26 September 2016

20 Nov 2014

Plenty of innovation on display as METS 2014 concludes


There has been a splurge of activity to conclude the 2014 edition of METS in Amsterdam. In opening the event on Tuesday with her keynote address, Monte Carlo Yachts president, Carla Demaria said that the future profitability of the yachting industry was reliant on innovation and that the efficient integration of the supply chain was key to this.

Since then the SuperYacht Pavilion has been a hive of activity, with the industry’s suppliers showcasing their latest products and services and the third and last day has been no exception.

ETY has announced a collaboration with electronic engineering behemoth Eaton that has led to the development of its Bluewave series of superyacht switchboards, a product ETY’s Steve Worrall has branded “a revolutionary development for the market.”

The Bluewave switchboard features SmartWire technology, which reduces panel complexity, consolidating point-to-point circuit wiring into a single, durable 8-pole cable, thereby reducing manufacturing time significantly. When speaking to SuperyachtNews.com company director, Svante Borgenas said a typical switchboard could be delivered in as little as three weeks.

Worrall explains the benefits of Bluewave at METS.

The company claims the weight and size reductions are 50 per cent, when compared to competitor products and the switchboard also has the added bonus of being installed in a separate space to the control panel, if necessary.

The 26” touch-screen panel is both fully interactive and customisable, allowing the on board systems to be monitored. Bluewave monitors and generates warnings prior to tripping due to overheating by reading the actual load of each motor starter to check whether abnormal consumption is present. In the case of an abnormality there are various alarms raised, including a flashing light, incorporated into the safety bar, and an automatic email sent in the case of an alarm being activated. The relevant system will also be automatically stopped via a breaker, and will reactivate if its status returns to normal.

The display model at METS was appropriate for a small superyacht, but Borgenas joked that the only limit for the scalability of the product was the owner’s ability to pay!

Norwegian company Stable has made a game of snooker or pool at sea possible, with Stable Billiards - its stabilisation technology, on display at METS for the first time. The table is kept levelled, no matter the movements at sea. The billiard balls move only when hit, and in a straight line.

To achieve this, the table movements are computed as a function of the ship's
movements, which are partly measured and partly computed by the Stable control system. A pair of linear actuators, one for pitch and one for roll, driven by electrical servo motors which effectuate the actual table movements. The table suspension is specially designed to allow nearly frictionless movements in pitch and roll axes, while other movements are locked.

Elsewhere, Swiss company VDO has been promoting its new AcquaLink range of monitoring devices for superyachts. Featuring a TFT display, the AcquaLink Nav Sensor processes and calculates the data from the GPS system, compass, temperature, barometric systems and a 3-axis acceleration sensor and uses it to generate extremely precise nautical information.

The AcquaLink Nav Box, a central processing unit and signal interface, was the other focus of the company’s show. It receives data from various channels, which is then analysed in detail and checked for possible discrepancies. “The AcquaLink Nav Box is designed to carry out intelligent automated system diagnostics and guided troubleshooting,” said Martin Ebneter, Head of R&D, Marine Powersports Accessories. “That means VDO guarantees that all nautical information corresponds to the actual conditions before the user sees it.”

The AcquaLink system architecture.

The AcquaLink Nav Box thus acts as a CPU and signal interface, offering a large range of digital and analog input options. They include inputs from J1939 CAN, NMEA 2000, the VDO wind sensor and the SUMLOG paddle wheel. So that it can also handle the requirements traditional inputs, VDO has equipped the AcquaLink Nav Box with various freely programmable input/output able to process ohm, volt, frequency and ampere value.

We’re planning to launch new radar systems and autopilots,” added Ebneter, who said that AIS would also form a major focus of the company’s R&D drive.

And HVAC giant Dometic Marine used METS as a platform to honour its finest with the 2014 Dometic International Marine Excellence (DIME) Awards for distributors and dealers. Three companies collected the highest accolade of a Sales Platinum award: Seabreeze Industries (Australia), Heinen & Hopman Engineering BV (Holland) and Acastimar (Spain).

The DIME winners at the Dometic stand.

On announcing the award winners, Julien Lefeuvre said: “I am delighted to honour these outstanding companies who have all excelled this year and overcome the challenges presented by a slowly-improving economic picture, which has affected the global boating industry.

“They have shown commitment and dedication to supplying problem-solving products, backed by high quality customer service.”

Commenting on the success of this year's show, Lefeuvre said, “METS continues to be the ideal platform for us to introduce our new products and meet with our international dealers and distributors. It is such an important date in the calendar which always unites and motivates the company, helping to create a positive and optimistic outlook for the year ahead. We were very pleased with the constant flow of traffic to the stand and felt the general mood at the show was buoyant.
“There was a lot of interest in the stand and encouraging feedback about our products throughout the three days. In particular, people were keen to learn more about the new technologies and innovations featured in products such as the Dometic Cup Cooler, Smart Touch Integrated Intelligence Control (STIIC) software and the VARC48 variable capacity chiller."


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