DIGIPILOT  With the Price of Oil Soaring to Over $100/Barrel, Saving Fuel is the Lifeblood of a Ship Owner’s Profits

DIGIPILOT** is a smart add-on autopilot that optimizes ship rudder control to provide significant savings in both dollars and time. Twenty of these adaptive autopilot systems were sold yielding 2% fuel savings. DIGIPILOT is a “smart autopilot add-on” that optimizes ship’s rudder movement providing significant fuel savings in dollars and shortened trip time.

The system was originally engineered for ships of 10,000 gross tons and larger in which self-adjusting steering control with very slow controlled turns even then provided substantial annual fuel savings of $25,000. Now savings is ten times more and can be easily retrofitted on existing smaller, high fuel usage ships having standard autopilots, those that can benefit most from fuel savings.

Our Patent-Pending algorithms work in all sea states including rough seas, and it is easily installed as an auxiliary on new construction or on existing ships having standard autopilots.

retrofit fuel saving technology rudder controller maritime shipping

DIGIPILOT reduces rudder action by removing wave motion effects on control resulting in fuel saving and an increase of speed; experience indicates that this increase in fuel savings is on the order of 1 to 3% (theoretical limit of 5%); thus the equipment can pay for itself over a small number of months. With fuel costs that can range from 30-60% of ship expenses, even a 2% savings translates into 6 to 12% increase in profit.We offer an innovative business model to provide eHELM at a low initial cost ($25k) and an annuitywith a 15% usage fee to improve fuel savings.

The ship owner realizes 85% of the fuel cost savings that flows directly to the bottom line

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DIGIPILOT** Rudder Controller Details

 FUEL SAVINGS & SHORTENED VOYAGE ~3 % over gyropilot

 INCREASED SPEED – Rudder control reduced, results in less hull and rudder drag.

CONTROLLED TURN RATE–  Slow accurate ship turns as slow as 2°/minute.

FULLY ADAPTIVE – Eliminates gain, sensitivity and weather controls on conventional    autopilots and gives optimum steering performance in all sea states.

SIMPLIFIED STEERING– Course Command Control gives precise course changes.

INTEGRAL RATE-OF-TURN DISPLAY– Continuous choice and readout of turn rate

MORE ACCURATE COURSE KEEPING – Course variances are sensed when small and corrected with minimum rudder motion.

AUTOMATIC COMMAND COURSE– Direct great circle or rhumb line steering from paper charts, e-charts, or other manufacturer’s ECDIS or any D-GNSS receiver.

COURSE COMMAND CONTROL– Provides steering selection to Command Course.

DATA DISPLAY- Heading/Command Course,Turn ate, Off-Course Alarm  & Speed

RATE-OF-TURN SELECTOR Allows selection and display

HEADING HOLD SWITCH AND FLASHING INDICATOR Stops ship’s swing when turning or maintaining constant heading for a new Command

RED & GREEN DIRECTION LAMPS– Show direction of Course Command Control.

VISUAL AND AUDIBLE ALARMS– Faults, off course and sensor input errors.

GYRO SET PUSHBUTTON-For initializing gyro input.

OFF COURSE ALARM-For setting Off-Course Alarm parameters.

MANUAL and AUTOMATIC SPEED Selection and allows setting of manual speed

LOADED/UNLOADED or PERCENT LOAD and TRIM Indicates status, if available and allows selection based on ship’s loading for ideal steering

DEPTH- Input for correction of a major factor affected steering

WIND SPEED and DIRECTION- partially accounts for sway or cross track offset

**Patent Pending 2012 DIGIPILOT – Fuel and Time Saving Add-on Rudder Controller with Optional IMO ARPA/AIS/ECDIS

Patented Pending Technology

DIGIPILOT Adaptive Autopilot provides direct digital control based on inertial measured vessel motion due to wave and external actions that is Kalman filtered to minimize unnecessary action of the rudder causing ruder and hull drag due to sway.  This sophistiated technique is far superior to that based on the WWII era technology called “Iron Mike” that requires frequent adjustment of proportional, integral and derivative (FID) action to give proper initial rudder and timely counter rudder.

The steady courses achieved minimize cross track velocity, which cause heavy drag losses, and the ship’s speed is increased slightly because the rudder response is prompt and effective without overshoot or hunting. Better long-term course keeping is also accomplished due to the integral characteristic of DIGIPILOT, which removes steering error and windage effects.  These effects are not always compensated in conventional autopilots and experimental tests funded by the Canadian Space Agency compared operation of a GPS guided track keeping  autopilot that proved 2% shortened sailing time with corresponding fuel saving by measurement on both systems while in the same sea state.

View Rudder Control Comparison Chart and description showing less oscillation or fuel savings and shortened voyage time

showing reduced ship rudder movement -fuel saving technology comparison chart

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Autopilot DigiPILOT Maritime Shipping Fuel Saving Retrofit Products Information Card


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Adaptive Autopilot Technology Retrofit | Shipping Fleet Modular Bridge Integrated Systems | Automated Maritime Navigation, Safety and Fuel Efficiency