Block I/O Modules on Super Yacht

On the super yacht Limitless, Turck’s TBEN compact block I/O modules with IP69K protection provide reliable EtherNet/IP communication between sensors/actuators and PLC.

Dutch ship equipment supplier Akerboom Yacht Equipment reworked the entire automation setup on the 20 year old super yacht Limitless with state of the art technology. Two controllers and one EtherNet/IP network replace the previously used point-to-point wiring of equipment such as cranes, boarding ladders or platforms. Akerboom relies on Turck’s robust TBEN-L and S Ethernet block I/O modules to transfer a large number of I/O signals. With their fully encapsulated plastic housing and protection to IP69K, the I/O modules are ideal for use on ships, eliminating the need for control cabinets or other protective measures.

  • The stern of the Limitless opens out as a platform, the rear boarding ladder just moves straight out

  • When the boarding ladder platform is deployed, the inclination must be measured in relation to the ship

  • Each Turck TBEN-L-16DOP block I/O provides 16 digital outputs for connecting hydraulic valves

  • Turck’s robust block I/O solutions with IP69K protection replaced all other protective devices

  • Ed Groen in `t Woud is very satisfied: “Turck’s I/O blocks have saved us a lot of wiring work.”

  • All technical systems can now be operated via a touch screen

Technical equipment getting on in years

All set-ups on the yacht are hydraulically operated, as a modern control technology had not yet been installed when the Limitless was built. The equipment was controlled with relay devices and simple point-to-point connections.

In recent years, the faults on the moving parts of the yacht’s equipment have increased. Moreover, the functioning moving elements were no longer state of the art and a central controller was not possible. Everything had to be operated by pushbutton at the equipment. Akerboom Yacht Equipment in Leiden, Netherlands, was commissioned by the captain to complete the technical refit of the entire ship. The company has gained a reputation in the field of electrical yacht equipment and is part of the Feadship Group, which also includes the De Vries shipyard.

EtherNet/IP controllers replace island solutions

Previously, each crane and each automated platform on the ship had its own control cabinet, in which the signals of the devices and drives were wired directly. Akerboom replaced these island solutions with I/O modules with EtherNet/IP communication and two modern controllers.

The IP69K I/O block modules also saved us a lot of space as well as wiring. Many control cabinets on board are now unnecessary because the TBEN-L modules are mounted directly next to the hydraulic valves.

A large number of digital input signals are used on the ship. These are supplied by end position switches, which detect the position of the locking bolts in the doors. Analog signals are output by inclination sensors. Turck’s B1N360 inclinometers detect the inclination of platforms when they are lowered onto the water. Measuring the inclination in relation to the ship - and not as an absolute value - is an important requirement here.

The analog signals of the inclinometers are brought to the controller via Turck’s ultra-compact TBEN-S2-4AI I/O station. The TBEN-S modules with a width of only 32 millimeters are even more compact than the TBEN-L, while still meeting IP69K requirements. A TBEN-S is installed in both the back and front area of the yacht. 

Block I/Os simplify wiring

This solution was really effective through the use of the TBEN-L1-16DOP digital block I/O modules, which enables all of the output signals to be brought from the controller via an Ethernet line to the digital valves. As multiprotocol devices, the TBEN I/O modules can be used on controllers equally with Profinet, EtherNet/IP, and Modbus TCP protocols.

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