Kramer has announced its range of advanced AVoIP streaming and control solutions have been used to deliver seamless, mission-critical, real-time data and 4K video navigation systems for the 50 x 12 metre Carmona fishing vessel, ensuring safe and smooth fishing and communications through some of the world’s busiest waterways.
In partnership with Furuno – a globally renown marine electronics company specialising in manufacturing fish finders, radar systems and navigation instruments – Kramer’s award-winning ‘Kramer Control’ and ‘KDS AVoIP’ streaming solutions have been selected as vital components for the ‘Furuno Smart Bridge’, a state of the art bridge control and video presentation system.
Designed for fishing vessels, the ‘Smart Bridge’ provides the captain and crew members aboard the Carmona (and other vessels), with the ability to seamlessly access and view pertinent data and video from a variety of sources, such as radars, ECDIS, chart plotters, echo sounders, sonars, CCTV camera systems, and alarm and control systems.
Harboured in Sweden, and with trips sometimes lasting days – sailing across the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea, Baltic Sea, Kattegatt and Skagerra – safety and visibility, both above and below sea levels – including in identifying suitable fishing areas – were essential to the project. To achieve its ambitions, the Carmona required a cutting-edge, reliable, navigation system viewable in high quality from multiple locations on-ship and remotely, with no latency. In addition, it was essential that there are flexible viewing options and control, together with ease of use to ensure smooth operations
Highly versatile, Furuno Smart Bridge with Kramer allows for viewing and control via touchscreen panels, one or more monitors on the videowall, or remotely via a tablet or smartphone. Additionally, it can be used for the service technician to analyse possible problems onboard.
With customisation required to meet the system and ship’s exact needs, the Kramer Nordic team, worked together with Furuno across the entire development and installation process of the Carmona, identifying the right solutions and overcoming a series of challenges.
While Kramer Control – the company’s award-winning cloud-based, enterprise-class AV control platform – is typically more strongly associated with conference room use, with the dedication of the Kramer Development and Tech teams, adjustments were made to meet the exacting demands of the Smart Bridge concept. For example, to allow multiple users to work on the same system from different screens. This allowed everyone on board to have the clear visibility needed for their jobs, and as many as five users can work separately from different stations, using the same system.
Using Kramer KDS AVoIP encoders and decoders, video is distributed with 4K quality throughout the internal TV network onboard, with near-zero latency, ensuring the crew can follow pertinent data from monitors throughout the ship, with flexible pre-defined layouts on the video wall notifying the crew for specific activities such as fishing, navigation, or docking.
The Furuno Smart Bridge is now used every day, with the response from the crew being universally positive, according to Fredrik Gustafsson, Captain of Carmona.
“In the beginning, me and my crew were a bit afraid that it would take a long time to learn,” said Gustafsson. “But it’s a good and easy system. After just one fishing trip, everyone could handle it and we felt safe handling it. The Smart Bridge system makes it very fast and easy to change the ship’s screens from fishing to navigation, which makes a world of difference for operations and is a big benefit.”
Steen Bødker, manager at Furuno Sweden, added: “Our Smart Bridge system is based on Kramer KDS encoders and decoders. We tried different systems before we went to the Kramer solution, and we also had worked with Kramer matrixes before, but we found that the new KDS system was a more modern and more flexible system. So, we chose that.”
Steen, based in Gothenburg and with the company since 1993, also noted that the remote monitoring system has had huge added value, enabling the owner of the ship to hook onto the system online through the satellite communication and view all the videos on board the vessel.
This combination of the high level of support and out-of-the-box thinking is what he credits for the project’s ultimate success, making the Smart Bridge system fit for sea.
He concluded: “We had a very good experience working with Kramer, both on the sales side and on the technical side. It’s important of course to get support from the sales side when configuring the system, but it’s equally important that our technician was able to get in touch with the Kramer technician to develop the system together. The Smart Bridge system with Kramer is smarter than other systems, which is actually why we call it Smart Bridge.”