VIKING is the world's leading manufacturer of life rafts and has just developed a series of products aimed at cruise ships. R&D contributed to the project with strong software competences which led to a solid software solution.

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VIKING Life-Saving Equipment A/S has manufactured life rafts since the beginning of 1960. The company is constantly working towards increasing the safety in the life rafts. Most recently, the company has developed a 40-foot storing and launching unit containing 4 life rafts. Each life raft can carry up to 200 persons. Compared to traditional life rafts, the unit takes up less room on board and optimises the safety with the newly developed equipment.

In all our projects, our main focus is creating new innovative solutions, which optimise the safety in the life rafts, increase the comfort, and make them easier to use," Christian Ibsen says, Research and Development Engineer at VIKING.

"In this project, we have benefitted from R&D's strong software competences. We do not have the required competences internally, and therefore we decided to collaborate with R&D due to their competences and experiences combined with a good balance between quality and costs. In terms of software, the collaboration has provided the boost needed for such projects."

In this project, we have benefitted from R&D's strong software competences.

Christian Ibsen
Research and Development Engineer, VIKING

Four life rafts per unit

Simplified, the 40-foot storing and launching units consist of four identical modules, i.e. four life rafts or, more specifically, LifeCrafts. Each of the four life rafts in the unit is equipped with four engines and each engine has two batteries. The batteries are charged regularly to ensure that the life rafts are always ready to use. Simultaneously, an automatic test of the functionality of each life raft is run once a day as part of the security system.

Niels Farver, Torben Wrang Laursen, and Henrik Karm from R&D have been working on the project from the very beginning.
"Being responsible for the development of the software solution for the storing and launching units means that we have developed the software, which combines the four engine rooms in each individual life raft, in order for everything to be operated by one lever," Senior Project Manager Henrik Karm from R&D explains. "In addition to this is the software which controls the periodical charge of the batteries, monitors the necessary systems and conducts the periodical test of functionality."
"The development of the software solution for VIKING has demanded a great understanding of the system and we have benefitted from our experience from other solutions developed by R&D," Henrik Karm continues.
"Furthermore, Niels has shown great persistence throughout the entire project and contributed greatly to the solution through his wide knowledge of embedded software development and his high level of detail. Due to these circumstances, we have had the opportunity to make suggestions for optimisation. During the process, Torben developed a specific method which we used to show and test the functionality of the system. This greatly affected the development and the authorisation."

Great expectations for the product

"R&D has contributed satisfactorily to the project with their technical support," Christian Ibsen says.
"We have great expectations for the future sale of the storing and launching units which are primarily aimed at cruise ships. It is a very innovative product which does not cannibalise our current products. Therefore, we see great opportunities to gain new market shares."