Scantrol’ s new Active Heave Compensation (AHC) controller with an integrated Motion Reference Unit (MRU) has hit the market successfully since the launch in 2018. Despite a slow market Scantrol has already received orders for nine units so far this year, whereby two of the systems are for Offshore Wind projects. Some of the first systems sold are already in operation.
– We are glad to see that our customers know the benefit of investing in our cost-effective AHC solution despite uncertainty in the market. This tells us that the mTrack AHC controller hits a need in the market. Fast and simple integration of the mTrack controller has been crucial for our success. The customers can easily integrate mTrack on their own, saving them both time and cost, says Rolf Hjelmeland, Business Development Manager for Scantrol AHC.
Around 50 % of the customers want to implement mTrack in their control systems, the other half want a complete control system from Scantrol. Both customer groups get the same functionality and quality that they are used to Scantrol, but the time and resources for engineering and commissioning have drastically reduced.
The mTrack controller can be used for all types of winch or crane, ranging from small to large systems. Due to its potential and interface possibilities, the mTrack controller is also experiencing a lot of interest from new market areas.
Easy integration of mTrack with Siemens PLC
A quick market research revealed that Siemens is the most common PLC being used to communicate with the mTrack controller. The Scantrol team started to develop detailed instructions for Siemens TIA Portal and Simatic Manager, along with the function blocks needed for implementation.
The function blocks and implementation procedures are now a part of the documentation package included in the mTrack delivery. The result is that the customer can start interfacing the unit to the top-level system immediately after the arrival of the mTrack controller. One of the customers that tested the solution first was Utility ROV Services Limited (UTROV) in the UK:
– One of the main points for our selection of mTrack is the straightforward hardware implementation with the Siemens PLC, Which our winch and ROV runs on with ProfiNET communication, explains Alan Newlands, Technical Manager at UTROV.
Feedback from the customers using PLC’s to communicate with the mTrack controller has been essential to improve the solution.
–Today there are several systems with this integration, and we experience that we get less involved in the process than previously. This confirms that Scantrol has succeeded in making a product where the customers can take care of the integration on their own. If the customer needs assistance from Scantrol we are always available on remote support. In the future we will continue to develop function blocks and procedures for other PLCs, says Øystein Aase, Development Engineer at Scantrol.