Digitalization and Maritime 4.0

Smart data as the basis for a digital future

Ships are continually being made more efficient through digitalization. Intelligent data forms the basis for smart marine automation. “Maritime 4.0” is the key phrase here.

In order to remain competitive in the future, the digitalization of the ship requires new technologies and solutions in all phases of its life. Rely on our expertise in network and automation technology – which we have long since extended with the technologies of the future – so that you can make your maritime application fit for the future.

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Digitalized ship in the context of Maritime 4.0

Maritime 4.0 – the digital transformation of the maritime industry

Data acquisition, control, and visualization – benefit from the increasing networking and digitalization in the maritime industry. Not only do we offer network technology and automation solutions from a single source, but we also ensure that your data is protected against cybercrime and modern piracy. Whether you are faced with the challenge of operating your entire fleet more efficiently or whether you want to make individual maritime trades more modular and connect them to the control system more quickly – we are there for you. Immerse yourself in our digital, maritime world.

Abstract: Digitalized ship against black background

Data, data, data – get the most out of your data

Your advantages

  • Data acquisition, control, regulation, and networking of all trades on board ensure an increase in efficiency of your maritime application
  • Certified products in accordance with IEC 62443 ensure secure communication from bridge to shore
  • Modular control solutions flexibly adapt to your requirements
Diagram: MTP – Modular Type Package in honeycomb design

MTP – Modular Type Packaging

Smart ship engineering with Modular Type Packaging MTP in the maritime industry

Phoenix Contact is part of a work group working with VDMA and leading suppliers in the shipping sector to develop a standardization process for the integration of modular type packaging models in the shipping industry.

Whether you are a system integrator, machine builder, or shipyard, Modular Type Packaging (MTP for short) improves the entire value chain in the construction and commissioning of ships. Modular Type Packages are used to integrate different systems on board without having to make complex adjustments to the interfaces in marine automation.

MTP is empowering the end-to-end networking of maritime systems.

Consistent module engineering Our software solution for the flexible realization of your module planning concept. The implementation of module planning must start with simplicity in engineering. We therefore provide you with a flexible module engineering tool, the MTP Designer. Create MTP-compliant modules in accordance with VDE 2658 yourself via mouse click with little engineering effort. In addition, MTP files can be imported automatically from process engineering tools.

Engineering of modules via the MTP Designer software solution on a computer
Modeling modules with the MTP Designer software solution on a computer
MTP function block library logo
Screens in the control system
Engineering of modules via the MTP Designer software solution on a computer

The module engineering describes parts of a process plant and is divided into smaller function units.

Benefit from fast commissioning and configuration, since the MTP Designer automatically generates the program body for your module automation. In this process, all services as well as all automation objects are created in accordance with VDE 2658-4.

Modeling modules with the MTP Designer software solution on a computer

In addition to the module and system engineering, the local visualization is automatically generated on the controller based on the P and I diagram to facilitate easy handling.

At the same time the visualization is generated, all interfaces (OPC UA tags) are defined for later data transmission.

MTP function block library logo

The MTP function block library conforms to the VDI/VDE/NAMUR 2658 MTP standard. The library contains interfaces for field devices, for local visualization systems, and for the integration of the modular system into the superordinate Process Orchestration Layer (POL for short).

We provide you with preconfigured function blocks to enable you to implement the programming of modular systems as simply and cost-effectively as possible.

Download the MTP function block library from the PLCnext Store now:

To the PLCnext Store: Module Type Package FB
Screens in the control system

In the description file generated via MTP Designer, the interfaces are also described formally in accordance with the VDI/NAMUR standard VDE 2658-3.

Programmers of the process control system thus have access to all the necessary information at an early stage: A representation of this visualization as a derivation from the P and I diagram as well as all interfaces that are required for the transfer of the necessary data.


Years of experience and industry-specific expertise result in outstanding solutions for your industry.


Learn more about our open and reliable technologies for a sustainable future.

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Cybersecurity icons with hand
Functional safety in a production line
Explosion protection logo
Solar field with wind turbine generators and networked communication technology icons

The new 5G, APL, TSN, and OPC UA technologies together form the communication of the future. Because this is the only way to ensure that data points can be networked securely, simply, and quickly.

We are actively involved in all of the key standardization committees. In these committees, we are shaping a new, cross-manufacturer communication standard for automation.

More about communication and transmission technologies
Cybersecurity icons with hand

In order to meet the high demands on IT security, the installation of firewalls at one point or another in the critical infrastructure is not sufficient. To minimize all cybersecurity risks, it is important to define protection goals. These protection goals are based on the established IEC 62443 standard “IT Security for Industrial Automation Solutions”.

As a certified ICS security service provider, we will provide you with sustainable support. The holistic approach also includes product development focused on security.

More about industrial security
Functional safety in a production line

Managing risks is not only essential when looking at protecting the environment and people. It is also important for maintaining systems and thus securing investment. Along with the safety integrity level (SIL), the performance level (PL) also plays an important role in the use of automated safety systems. Decentral, flexibly configurable solutions such as SafetyBridge technology are already being used today in SIL3 applications in various applications. They can be easily integrated into the controller.

Benefit from our safety controllers for complex applications that enable integration into Profisafe and Profinet networks. You can therefore implement safe shutdown, safe gas detection, and other functional safety functions regardless of the manufacturer. In addition, our components provide surge protection. Cameras monitor the decentral infrastructure and security. We also support you with comprehensive training programs.

More about functional safety
Explosion protection logo

The flammable gases that are generated, transported, and stored as part of power-to-X applications bring with them a key safety issue. If they escape unnoticed, an explosive or toxic atmosphere can develop. Appropriate sensor technology and gas warning devices are necessary to warn personnel in such cases. In addition, factory traffic is not allowed to pass through these areas. To control the traffic, we will couple your traffic light systems to the gas detectors via suitable transmission technology.

Phoenix Contact will provide you with a comprehensive selection of products and solutions for the requirements in potentially explosive areas. Our products range from PCB terminal blocks and PCB connectors through to Ex terminal blocks, Ex signal conditioners and measuring transducers, all the way to surge protection and I/O systems.

More about explosion protection
We are there for you
Finding a solution together
We would be happy to advise you on your modernization or extension project for digitalizing your maritime application and making it more efficient. Benefit from our long-standing experience and extensive range of services.
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Maritime application consultation