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"K-Master consolidates the 5 – 6 meter bridge console into literally one operator
The K-Master workstation is a complete and independent operating station designed to meet strict aft bridge ergonomic considerations regarding the arrangement of working places, the instrumentation and the operability of the equipment. Click to view larger image
Suppliers to the offshore industry are continuously looking to raise the safety
bar in an already safety conscious industry. Kongsberg is no exception. Its new
workstation for offshore service vessels (OSV) sets a new standard for integration
of navigation, control and manoeuvring functions for the aft bridge. The unique
access to all major control systems within easy reach from the seated operator ensures
complete awareness in all situations. The K-Master workstation is considered to
be the most advanced aft bridge system solution in the market, and Kongsberg once
again plays a leading safety role, granting operational efficiency and reliability
in demanding OSV environments.
Kongsberg has long been involved with production of bridge systems according
to the latest standards for nautical safety. The experience gained through the years
has shown us the importance of functional integration and arrangement of control
and monitoring systems for vessel machinery, navigation and manoeuvring.
A particular safety aspect is the user interface and the intuitive and harmonised
style, look and feel, across subsystems and functions. The K-Master workstation
takes this to a new level by offering a common user interface to all functions available
from the chair. This is particularly important for safe operation in stressful situations.
The K-Master workstation is designed to comply with the latest standards and
regulations for OSV bridges and supports the important work undertaken by DNV and
the industry to improve safety of operation.
The bridge system
Demanding operations require ergonomics designed for human abilities and limitations. Levers, controllers and displays are all located with intuitive and logical operations in mind - reducing operator fatigue whilst increasing operational awareness.
Touch control panels like the one pictured here make user interaction easier.
A joystick is used as the control device for manual and mixed automatic/manual control of thrusters.
OSVs have the special arrangement of a fore bridge and a fully operational aft
bridge. While the fore bridge is fitted with all required functions for the ship's
navigation, the aft bridge is used for ship handling and support when close to structures
or performing special tasks like anchor handling, diving operation or construction
work at sea.
Kongsberg provides a complete solution for both bridge areas. The K-Bridge product
already provides a total solution for the forward bridge, compliant with rules and
regulations for nautical safety. By introducing the new K-Master generation workstations
for the aft bridge, Kongsberg now offers a complete and holistic solution for the
"Aft bridge operators are drowning in the amount of activity and flow of navigational
and ship systems information. K-Master simplifies the processes while granting secure,
optimal bridge awareness, and professional OSV operation," says Thor Hukkelås, chief
engineer and project head for the K-Master workstation.
Kongsberg's new K-Master workstation is a complete and independent operating
station designed to meet strict aft bridge ergonomic considerations regarding the
arrangement of working places, the instrumentation and the operability of the equipment
itself. Within easy reach of the operator, the K-Master workstation includes interactive
interfaces for: DP, independent DP joystick, manual thrust control, alarm and monitoring
/vessel automation, central bridge alarm system, chart radar, conning display and
The true integration between the subsystems also makes it possible to provide
functions across the subsystem boundaries, for instance functions for system wide
mode control tailored to the vessel's different types of operation. Similar concepts
can be used for presentation and/or operation of auxiliary equipment, such as deck
lights, window wipers, navigation lights or search lights.
According to Hukkelås, K-Master fully meets the OSV demand for a flexible, multi-functional,
integrated ship's bridge system. "K-Master consolidates the 5 – 6 meter bridge console
into literally one operator chair, housing integrated multiple computer consoles
in the arm rests. Total ship operation takes place from this chair, with main information
displays close to the seated operator, reflecting the intense nature of ship operation
on the aft bridge."
"K-Master combines many different engineering disciplines and products such as
navigation, thruster control, automation and DP, into one highly scalable station
tailored to operational needs. The compact design with external termination points
provides significant potential for efficient and cost saving installation on board"
Launched at this year's leading global shipping exhibition, Nor-Shipping, K-Master
introduces significant upgrades that range from the design, construction and production
of new thruster levers and indicators, to new button panels, joystick and trackerball/
Simplicity is the art of technology
In lieu of mechanical knobs and switches, while enhancing appearance and cleaning,
K-Master features touch control panels and multi-function split screens displaying
chosen pop-up menus from a number of stored menus.
"K-Master represents a generation of automation equipment that combines simple
and easy touch control with high-end features and vast amounts of rapid and accessible
critical ship data. The use of mechanical switches in bridge applications are in
decline and touch control technology is replacing them, except for critical operations,"
says Hukkelås. "The user interface concept combining information displays and user
interaction touch panels enables operators to perform key operations on one screen,
while viewing pertinent information on the other".
By using components from the common Kongsberg technology platform, K-Master is
designed for optimal operational availability and favourable life cycle costs. It
also ensures compatibility with other Kongsberg subsystems on board, reduces the
spare parts inventory and facilitates better maintenance.
K-Master is all about bridge awareness; the integration of local, global and
technical information. More precise than ever before, operators will have the full
overview of machinery and ship systems and specific sensor and support systems,
in addition to situational information.
K-Master operators are at the center of a hub, supplied with exact, filtered
information to make streamlined critical decisions when necessary. Simply, they
know where the ship is at all times and are given the actual, required information
dependent on the context they are in.
"K-Master lifts the focus over ship systems and focuses specifically on the OSV
operation you are involved in. With two aft bridge K-Masters, one operator can concentrate
on ship operation and the other operator on support. Basically we are navigating
and safely operating a highly complex vessel in a highly complex environment at
the touch of a fingertip," says Hukkelås. "K-Master is an Offshore Operations Optimizer."