How Much Does Industrial Automation Play a Role in Autonomous Shipping?

October 05, 2021 by Stephanie Leonida

Bachmann and RTI announce their entry into a partnership focused on providing more secure, flexible, and scalable automated operations for the maritime industry.

The Austrian company, Bachmann Electronic GmbH (Bachmann), develops automation and system solutions for the tech hardware and semiconductor industries. The company’s product offering includes automation, network measurement and protection, visualization, and condition monitoring of machines and systems. 


Autonomous technology in a cargo ship. Image used courtesy of Bachmann


Recently, Bachmann and a software framework provider for autonomous systems, Real-Time Innovations (RTI), announced their partnership focusing on delivering Industry 4.0 cross-platform interoperability for marine operators. Bachmann’s M1 Controller System will be integrated into RTI’s Connext software framework to provide a flexible platform for automation projects.


IoT Interoperability

Interoperability is the ability to work together or share information. Industry 4.0 (also known as the fourth industrial revolution) is a new wave of manufacturing driven by the convergence of manufacturing technologies, the virtualization of manufacturing, and an increasingly digitized world. The convergence of these three trends is driving digitization in manufacturing for better quality, reduced cost, increased speed, and increased productivity.

Some key features of industry 4.0 are smart factories, production networks, and data analytics systems that make up the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Many companies who use IoT technology will benefit from interoperability as they will be able to communicate better with each other and share data seamlessly.


RTI Connext

RTI’s flagship offering, RTI Connext, is a software connectivity framework based on the data distribution service (DDS) standard. This standard is a middleware protocol and API standard for data-centric connectivity from the Object Management Group. The differentiating feature of DDS is that it is data-centric and allows programmers or operators to control and manage data securely for IoT applications. 


The RTI Connext software framework can help provide secure, scalable connectivity and accelerate time to market across industries. Image used courtesy of RTI 


In a recent news release, Blue Ctrl, a marine automation company based on X-CONNECT, spoke about utilizing RTI’s Connext DDS with Bachmann’s controller. The company believes this partnership will further push the maritime industry into industrial automation through data access and smart technology.

Together, Bachmann and RTI hope to provide customers in the maritime industry with a secure and scalable framework. This is of particular value for diagnostics and data center applications. Large operations can be conducted remotely with different vendors and across different platforms and domains to mobilize and enhance autonomous shipping. Utilizing autonomous shipping could also promote a healthier supply chain.