Improved Data Management for High-Speed Catamarans

6 min video  /  4 minute read

Project Scope

  • Tags: 100,000
  • Screens: 40 (Vision)
  • Clients: 10
  • Alarms: 5,000
  • Devices used: connection to devices via OPC server
  • Architectures used: Standard with Redundancy
  • Databases used: Postgres (primary, standby, read-only)
  • Historical data logged: 20,000

Project Overview

The purpose of the project was to develop a DNV-GL approved Ship Integrated Management System (SIMS) to manage data from various inputs on the ship and present information in a consistent manner on operator workstations distributed throughout the vessel.



Australian shipbuilder Incat, based in Hobart, Tasmania, designs and builds high-speed lightweight catamarans which are supplied globally. Ships vary from fast, flexible, and efficient vehicle-passenger ferries to high-speed military support vessels, crew ships, and dynamic platforms.

Each Incat ship requires a Ship Integrated Management System (SIMS). The purpose of the SIMS is to manage data from various inputs and present data in a consistent manner on operator workstations distributed throughout a vessel.

Due to the unique nature of the vessel design, a bespoke SIMS was required. Incat decided that to get a system that would meet the specific needs of the vessel they would need to develop one themselves.

To assist in the development, Incat identified the need for a partner with wide-ranging electrical and automation skills and, importantly, had a local presence to Incat’s operations so the two companies could closely work together to develop a SIMS suitable for use on this vessel — and flexible enough to be implemented on Incat’s upcoming vessels.

The SIMS needs to manage analog and digital data from a variety of ship’s plant equipment through hardwired signal inputs, switched relay outputs, and serial interfaces. The data and control needed to be distributed to touchscreen operator workstations throughout the vessel. The touchscreens need to provide a common operator interface no matter where on the vessel the operator was located and must have the ability to be expanded as required. The SIMS also needed to be fit for marine applications, achieving DNV-GL approval in accordance with DNV GL rules for high-speed and light craft.



Cromarty was awarded the contract to develop a SIMS for Vessel 091, a 111-meter wave-piercing catamaran. Cromarty’s main design consideration was to provide a scalable solution that could be applied to this and subsequent vessels while ensuring high availability. To meet this requirement, Cromarty carefully selected proven industrial solutions.

The SCADA platform chosen was an Inductive Automation Ignition SCADA arranged in a redundant server configuration. Ignition was selected because it is a highly versatile solution built upon trusted industry standards. It is supplied with an unlimited licensing model meaning unlimited tags, clients, screens, and connections. Therefore, there is no need to purchase additional licensing should the number of tags or clients increase. Combined with instant web-based deployment, alarming, reporting, and redundant servers all on one open and scalable universal, versatile platform made Ignition an ideal fit for the application.

The PLC platform selected was a Schneider Electric Modicon M580 PLC engineered in a hot standby arrangement with Modicon X80 Ethernet RIO modules connected via a redundant Ethernet Ring. The M580 platform offers an open, flexible, robust, and powerful system supporting high levels of complex applications, and allowed the design and engineering of the PLC code architecture to be scalable and modularized to meet current and potential future vessel requirements.

For local operator interfaces, Winmate rugged Marine Panel PCs were selected. The Ignition operator interface graphics were designed in collaboration with Incat and planned to be deployed around the vessel to offer a simplified graphical representation so that any abnormal or urgent situations could be quickly highlighted to the operators.

After development and before deployment, the system was thoroughly bench-tested not only to provide comprehensive factory testing assurances but also being successfully assessed by a DNV representative to achieve DNV-GL accreditation.



The outcome for Incat and Cromarty was extremely positive. The project was completed within the specified time frame. The hardware and software design achieved DNV-GL Plan approval using readily available industrial-standard hardware and software. The final solution was scalable and repeatable and allowed Incat not only to deliver Vessel 091 with a DNV-GL approved Ship Integrated Management System, but also laid the foundation for the system to be adapted for future vessels — all with locally based support.

Project Information

Created By:   Cromarty

Cromarty provides electrical, automation, and business-improvement solutions for industrial manufacturing, process plants, and utilities. Solutions range from a simple single measurement to highly complex integrated automation and reporting systems while focusing on maintaining and growing the relationships with clients through best practices, technical expertise, ethical values, and customizable solutions which meet and exceed requirements.


Project For:   Incat

Incat is based in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, and constructs aluminium high-speed, lightweight catamarans which are used by ferry operators, special service providers and the military. Designs range from fast, flexible, and efficient vehicle-passenger ferries to high-speed military support vessels, crew ships, and dynamic platforms. Incat has constructed nearly 100 vessels and has clients operating vessels around the world.

Posted on October 1, 2021