A wide range of automation tasks have to be solved on ships, depending on the type of vessel concerned and how it is being used. As well as covering aspects relating to controllers, operating equipment, and machine control, these tasks even extend to cargo handling systems. Many of the tasks encountered on yachts and cruise ships resemble those from the area of building automation, such as lighting control or individual room control (although in this case, it is the cabin that is being individually controlled). Within this context, the focus is on implementing efficient and sustainable energy solutions and reducing CO2 emissions. However, alongside this, digitalization is also coming to play an increasingly important role in making shipping processes and systems more sustainable and economically efficient. The challenge for marine industry suppliers lies in solving these various automation tasks with the smallest possible number of different systems. That is where the PC-based automation platform from Beckhoff can help.
Thanks to its scalability, modularity, use of open interfaces, and support for communication standards such as MQTT, OPC UA, Modbus TCP, EtherCAT, and PROFINET, it flexibly adapts to the application concerned. In addition to housing the PLC, it also integrates visualization, measurement technology, engine monitoring, and condition monitoring, and is suitable for both central and decentralized control. The intelligent networking concept and IoT functions allow all the control and monitoring data to be brought together and visualized in one single HMI for the entire ship. Not only that, but the data can even be connected to cloud services.