Two Danish acquisitions have been announced today (1 July 2020), and a new navigation technology company has been formed through three suppliers merging this year
The latest merger involved Kongsberg Digital acquiring Denmark-based Coach Solutions to expand its range with vessel performance, navigation and monitoring products.
Coach Solutions was formed by Clipper Group in 2016 and in May 2020 presented its voyage optimisation solution during Riviera Maritime Media’s Vessel Optimisation Webinar Week.
Coach supplies vessel operators, owners, pool managers and technical managers with a suite of tools for vessel performance, weather routeing and noon reporting. It has been renamed Kongsberg Coach Solutions and will complement Kongsberg’s maritime portfolio of software, bridge equipment and training simulators.
“The strength of Coach Solutions’ product offering is evident in their rapid growth,” said Kongsberg Digital president Hege Skryseth. “Their ability to deliver solutions that address the most urgent needs of their clients demonstrates the team’s insight into the customers’ pain points and level of digital maturity,” she said, adding, “Coach’s software will be of strategic importance in our further development.”
In this sale, Clipper Bulk has offloaded a technology company that was not part of its main shipping activities, said group chief executive Peter Norborg. “Software development is not a core competence for Clipper, and we are glad that, in Kongsberg, Coach will have a dedicated, long-term, technology-focused owner who can accelerate Coach’s development and deployment,” he said.
In a second deal, Japanese bridge systems integrator Furuno Electric acquired Denmark-headquartered EMRI, which specialises in autopilots, steering control, joystick dynamic positioning (DP) and manoeuvring systems. EMRI has supplied steering gear remote control systems, autopilots and DP controls to more than 1,000 ships and developed fuel-saving algorithms.
Furuno Electric senior managing director and divisional general manager for marine electronics Muneyuki Koike said this acquisition would increase its range of products for integrated bridge systems. “The acquisition of EMRI complements our existing and growing presence in the marine market,” said Mr Koike. “It reinforces our strategy to enhance safety and efficiency at sea, with our core competencies of sensing, processing, communication, integration, and now with action control systems.”
EMRI has been supplying autopilots and steering systems to Furuno for several years.
“I am excited that EMRI’s technology for manoeuvring larger and specialised vessels will open new opportunities for our innovative capabilities,” said Mr Koike.
In addition, Japan-headquartered Cornes Group has founded new company Voyager Worldwide after merging its own business Cornes Charts with Global Navigation Solutions (GNS) and Safe Navigation. This new company provides e-navigation services to more than 1,200 shipping companies and 11,000 vessels worldwide.
“The combination of these three great maritime companies creates the scale, portfolio and software development capability to compete differently in the maritime industry,” said Voyager Worldwide chief executive Kent Lee.
It has a large installed base, proven cloud-based infrastructure and web-based data analytics solution for ship management.
“We have the ability to support shipping companies through the next phase of digital transformation to deliver new levels of safety and efficiency,” said Mr Lee.
This merger combines GNS’s Voyager software platform with Cornes’ navigational charts. “Together we plan to build new solutions that combine artificial intelligence, automation and data analytics, giving our users the ability to predict and plan for the future and enhancing safety and efficiency across the world fleet,” said Mr Lee.
Voyager Worldwide’s onboard software, the Voyager Planning Station, runs on the back-of-bridge workstation and computers in onshore fleet and vessel managers’ offices, which run the web-based Voyager Fleet Insight application.
This is all brought together in Voyager Cloud for remote and secure access to ship navigation data and voyage information.
Vessel optimisation technology will be discussed in depth during Riviera’s Webinar Week series during Q3 2020, use this link for more details