“Plan an ergonomic and user-friendly bridge environment for three new Pilot Station Vessels (PSV’s) in close cooperation with the shipyard and Dutch Pilot Organization.” This was the assignment Alphatron Marine received from Barkmeijer Shipyards at the end of 2010. In October 2012, the first unique pilot station, named Polaris, was established.
For Alphatron Marine, the equipment on the Polaris was one of the most comprehensive deliveries since her establishment in 1991. Since then, hundreds of vessels have become equipped with the user-friendly AlphaBridge. “This project was unique because of the large quantity and diversity of systems, and the fact that the ergonomics of the bridge is tailored to the specific needs of the pilots,” spoke David Goedknegt from the deepsea team. Alphatron Marine not only provided the usual navigation and communication systems, but also other consoles, including the complete entertainment system, telephone and sound system, satellite television, the IT network and an extensive CCTV system.
Ergonomic custom design
In order to fulfill the assignment for Barkmeijer and the Dutch Pilot Organization, a variation of Alphatron's ergonomic AlphaLine bridge consoles was chosen. The concept is based on a standard installation technique, but is flexible in the choice of systems from different suppliers. All panels, monitors and controls in the AlphaLine have a unique style. In close cooperation with ergonomic agency Fysergo, the bridge console is customized to meet the high demands. For example, many windscreen wipers on board can be controlled via the Linux-based multifunctional touchscreen panels and PC panels. The touch screen replaces many buttons. Goedknegt stated: "Above all, a lot of time has been put into the design of the seating console, since all equipment must be easy to operate in both the standing and sitting position. The layout of a large amount of equipment has been put together by hand, on the basis of a ‘mock-up’, a wooden version of the proposed console design."
Living up to promises
Ton Duivestein, construction supervisor of the Dutch Pilot Organization said: “Alphatron always stick to their promises. They not only provide the theoretical knowledge, but more importantly, the practical knowledge to solve problems with the customer." The ergonomic principles, dimensions of the equipment and standards could sometimes provide great challenges. Luuk Vroombout, CEO at Alphatron Marine explained: "We were proud when we were commissioned after strict selection and are very happy with the end result. The Polaris is a special class. There was intensive cooperation for a long period, and the combination of knowledge and experience has resulted in a unique achievement.”