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Friday, July 12, 2019 

Ulstein and Schottel are to begin cooperating in taking the next steps in automation and digitalisation within marine operations.

The former Ulstein subsidiary, Ulstein Blue CTRL, is to be rebranded as an independent company, Blue CTRL, owned on a 50/50 basis by Ulstein and Schottel. The new company's technology will be based on the X-CONNECT marine automation platform, which Ulstein has been developing since 2011. Schottel will contribute its long traditions for developing control and automation for a wide range of ship propulsion systems.

X-CONNECT is a universal digital platform for marine automation, control and monitoring. All functionality in the system is predefined and configurable supporting the work philosophy; configure, plug and play. Besides systems for newbuilding projects the new cooperation will also offer systems suitable for vessel upgrades.

“There are many similarities between our companies. We are both privately owned. This implies the possibility of long-term strategic business concepts. We believe that we have products which are highly complementary”, said Tore Ulstein, deputy CEO of Ulstein Group. “Seen from the designer’s perspective, we believe that a closer integration between the development of the marine platform and the propulsion system will give far better operations of the vessel. If we manage to streamline more data between the different systems on board, we can optimise dynamic positioning and operations. This again will lead to reduced fuel consumption, reduced emission hence greener operations.”

Propulsion control systems, including recent developments in further assistance and positioning systems, have always been a strategic focus for Schottel.

“We very much look forward to this cooperation in Blue CTRL and to start the common development of intelligent systems for marine automation and digitalisation. The Blue CTRL systems will not only enable us to offer our customers smarter and integrated controls for both newbuilding and existing vessels, but also provide a solid system for the offering of hybrid and electric solutions. Partnerships are essential in the current market. With the independent set up of Blue CTRL, with a clear focus on the development of automation and digital services, we ensure that we continue serve our customers as the innovative and global propulsion experts,” said Stefan Kaul, President Industrial Operations and CEO, Schottel

The X-CONNECT platform provides the backbone for a range of products, including alarm and monitoring system, integrated automation systems (IAS), energy management, power management systems and the BLUE BOX.

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