoothness. In addition, further electronic interface functions, such as an autopilot, can be integrated via actuators.
No vessel roll – even in rough seas
Voith Schneider Propellers are the epitome of precise, safe and efficient maneuvering. If the vessel is additionally equipped with an electronic control system and the intelligent Voith Roll Stabilization (VRS), the VSPs compensate for up to 90 percent of the vessel roll, both at standstill as well as at full speed. For offshore supply vessels, this means they can continue to operate even in rough seas. At the same time, the reduced movement increases safety and comfort for crew and passengers on work boats, ferries and yachts.
Roll stabilization requires prompt adjustment of the magnitude and direction of thrust. Given the physical characteristics of the Voith Schneider Propeller, these adjustments are possible with the help of an electronic control system and VRS module. The VSP automatically creates an opposing moment to the wave movement, thus compensating for virtually all vessel roll.
Theory and practice to ensure optimum handling
The electronic control system provides numerous control and assistance features. In addition, it is customized to the specific vessel and its propulsion system.
Well-trained personnel can ensure that the control system is used in the most efficient and fuel-saving manner. This is why Voith offers training courses tailored to the operator’s specific requirements.
Practical questions such as "How do I control the vessel most efficiently?" or "Which feature supports me in which situation?" are just as much part of the training as Voith representatives share the technical knowledge regarding the system and its control components. The practical part of the training is done either on the Voith simulator or directly on the bridge of the customer's vessel.
Practical experience not just out at sea
On the Voith simulator, various maneuvers can be imitated using a fully equipped control stand. With the help of software, the control signals are applied as they would be by the electronic control system. Monitors display the view from the bridge onto the realistically modeled environment. Vessel speed, current propulsion system settings and fuel consumption are also indicated.
The Voith simulator can be used, for example, for the training of nautical staff. This practical application focuses on the efficient use of the propulsion system and therefore on the correct handling of the control system. In addition, fuel-saving vessel operation as well as behavior to prevent accidents can be practiced. The simulator can also help to plan complex maritime projects such as port expansions.