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Integrated workstation for aft bridges


Video demonstrating Kongsberg Maritime's delivery to the 130-metre long, 24-metre wide offshore construction vessel Fugro Symphony. The delivery includes nautical bridge, aft bridge and machinery control.

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A complete and independent workstation

K-Master workstation operators chair

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. .

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:

  • Dynamic Positioning
  • Independent DP joystick
  • Thruster control
  • Machinery automation and cargo control
  • Chart radar and conning display
  • Bridge auxiliaries
  • Designed for efficiency and safety

The true integration between the subsystems also makes it possible to provide functions across the subsystem boundaries, for instance, for system wide mode control tailored to the vessel's different types of operation, accessible through a condition based user interface. Similar concepts can be used for presentation and/or operation of auxiliary equipment, such as deck lights, window wipers, navigation lights or search lights.

Simplicity is the art of technology

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 panel
Touch control panels like the one pictured here make user interaction easier.

Thruster command levers and thruster control system indicators give an ergonomic feel and rapid manual interaction.

A joystick is used as the control device for manual and mixed automatic/manual control of thrusters.

In stead of mechanical knobs and switches, K-Master features touch control panels and multi-functional split screens displaying chosen pop-up menus from a multitude of stored menus.

K-Master combines simple and easy touch control use with high-end features and vast amounts of fast and accessible critical ship data. The user interface concept combining information displays and interactive touch panels enables operators to perform key operations on one screen, while viewing pertinent information on the other.

Independent DP joystick

The display and control panel for the independent DP joystick. Includes necessary status indication and operator selections for compliance with regulations.

  • Compact
  • Needs no separate joystick device
  • Easily accessible but outside hand grasp area
  • Tailored for DP backup

Thruster levers

Thruster command levers and thruster control system status indication. Combined with buttons for emergency stop and manual command override capabilities.

  • Ergonomic shape for tactile orientation
  • Command indication displays
  • Immediate access to safety and override functions

Touch control panels

Touch sensitive displays for user interaction. Used for administration of information presented on workstation displays. Separate control panel images for all main functions and for setting up the workstation.

  • Replaces individual control panels for separate subsystems
  • Two panels for redundancy and simultaneous access to multiple subsystems
  • User interaction without use of pointing device
  • Simultaneous selection of colour palette for all displays associated with the workstation

Alarm and utility panel

Workstation alarm indication and alarm buzzer silence. Panel backlight dimmer. Mode selection for thruster and propulsion control.

  • Central bridge alarm system buzzer and mute
  • Command transfer between alternative thruster control positions
  • Independent of DP, Joystick or other automatic control systems
  • Common dimming for all workstation panels

Multifunctionality that provides for ease of operation

The true integration of subsystems provides for functionalities tailored to the vessel's different types of operation. For instance, context dependent mode control sets up the subsystems across system boundaries and ensures that the workstation presents the information and the control panels adapted for that operation. The information can be displayed both on the touch screen panels and on the larger displays installed adjacent to the chair, allowing for maximum operational awareness. With K-Master the operators have the means to make the right decision – they have The Full Picture.

Robust and reliable solutions

Integrated workstation for the aft bridge, K-Master

Kongsberg has long been involved with the design 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 controls 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 the industry to improve safety of operation.

Award for Design Excellence Year: 2010

Jury's verdict

The innovation of this solution is that several independent products have been integrated into one workstation and have been given a common user interface. Interaction based on extensive use of touch screens also makes future upgrades easier. K -Master represents a change of focus from boxes, systems and equipment to function, information and operation by adaptation of user functions to operational context. The focus has been on implementing the 20% of the functions used 80% of the time.

Compared to similar products in the market, this represents an implementation of advanced functionality and user-centered interaction design that increases both efficiency and safety. The impression is of something robust and well-designed, with a high-quality finish on all surfaces. The innovation of the solution and the beneficial value of a simplified working situation for operators is obvious. This is a complete product that is professionally designed, both technically and aesthetically.

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