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ABB to acquire Amarcon

ABB has agreed to acquire Amarcon BV, a Dutch company providing software systems for the shipping industry.

The acquisition will expand ABB’s advisory systems offering for customers in the maritime sector, and is expected to be closed in the third quarter of 2012 when Amarcon will join ABB’s Process Automation Division.

Based in Dalfsen, The Netherlands, Amarcon employs 15 people, and has a product portfolio including software solutions for ships that focus on safety and improved operational ability.

ABB says that this addition to its portfolio will add to its recently released offering of Marine Advisory Systems.

“Amarcon’s Octopus product, its know-how of ship hydrodynamics and ship modelling capabilities are a complementary and strategic fit for our existing software portfolio,” said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB’s process automation division.

“With a strong software background, this acquisition will provide ABB with additional access to fast growing energy optimisation markets.”

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    In a milestone for the marine industry, ABB’s solutions onboard a large passenger ship have been awarded cybersecurity verification from classification society DNV GL. 

    As a result, this vessel became the industry’s first to achieve system compliance under DNV GL’s framework for integrated cybersecurity.

    The state-of-the-art cybersecurity resilience for the vessel was enabled by close collaboration of ABB, the shipowner and DNV GL during the construction phase at a shipyard in Europe. Cybersecurity management processes will continue during the ship’s operations, with the system’s resilience maintained throughout the lifetime of the vessel.

    “It is vital that the maritime industry focuses on cybersecurity as an essential part of both design and operation,” said Johann Melsted, area manager Benelux & France for DNV GL. “Which is why we are so pleased to be working with forward looking partners, who are prepared to engage with this emerging risk and demonstrate their commitment to tackling cyber threats.”

    In order to achieve sustainable shipping, vessels are increasingly fitted with integrated automation systems and digital solutions. As part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the vessel’s systems are more connected than ever before, presenting threat vectors previously unheard of in shipping. This is driving the need for closer and earlier collaboration on cybersecurity between all key stakeholders in the newbuilding process. DNV GL’s Integrated Cyber Security Dependent Systems verification establishes a framework to address cybersecurity levels for the main functions of a vessel – both during construction and in operation.

    While the framework is applicable to any vessel, greater sophistication and deeper integration of operational technology systems in complex vessels such as cruise ships mean that appropriate cybersecurity management is paramount. While digitalisation offers opportunities to measure and manage efficiencies across the entire fleet, securing these data streams is critical to the safety of the vessels’ passengers and crew.

    “ABB recognises the importance of cybersecurity in the marine industry and is working closely with shipowners, yards and classification societies to enhance cyber resilience of ships,” said Juha Koskela, managing director, ABB Marine & Ports. “As vessels become more electric, digital and connected than ever before, it is of vital importance that we equip and empower seafarers with reliable solutions that are cyber secure.”

    The vessel is powered by ABB Azipod electric propulsion system. 

     

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    ABB, in collaboration with Keppel O&M’s technology arm, Keppel Marine and Deepwater Technology (KMDTech), will jointly develop the technology for autonomous vessels and retrofit a 32-metre harbour tugboat with leading-edge digital solutions, enabling autonomous vessel operations in the Port of Singapore at the end of 2020.

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