Gone are the days when ships were forced to anchor due to limited visibility caused by mist, fog or blizzards. Captains no longer need bearing indicators to plot their lines or giant sea charts and compasses to establish their position. Instead, modern ships are equipped with electronic navigation systems to ensure their safety.
“Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum is the most cutting–edge navigation system on the market for commercial vessels,” says Eberhard Maass, Wärtsilä’s Product Manager for Navigation Products. “It offers our customers features that are second to none, when it comes to performance, functionality, usability and scalability.”
When Nacos Platinum was launched in 2011, it became an instant hit. With sales of more than 500 systems under its belt, the system reached its next milestone in 2015 with the release of Nacos Platinum 2.0. In late 2016, its features and functionality were further enhanced and is now available in its most up-to-the-minute version, Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum 2.1.
Nacos Platinum 2.0 was designed to fulfil the requirements of the international standards for Integrated Navigation Systems (INS) and Bridge Alert Management (BAM). With Nacos Platinum 2.1, Wärtsilä took this development a step further, adding functionality related to the new Electronic Chart Display & Information System (ECDIS) performance standard. Parts of the radar, as well as the ECDIS application and Conning application have also been redesigned.
“The new ECDIS performance standard has addressed ECDIS anomalies and safety-critical issues from the past. Furthermore, the demands on alert management and standardised presentation of objects in the electronic sea chart have been increased,” comments Maass.
While the regulatory compliance may be the most essential feature, Maass admits that what customers will probably notice first in the new Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum is the simplified user-interface (HMI). It was designed specifically to increase ease of operation.
“It has a user-centric design that ensures easy, safe operation across all systems and applications,” he says, adding that the improved usability will make crew training and maintenance even simpler than before. Furthermore, the design facilitates the quick, easy introduction of new products and features.
Another ground breaking new feature on Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum 2.1 is its advanced cyber security protection.
Jan Lausch is the product manager for cyber security in Automation, Navigation & Communication at Wärtsilä. He explains that there are a number of reasons why navigation systems need to be protected from cyber threats. These include possible infection with virus or malware via illegally connected storage media such as USB sticks or service equipment. Integration with third-party systems, as well as any ship-to-shore connections for data exchange is also security-relevant.
“As we head into a future with ever-increasing connectivity and complexity, the importance of cyber security will continue to grow,” he says. “We see a growing demand to connect to more and more subsystems, for energy efficiency evaluation, for example. Data exchange with shore-based fleet operation centres is also in strong demand. This requires a state-of-the-art security concept.”
To ensure that no intruder can endanger the operation of the vessel, and only explicitly permitted processes are run, the design of the Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum system prevents malware from challenging the integrity of the system.
With its market-leading features and user-friendly interface, it is apparent why Nacos Platinum is the navigation system of choice in the demanding cruise liner segment. But the system is not just for cruise ships. This became evident last year when Maersk Line decided to install the Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum-integrated navigation, automation, and propulsion control systems on all 27 container vessels in three new building projects. Including these orders, the latest 47 new builds in the Maersk Line fleet will all be fitted with the Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum system.
The integration of the navigation, automation, power and propulsion functions into one single system enables Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum to offer customers like Maersk Line unequalled flexibility and convenience, as the vessel can be navigated, controlled and monitored from various on board positions.