rcVSP – Remote-controlled Voith Schneider Propeller
Remote-controlled tugboats can safely carry out ship assistance and maneuvers. An important basis was the successful full-scale test carried out in Holland with the Carousel Rave Tug from Novatug.
Remote-controlled tugs reduce significantly the costs for shipping companies. A tugboat is in paid operation for an average of 2,500 hours a year. To ensure its operational readiness, however, the crew needs to be on board for an average of 8,760 hours. Further, the crews are no longer on 24-hour standby. These costs can be reduced through the use of rcVSP. In the global shipping environment, every minute spared represents a considerable cost reduction.
Moreover, in a remotely operated tugboat fleet, it is no longer necessary to have common rooms or sanitary facilities for the crew. Noise insulation and even the bridge can also be omitted. This reduces the weight of these floating powerhouses, which makes them even more maneuverable and reduces energy consumption. And this also opens up new options for the design of the remote-controlled vessels. For example, there is no longer a need to make provision for a deck house when it comes to accommodating the towing gear.
- More efficient vessel mooring and casting-off maneuvers thanks to remote-controlled tug assistants
- Greater safety for crews
- Voith’s comprehensive expertise in eco-friendly drive concepts and tugboat technology
The rcVSP concept also improves crew safety. Until now, for example, tow lines have been generally handed over manually. The tug operating at the front of the ship has to navigate directly in front of the bow of the moving freighter. Harbor pilots on the bridge of the vessels, which are often well in excess of 300 meters long and 45 meters wide, coordinate these maneuvers with the tugboat captains. Even the slightest technical problem or maneuvering error can lead to a line breaking or a collision between the huge ocean-going vessel and a tug, which can be a deadly risk for the crews. Remote control enables the captain to conduct all critical maneuvers and operations from a safe distance.
Collaborative project partners
rcVSP was developed through the funded research project FernSAMS, which aims to make tugboat operations more efficient and safer. The abbreviation FernSAMS translates to remotely controlled tugs in large vessel berthing and unmooring maneuvers.
Our partners are Fraunhofer CML, McGregor GmbH, MTC Maritime Training Center Hamburg GmbH, Media Mobil Communication GmbH as well as TU Hamburg and BAW Bundesanstalt für Wasserbau.
Man and machine
When people hear about efficiency improvement, they quickly think of redundancies. FernSAMS has no intention of eliminating tug boat crews. "On the contrary, there are other important jobs for them," emphasizes Dr. Jürgens.
Welcome to the webinar
Thank you for your interest. Please contact us if you have any further questions.
Something went wrong. Please try again later.