Launched by Queen Alexandrine in 1931 and commissioned in 1932, Her Danish Majesty's Yacht (HDMY) Dannebrog serves as the official and private residence for Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, the Prince Consort and members of the Danish Royal Family when they are on official visits overseas and on summer cruises in Danish waters.
Operated by the Danish Navy, HDMY Dannebrog has seen a number of upgrades and enhancements during its illustrious career. During the latest improvement effort, Danish system integrator, Logimatic, was awarded the contract to design and install a modern shipboard control and monitoring system.
Logimatic had already undertaken a number of significant and highly successful marine control solution installations for the Danish Navy. For this project, the system integrator once again turned to trusted collaborator Rockwell Automation – with whom it had shared its previous successes – for an advanced monitoring infrastructure that would help bring the eighty year-old ship up to modern marine standards.
"The major issue we faced was the age of the ship," explains Søren Abildsten Bøgh, application engineer, Logimatic. "Both the outdated physical on-board restraints and the plans available to formulate the design and installation weren't in a format that complimented modern design procedures."
As well as the age of the ship and the restricted space available, Logimatic also faced significant time constraints. "We started in late November 2011 and had to get the project finished by February 2012," Bøgh explains.
The electricians would have to find all the signals and the functions of all the analogue lines and the control system had to be finalised before Logimatic was able to start programming. During the installation phase, numerous issues became apparent to the third-party company undertaking the electrical wiring issues, which impacted Logimatic’s work on the design and operation of the control system. As a result, the control solution engineering had to remain fluid right up to the point of handover in order to accommodate the unforeseen issues raised during the installation and testing phases. "There was significant information flow backwards and forwards," explains Bøgh, "and we saw almost continual changes relating to design issues."
The new control solution was part of a larger overall ship refit, which also included replacing the onboard diesel generators. The enhancements to the control solution required removal of the existing electrical relay-based alarm system and replacing it with a contemporary, off-the-shelf solution.
Once the electrical contractor removed the old control system and wiring harness from the ship’s machinery space, Logimatic replaced it with two Allen-Bradley CompactLogix programmable automation controllers (PAC) based on the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture system. The CompactLogix PACs fed information to and from the engine room, as well as to and from a control centre and numerous remote I/O modules placed in strategic locations around the ship.
The PACs, coupled with Allen-Bradley Flex I/O modules, were installed in the engine room and the control centre. These were then linked to each other and to three marine-approved computers (running FactoryTalk View SCADA), using an EtherNet/IP network and Allen-Bradley Stratix switches. Serial line interfaces were used to connect to other systems on the ship. Three human-machine interface terminals running FactoryTalk View HMI software were also installed: two in the engine control room and one on the bridge.
In addition, seven small touch panels were distributed around the ship, in the galley and the accommodation areas among others. The entire system provided a monitoring solution that allowed the crew to see any alarms that might arise, regardless of whether they were in the control centre or away from the main terminals.
The two PACs undertake all the data collection and remote monitoring; collecting information from the pumps and valves. "For the sake of reliability, all data collection and control is handled by the PACs," Bøgh elaborates. "The PCs are just the human interface. The PACs take action from the measurement signals they receive and the operator is then able to start a pump or close a valve via the operator screen."
The control solution also features an alarm system, which takes a multitude of measurements from all of the different ship systems and sounds an alarm when there is an issue. The operator is then able to take the appropriate remedial action. An interface to the three diesel generators is also part of the installation, and is used to control and regulate the electrical load on the ship.
Finally, the system features condition measurements on the ship’s main shafts, propellers, HVAC control and other ship systems, and has a second Ethernet connection to an IP-based camera system, so the crew can see video feeds on the operator interface screens.
"According to the guys on board, the camera system and the monitor on the bridge offer a big advantage,” Bøgh explains. “They can see what is happening and what may have triggered an alarm. They also have a much more detailed level of alarms and can define prior warnings, helping them to be more proactive."
Logimatic designed the system to provide the crew and ship engineers with mimic diagrams of the system on their screen, giving them another way of understanding the process. Engineers can see how things are organised, making it easier to solve issues and speed training.
"We have worked together with Rockwell Automation for a number of years and have shared some great successes,” said Bøgh. "The Rockwell Automation Denmark team is enthusiastic, qualified and easy to work with, and the online support centre is also superb. We’re able to obtain support in Danish, and the support guys are always on our wavelength. Sometimes we even share our solutions with them for future projects."