Constant flow

Photo | SHIPTEC Lucerne
Marginal Column

On Lake Lucerne, a catamaran sets course for tomorrow. One key to its success is Marex OS II.

 

When most people speak of the “Swiss fleet”, they are usually making a joke about this land-locked Alpine nation. But Ralph Erb is serious when he talks about the future of Swiss shipping. Traffic is heavy on the largest of Switzerland’s 1,500 or so lakes. Erb is Technical Customer Consultant for Switzerland’s largest shipyard, SHIPTEC Lucerne. This company, with its own in­house engineering expertise, is bringing a fresh breeze to Swiss inland navigation. “We develop holistic concepts in which eco­nomic operation, food service and the vessel are perfectly matched,” explains Erb in describing his success.

Optimized consumption

The best example of this is the MS Cirrus, which plies Lake Lu­cerne both in regular service and as a floating event venue with Alpine panorama. But this vessel’s success is also due to its de­sign. “We need to look at periods of 20 to 25 years, and mainte­nance costs play a huge role here,” Erb emphasizes. The 40 meter long catamaran is made entirely of aluminum. Its low weight and streamlined dual hulls reduce consumption in two ways. The control system enhances economy. When making final adjust­ments, the specialists from Rexroth ensured consumption-opti­mized operation. With the MS Cirrus, SHIPTEC is using the Marex OS II remote control system for the first time.

In particular, this system features flexible parameter setup. The controller was thus delivered custom-configured as a turnkey solution. In addition to the consumption, this solution also reduces the wiring requirements by transmitting signals and data via CANbus and ensures transparent data access for diagnostics. But Marex OS II also features impressive safety: in emergency maneuvers, the op­timized matching and adaptation of the system parameters reduces the stopping distance from full cruising speed to two and a half ship lengths.

Less stop, more go

Three control stations aboard the catamaran with its 500 HP engines ensure good operability. In addition to the main control station, there is one satellite station each on the starboard and port sides. These enable a better overview during the frequent land­ing and casting-off maneuvers. The captains pilot their ship on the heavily traveled, 38 km long traffic lanes of Lake Lucerne only manually. Consequently, all components are subject to greater strain – like cars in urban stop-and-go traffic. Greater wear makes rapid servicing even more important. “We’re also responsible for maintenance,” explains Erb – who is well aware that every hour of downtime means considerable revenue losses. Consequently, SHIPTEC appreciates the rapid service of the trained profession­als from Bosch Rexroth in Switzerland to ensure that the flow of operations is uninterrupted.