In view of the complex system landscape on a ship, it makes sense to allow each member of the value chain to focus on its core competencies: The subsystem manufacturer constructs its own plant including automation and visualization. The system integrator and the shipyard assemble the subsystems. The shipowner handles logistics, receives greater investment protection for his or her ship and reduces their dependency on key suppliers. On the mechanical engineering side, this procedure is already a reality. However, in the field of electrical engineering and software components, interfaces are less standardized and the subsystems are very closely linked – even at the management level. Often they are also automated centrally.
By implementing the following measures, decentralized intelligence for modular applications could also be implemented on the ship:
First, in the subsystems, a decentralized automation structure must be established. Second, a software interface with a high degree of abstraction is to be described. High degree of abstraction in this case means that the subsystem is considered a service. Services can be started, stopped and parameterized, among other things. It is the same for the process control system that becomes the process control level, regardless of whether it starts the main engine, the boilers or the air -conditioning system. Third, information is exchanged instead of data. All of this should be done under a uniform standard that provides vendor independence.