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Autonav’s modular design allows for the configuration of the steering motor control and any combination of alarm and status indication at the Bridge. This design, combined with a custom printed circuit board in the starter panel and PLC control, makes the installation and the system integration straightforward and inexpensive.

Typical features available are:


a) status indication for controls and motor power available

b) motor run

c) visual and acoustic alarms for control power failure

d) motor power failure

e) motor overload

f) phase failure

g) low oil level

h)  filter fail

i) hydraulic lock and, 

j) steering control failure.

Model MA 100 Motor Alarm panel includes all of the above except motor control and is available for use in the Machinery Control Room.  The low voltage (24 VDC) control circuits eliminate the shock and fire hazards that are possible with older high voltage AC controls.

An optional colour LCD Touch Screen version provides even greater situational awareness and ease of monitoring. Data can be sent to a central monitoring system, VDRs, etc…

The Model  LCB 101 is a local Control and Bridge Disconnect Panel which features a waterproof housing for the pair of internal steering amplifiers. The selector switches allow for disconnection of the Bridge control, in case of failure.  It also allows the selection of local emergency control with the use of an integral NFU steering lever and rudder angle indicator – fully complying with all Rule requirements for Local Control and Bridge Isolation. The location of the panel in the steering compartment means minimum loss of steering solenoid valve power which could occur with remote Bridge mounting. All solenoid valve control is manufactured with DC circuits for maximum reliability and safety.

This combination of a radial, carrier bearing and a packing gland integrated into the steering gear tiller provides a very compact arrangement with minimum maintenance. Side loads from the rudder, and the weight of the rudder and rudder stock, are taken up by the large area of self-lubricating, proprietary, synthetic bearing liners. On installation, adding a small amount of grease is sufficient to provide low friction and minimal wear. Autonav’s unique bearing material has been tested in numerous installations for over 3 decades, with no bearing replacement needed so far. Eventual replacement is very easy: the bearing liner is removed and replaced without the use of heavy hydraulic presses or jacks. The packing gland protects against seawater intrusion and has large, easy-to-access, gland ports. All parts exposed to seawater are made of stainless steel and manganese bronze. The scoring, bearing damage, and high friction seen with bronze bearing liners are eliminated.  Autonav’s compact design allows fitting it into extremely restricted steering compartments

Features of the Autonav Control System

Autonav has a wide range of controls available -  from simple manual hydraulic controls to the most sophisticated electronic types which provide extremely high rudder positional accuracy at high rudder rates. 

The following describes the control system and its features:

  • The Manual Hydraulic Control System provides simple and reliable main control for small vessels. 

  • The Manual Hydraulic with non-follow-up power steering provides reliable manual control with power assist for maneuvering and for the autopilot. 

  • VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) provides continual variable acceleration and deceleration with an over 80% reduction in power consumption. This also greatly reduces wear and maintenance on motors, pumps and filters.

  • Direct solenoid valve control provides power steering via non-followup or full follow-up electronic controls plus an autopilot interface. Rate control and HP limiting are available. 

  • Hydraulic, telemotor power steering provides simple and reliable full follow-up hydraulic power steering with automatic changeover to manual hydraulic backup. It features motion storage, continuous acceleration and deceleration, and an autopilot interface. 

  • Proportional valve control provides continuous acceleration and deceleration with high-accuracy rudder positioning. 

  • Reversible flow, variable volume and pump control have proportional or servo valve input for continuous acceleration and deceleration to provide high-accuracy rudder positioning.

  • Orbitrol type provides inexpensive wheel power steering with limited manual hydraulic backup.

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