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SHIP TECHNOLOGY: These days a ship’s bridge is an Aladdin’s cave of instrumentation. The Danish company DEIF A/S is capturing the world market.


Standing on the bridge, the captain is in command of extremely valuable property: the ship, its crew and the cargo. To handle this responsibility he has, in addition to his training and experience, a complicated system of control instruments which keep him constantly informed of the functioning of the entire vessel down to the smallest valve and pump.

A modern vessel is controlled by such advanced computer technology that the helmsman and captain can essentially sit back, relax and enjoy the trip, with an occasional glance at the instrument panels.

The big picture
“That glance is very important however, because it gives a total overview and confirms that everything is as it should be: engine operation, cargo status and ship’s course are correct and no unpleasant surprises are waiting round the corner. DEIF provides that overview.”

So says director Toke Foss of DEIF A/S, an abbreviation of Danish Electronic Instrument Factory. The company has supplied monitoring and control systems for ships since 1933. Today DEIF A/S has a 50% share of the world market for control equipment for navigation and other specialised, illuminated bridge instruments.

Analogue overview
“Safety and reliability is our strength,” says Toke Foss. “While the workings of a modern ship are largely based on computer technology, the control instruments are still in analogue format. Instead of showing digital numbers, our instruments translate the electronics into pointers. It might appear technologically conservative, but experience shows that analogue instrument formats give the best overview.”

A bridge bristling with instrumentation of all kinds can appear confusing. So in collaboration with a large number of main suppliers such as Rolls Royce and Kongsberg, DEIF A/S is creating uniformity and shared standards to replace confusion with clarity.

“Unfortunately there is still much to be done,” says Toke Foss. “Because the instrumentation on the bridge is often provided by many different suppliers, each with their own design and colour. And usually the ship owner or the shipyard do not specify the design. We make a difference by collaborating with our customers on design and uniformity to improve the overview.”

In addition to its speciality, Marine Bridge Instruments, DEIF A/S is also a leader on the international market for motor and generator control. DEIF’s main area is power management systems which control the entire power plant on board large ships as well as decentralized power plants and wind turbines on land.


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Version 1. 22-05-2007
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