MSC Cruises Chooses ICONICS for Updated Ship Control

MSC Cruises (msccruises.com), headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland with a shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, is the world’s fourth largest cruise line and largest privately-owned cruise company, and market leader in the Mediterranean, South America and South Africa. The company grew by 800% between 2004 and 2014, carrying 1.67 million guests in 2014 and reported strong financial results with a turnover of €1.5 billion.

MSC Cruises, working with system integrator, Engie Axima (engie-axima.fr) selected ICONICS’ GENESIS64™ HMI/SCADA and building automation suite.

MSC Cruises sought a modern monitoring and control system for its latest cruise ship, the MSC Meraviglia. According to a company release, at 171,598 gross register tonnage (GRT) and with guest capacity of 5,714, MSC Meraviglia is both the biggest ship to ever be built by a European ship owner (MSC Cruises) and the biggest to come into service in 2017. The cruise ship, the 13th to join MSC Cruises’ fleet since the company’s inception in 2003, is 315 meters long, 43 meters wide and 65 meters high and can travel up to 22.7 knots. Among the ship’s attractions are a water park with multiple water slides, a Himalayan rope course, a Cirque du Soleil theatre, and the largest LED dome at sea.

MSC Cruises hold the comfort and safety of its passengers as a top priority, which includes the monitoring and management of its ship wide HVAC system. With assistance from Engie Axima, the cruise company selected a system for the Meraviglia that would cover the heating, ventilation and air conditioning throughout passenger cabin, public space, galley, stairway, technical room, swimming pool, and wheelhouse areas. Combined, approximately 450 fans, 820 sensors and 1,000 actuators are now controlled and monitored via ICONICS GENESIS64 software. Approximately 6,000 physical input/output (I/O) points and 15,000 communications I/O points are connected through the system, including interfaces with over 100 SAIA Burgess PLCs. In addition, GENESIS64 also connects to Kepware OPC Server software aboard the vessel.

ICONICS and GENESIS64’s Integration with OPC UA

ICONICS provides advanced, Web-enabled and OPC UA certified HMI/SCADA software for any discrete manufacturing or industrial application. OPC UA is a high performance and secure communications protocol designed to share real-time, historical, and event data between systems and clients.

GENESIS64 is built upon ICONICS’ Platform Services, which includes universal connectivity to OPC UA, OPC and multiple other communications protocols. Through this powerful middleware, GENESIS64 makes it easy to visualize, via its OPC UA interface, virtually any equipment, process, operation or business data.

For example, OPC UA clients can now securely access:

  • Registers and data from virtually any PLC or DCS system
  • Equipment maintenance records from most maintenance management systems
  • Energy data from any metering system
  • Incoming order data from any ERP System

Critical to industrial automation systems are the protection of control systems and all related communications. OPC UA, and ICONICS’ implementation of OPC UA, provides multiple layers of protection, including user-generated and authority-generated certificate authorization, symmetric encryption, signatures on all communications and strict user authentication.

[Note: ICONICS is a charter member of the OPC Foundation and has assisted the Foundation over the years by providing source code and hosting Interop events, as well as serving on the Board of Directors for the Foundation. ICONICS also quickly adopted the OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) specification upon its initial release, integrating it with its software solutions.]