Digital ship twins

As the maritime business becomes more digital, technologies recently considered science fiction are now becoming reality. One such technology is digital twins for ships. A digital ship twin can be described as a virtual version of the physical ship and its constituents. The digital ship twin runs on a computer and emulates dynamically behaviors and properties. To accomplish this the digital ship twin contains many different digital models that represents the constituents of the ship. Depending on goals and purpose, one or many digital models can be used together to emulate defined scopes of ship properties, performances, and behaviors.   

Use cases

Emulating a complete ship with one digital twin is difficult due to the complex nature of ships. A digital twin covering all aspects of the ship requires lots of computations and often gives results that have little practical value. Digital twins are well suited for cases with a clear purpose and defined scope. One use case for digital ship twins can be to digitally assess wear and tear of ship components and systems over their lifetime. This can be helpful to reduce risk of failure and improve maintenance costs and schedules. Another can be combing the digital twin with data from the physical ship to evaluate, verify and benchmark performances with operational ramifications. One such use case could be to optimize fuel consumption related to maneuvers and type of mission. A digital ship twin can also be a very good tool for crew training and for improving ship operations.

In most use cases operational data from the physical ship is needed. This data can be about status and performance of components and systems, alarms, mission data and human interactions. Often both near real-time and historical data is needed.


X-CONNECT® is the perfect system for interaction with digital twins. X-CONNECT® is a future-oriented and user-friendly digital platform for maritime alarm, control, and automation systems. The platform has a modular design and includes several systems that are used to operate the ship such as Integrated Automation System (IAS), Power Management System (PMS) and Energy Management System (EMS). The system contains a range of standardized and componentized functionalities that can be combined in a multitude of ways enabling customized, future oriented and user-friendly ship systems.

Data provider

X-CONNECT® provides multiple data interfaces for efficient and flexible data interaction. It has several features for monitoring and analyzing operational data, events, and history of ship operations with a user-friendly user interface. The platform handles high resolution data in an efficient and flexible way using event-based data distribution. It has a modern high-performance data storage for storing and retrieving large amount of historical data. From X-CONNECT® it is easy to share and distribute data to external users. Data can be distributed online, as data files and reports, or exported to an USB.

The platform also includes BLUE BOX, an advanced solution for providing fast, reliable, and secure streaming of ship data to shore. BLUE BOX uses a secure cloud database to make data available at an instant, at any time and at any place all over the world.

X-CONNECT® Enables Digital twin

With X-CONNECT® it is possible to simulate ship systems. Most components of the systems can be simulated and be part of a larger dynamic system simulation that combine human interactions with auto generated data and configured system responses. The simulation feature of X-CONNECT® is very realistic and can be used for system- and functionality testing, system demonstrations and user training purposes. The simulation includes control, logical and functional aspects of systems and components, and with some life cycle simulations. The modern X-CONNECT® platform design enables simulation of a complete distributed system to take place together with the user-friendly X-CONNECT® front-end and the emulation of X-CONNECT® hardware, on one single laptop computer.

The digital twin partnership

X-CONNECT® can easily be complemented with external digital twins to increase the scope of simulation. By partnering external digital twins with X-CONNECT®, the full possibilities of digital twins become a reality. By coupling external digital twins with X-CONNECT®, the twin will always have access to the data they need and a receiver of its results. Combing X-CONNECT® with digital twins are easy and the platform can accommodate most type of data. X-CONNECT® is the perfect front-end solution for digital twins. It is easy to create custom user interfaces to control the input to the digital twin and monitor and analyzing the results.

Please contact us for pleasant conversation about Digital Twin possibilities.

Photo is protected by copyright with DNV & design by Ulstein.