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Case Study

Digitizing Engine Control Systems for Operational Efficiency

  • Application Engine Control Systems
  • Industry Marine 
  • Region Germany


With a vision of building efficient and intelligent modern ships, one of the leading marine engine providers is sailing into the transformation to digitization to help ship owners enhance operational efficiency, which can reduce fuel consumption and maintenance costs. Digitization is an approach that requires reliable networking, data analysis, and interaction. To start this journey, it was fundamental to have electronically controlled engines so that ship owners could achieve highly integrated engine control systems.

What is an electronically controlled engine?
Electronically controlled engines help subsystems connect the propellers/engines to the engine room and engine control room, as well as to the bridge or even remote sites. Electronically controlled engines integrate controls for starting air valves, starting and reversing sequences, governing functions, and so on. With highly integrated engine control systems, ship owners can precisely control and increase the visibility of these systems and better collaborate with the engine provider. Furthermore, they also provide real-time condition monitoring, intelligent optimization, and facilitated decision making. All of these enable both ship operators and engine providers to better leverage onboard systems. Because electronically controlled engines can achieve lower possible propeller speeds, lower fuel consumption, increased flexibility over emissions, easy adjustment, and precise optimization of engine parameters, building them is a crucial step for engine providers to ensure the competitiveness of their engines.

System Requirements

  • Rugged and resistant to EMI/EMS in engine rooms that may have extreme, harsh operating conditions with fluctuating temperatures and high humidity
  • Pass functional tests that follow the IACS UR E10/IEC 60945 standards, and must conform to international maritime standards such as DNV GL, ABS, and LR to ensure design and verification quality
  • Flexible network connections and redundancy technologies to realize integrated networks and ensure network availability
  • Support for QoS and IEEE 1588v2 PTP to provide seamless and real-time communications for precise control

Moxa Solution

With electronically-controlled engines, the marine engine provider can now build next-generation engine control systems (ECSs) that are highly intelligent. Moxa’s EDS-600 industrial Ethernet switches are integrated into the ECSs, providing connectivity with high bandwidth, scalability, and reliability to allow integration of various subsystems and applications such as engine controls, cylinder controls, auxiliary controls, and condition measuring and monitoring applications.

In order to provide greater visibility of the whole system, a single converged network is created to connect propellers and engines in the engine room all the way to the control room and the bridge. With this converged network, ship operators can achieve higher integration of the subsystems and can quickly adjust cruising, propulsion, and fuel consumption controls, even in a rapidly changing marine environment. Additionally, when a new controller or a subsystem is added to the system, the controller can be automatically configured through the control network. In order to achieve such a highly integrated implementation, the customer needed a flexible network design. The EDS-600 Series, with its modular designs that can support up to 16 ports, enables network designs to be flexible, scalable, and future-proof.

During operation, time synchronization plays a significant role in ensuring real-time data communication and precise control across multiple subsystems and applications for various devices such as marine engine controllers. IEEE 1588v2 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) is used to do time-triggered data sampling for the whole engine control system and QoS helps manage data with higher priority. Another key to ensuring seamless operations is to build fast recovery networks with advanced redundancy technologies. Moxa’s EDS-600 Series, featuring Turbo Ring redundancy, ensures network uptime and prevents ship operations from being disrupted.  

As most of the switches are installed in the engine or engine control rooms, the EDS-600 Series is design-ready for durability in extreme harsh environments with strong vibration, high EMC, and wide operating temperatures. The EDS-600 Series has passed international marine certifications such as DNV GL, ABS, and LR to guarantee the reliable and safe operation of equipment used on ships.


Why Moxa

  • Rugged design compliant with IACS UR E10/IEC 60945 standards for harsh environments
  • Turbo Ring redundancy ensures high network availability
  • Supports QoS and IEEE 1588v2 PTP for precise control, ensuring network reliability across the whole integrated ECS
  • Wide operating temperature design
  • Compliance with international maritime standards such as DNV GL, ABS, and LR

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