Technology group Wärtsilä has tightened its grip on the vessel control system market by buying Guidance Marine to further its “intelligent” shipping development.
Guidance Marine is focused on marine sensor solutions relating to dynamic positioning and other similar systems that stop collisions and enable remote-control operations.
The acquisition will enhance Wärtsilä’s capabilities in the area of situational awareness and near-field measurement, both essential for more intelligent vessel navigation. Guidance Marine has offices in the UK, Singapore and the US.
Wärtsilä recently took a crucial step towards developing its Smart Marine capabilities by successfully testing a remote-control ship in what its Director of Engineering, Iain Huntley-Playle, claimed as “a first for the industry”:
Maik Stoevhase, director of Automation, Navigation and Communication, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions, said:
“Guidance Marine’s core competences are wide ranging and include the development of sophisticated positional measurement sensors and systems for high accuracy control applications.”
“These competences complement our own activities in the field of radar technology, navigation and dynamic positioning, by joining forces we can certainly further accelerate the introduction of solutions that will take shipping into a new era of efficiency,” he added.
Founded in 1991, Guidance Marine has developed critical in-house capabilities, including a dozen patents for various technologies and a ready portfolio of closely related products.
In its research and development activities, the company has also established strong connections with a number of leading UK universities.
Guidance Marine employs over 50 people worldwide and has a strong record of accomplishment in delivering significant safety and cost benefits by bringing disruptive position measurement technologies to marine markets across several continents.
Jan Grothusen, chief executive officer at Guidance Marine, said: “Joining forces with the Wärtsilä Corp. presents an exciting opportunity for Guidance Marine to work alongside a major player in the marine industry.
“We are committed to continue serving all our customers, while at the same time looking forward to bringing them faster access to new products and technologies,” he said.
“This partnership provides a significant step change in developing the future of maritime positioning and navigation where the integration of multi-modal sensor technologies is a key factor in the delivery of ‘intelligent’ vessels,” Grothusen added.