Alphatron Marine is a world-renowned supplier of integrated bridge solutions, represent major industry brands and manufacturer of unique complementary products to the Japan Radio Company Ltd (JRC) portfolio. With the full support of Centers of Excellence in Tokyo, Singapore, Houston and Rotterdam, the combined synergies bring quality and innovation to owners, operators and shipyards, redefining the future of ocean, offshore and river navigation.
Luuk Vroombout started his career as a technician, he quickly realized the necessity of improved communication with customers and superior handling of the products. Complete concepts were missing. As a result of this Luuk Vroombout and Dick Slingerland founded Alphatron Marine in 1989. The company started with the founders Luuk Vroombout and Dick Slingerland and has grown to an international organization, currently employing around 450 people globally. Alphatron Marine started as a part of the Alphatron Group founded by Dick Slingerland in 1970, which included Alphatron Security, Alphatron Medical and Alphatron Broadcasting. This changed in January 2018. Currently Alphatron Marine is 100 percent owned by its partner JRC, with headoffice located in Tokyo, Japan.
At the time of founding Alphatron Marine started with a strong focus on dredging as the dredging industry was located near the port of Rotterdam, where the headquarter was located. The dredging industry is a very demanding industry, Alphatron Marine figured out that if you could satisfy their needs, then it would be easier to further expand into other maritime sectors. Even at that time Alphatron Marine realized that a well-functioning bridge has to look good and be ergonomically perfect too, and that combination worked wonders in the dredging industry. From dredging, they deviated to coastal shipping. From that point onwards Alphatron Marine experience and representation grew exceptionally in various markets such as the inland and Deepsea shipping as well as fishery and high end yachting market, eventually becoming de facto standard on patrol boats, semi-military, coastal patrol, gas tankers, tugs and pilot boats.
In 2003 Alphatron Marine faced a difficult time when shipyard Van der Giessen de Noord closed its doors, they were one of the biggest clients of Alphatron Marine. These times asked for creative and out-of-the-box solutions and a new strategy to be able to continue. As Alphatron Marine kept importing, supplying, installing and providing technical, high-spec navigation and communication support equipment aboard ships, their intensive collaboration with specialist shipyards and shipowners resulted in their very own fully designed and produced product ‘AlphaLine’.
The new line of products ‘AlphaLine’ started in the inland shipping, and was the start of a new time for Alphatron Marine. So as Alphatron Marine expanded into the inland shipping, the company grew locally. At that time, the customer could customize various displays and indicators. However, the problem was, that there wasn’t a radar in the assortment at that time. And because manufacturers saw Alphatron Marine as a competitor, no manufacturer wanted to co-operate and build a radar for them. Eventually, a manufacturer from former Czechoslovakia was willing to deliver radars. But these radars only worked for a short period of time. It was accelerated learning for Alphatron Marine as eventually all radars were replaced free of charge by Luuk Vroombout with a brand of the customer’s choice.
If one door closes, another one will open. The Japanese manufacturer JRC was found through its advanced radar with built-in GPS. After some convincing, they have decided to go on with Alphatron Marine’s idea of a color river radar. In order to get this deal with JRC, Alphatron Marine was obliged to purchase 500 sets at minimum. These radars were completed and designed according to the specifications of Alphatron Marine. The rest is history. Since the year 2000, Alphatron Marine sold almost 4,500 radars in close co-operation with JRC and today’s model JMA-610 is already the third generation. The success of many Alphatron Marine products, as the radar, lies in inland navigation. This because the inland shipping industry demands quality. They are closely involved with the products because they are installed 'at home'. The inland shipping sector has always been and still is a big customer of Alphatron Marine’s navigation and communications systems.
In order to pace with developments, Alphatron Marine invested heavily in a R&D team, system engineers, advanced software, product managers, the right business partners and (navigation) console builders that assemble and test complete bridge systems in their own workshop. Quality is assured by providing formal and end-user training as well as fully qualified maintenance personnel, supported by an efficient service organization.
Luuk Vroombout collaboration with TU Delft and the University of Stuttgart shows that Alphatron Marine is active with the themes of the future. The company believes that autonomous shipping is still a step too far, but believes in the concept ‘supported sailing’, or semi-autonomous sailing. Support sailing is support in sailing, where needed and can be provided, reducing administrative procedures. Alphatron Marine’s point of view is that there must be an eye for the human factor in every change.
Cooperation with JRC
On 1 January 2014, Japan Radio Company (JRC) and Alphatron Marine established a far-reaching strategic partnership bringing together a unique combination of expertise offering a one-stop-shopping concept for navigation, communication, automation and complete integrated bridge solutions. JRC, was founded in 1915, is a world-leading marine electronics producer specializing in the design and manufacture of industry compliant products. Together delivering the best in maritime electronics from JRC and Alphatron Marine as a single supplier and total system integrator. With a history that spans over a 100 year, JRC has a strong reputation for developing the best quality maritime products. Alphatron Marine understands the end user and has been a system integrator with an eye for ergonomics and total concepts for 29 years. Together the new organization brings more than 132 years of experience to the table as they continue to innovate and change the world of bridge operation.
In the second half of 2013 JRC and Alphatron Marine introduced their first combined result. A unique, fully integrated one man bridge with a total of three 46-inch displays for use in coastal patrol vessels, offshore and workboats, combining radar, ECDIS, conning, alarm monitoring and DP data in an easy to use format and where all operating panels are “within reach”.
Shipbuilders can now purchase every product from a single supplier that caters for the entire system, from maritime PABX boards to wind instrumentation and from radar and radio communication to bridge consoles. If preferred, everything can be delivered prefabricated from one of our workshops around the world.
To complete the service Alphatron Marine can offer technical and commercial advice, engineering support, a 24/7 helpdesk, lifetime “in service” support via the global JRC/Alphatron service network and remote maintenance via a satellite link. What remains unchanged is that JRC will continue as a manufacturer to produce and sell JRC products and Alphatron will complement these products with the AlphaLine range and the products of other suppliers.
Products, Service and Solutions
Alphatron Marine is specialized in technological solutions and high performances electronics for communication and navigation in the maritime industry. As a navigation and communication system integrator, Alphatron Marine offers a full range of standard or custom design bridges.
AlphaBridge and products
The lack of clarity in the wide variety of equipment often found on many ship’s bridges prompted the development of an ergonomic bridge: the AlphaBridge. This, along with their own range of instruments, forms a fully integrated bridge. In the past years, Alphatron Marine has fitted over 1000 vessels and are setting a new standard with the trendsetting AlphaBridge wheelhouse concept. The unique AlphaBridge concept consists modular interchangeable consoles, providing custom-made bridges to suit all requirements and at the same time achieving shorter delivery times.
Alphatron Marine produces a full range of complementary products like gyrocompasses, autopilots, marine instruments as well as marine PABX and PA systems all marked under the product name AlphaLine. For river navigation, a full product line of rate of turn autopilots, rate of turn indicators, shallow water echo sounders, river radars, etc. are offered. For Deepsea applications, the product range includes the unique modular AlphaBridge console concept and for special applications the versatile dynamic positioning system is available. Mega yachts who require complete one-off bridge systems are also included in our long list of reoccurring customers. Besides representing their own line of products AlphaLine, they represent major manufacturers like Cobham, Colorlight, EIZO, FLIR, Intellian, Jotron, McMurdo, NAVIS, Terma, Transas and Yokogawa.
Global Customer Support Center
As a part of Alphatron Marine’s total solution philosophy, all their VSAT and FX customers are actively monitored in our Global Customer Support Center. A dedicated support team is automatically notified in case of an outage and will start immediately with investigation and recovery procedures. The Global Customer Support Center is available 24/7/365 for direct support, whilst logging all incidents into the ticketing system that is used to communicate with customers. Their customers have access to a monitoring portal to view the performance of the VSAT system, including uptime, historical bandwidth charts, and live bandwidth. The portal is also available as a mobile app for Android and iOS.
Alphatron Marine’s desire and commitment to continually improve their services inspired them to build a fully functional service platform for a new device, called the AlphaEye. With the AlphaEye, the crew onboard can call through a dedicated (satellite, 3G or 4G) communication link directly with Alphatron Marine or a 3rd party manufacturer’s expert, and provide a real-time audio and video support session. With guidance from the on-shore expert, error analysis and problem-solving can be achieved in a very short timeframe, reducing costs for travel and possible downtime for the vessel. AlphaEye is optimized for low-bandwidth and high noise areas such as the engine room. An easy-to-install Powerline data-over-power is available to assure WiFi connection on the whole vessel.
Reliable communication is crucial for safety at sea, operational management, cost reduction and crew welfare. Satellite communication, today is an enabler for smart vessel operation and remote accessibility of the customer's assets. As an official distributor partner for world-leading satellite providers Inmarsat, Telenor and EMC and antenna manufacturers JRC, Intellian, and Cobham, Alphatron Marine connect the customer's vessel in the most cost-effective way. Alphatron Marine has a worldwide network of their own subsidiaries to serve the customer around the clock. Their certified engineers and global partner network are available to ensure quick installation and maintain the equipment according to the highest standards.
Service and support
Alphatron Marine is your partner for onboard and shore based service anywhere in the world. With our worldwide network, we offer unparalleled service support 24/7, plus quick turnaround times to our customers for our own equipment and that of leading manufacturers. Alphatron Marine has 21 offices in 12 countries. Alphatron Marine and her subsidiaries carry out official service requirements, offshore surveys, annual performance and radio surveys. Besides delivery, engineering and installation, the Alphatron Marine group offers full maintenance support to ship owners worldwide. Besides the representation of major manufacturers, Alphatron Marine also produces an extensive range of complementary products such as gyrocompasses, autopilots, marine instruments, as well as marine PABX and PA systems.
The service and maintenance contracts are put in place to provide you with budgetary, trusted and hassle-free maintenance services of navigation and communication equipment that reduces breakdowns and unexpected costs. With Alphatron Marine and local service quality partners, they able to ensure worldwide that our customers receive the highest quality service, executed by certified engineers meeting the operational and safety standards. Three different levels of agreements are offered:
- Entree contract, Shore based maintenance certificate
- Premium contract, Annual surveys including health check
- Executive contract, Full service maintenance and support
For a better understanding on board, Alphatron Marine has a certified training department providing customers with both operational and technical training for all equipment in our portfolio. Alphatron Marine’s training center is equipped with latest products and simulators. Customer can follow training in various office around the world, including Rotterdam, Singapore and Houston.
At Alphatron Marine technical training is a continuous process which partly happens in the field but also needs to be facilitated by a certified instructor. It’s not without a reason that technicians and engineers are legally required to obtain a certificate to work on certain pieces of equipment. Alphatron Marine makes sure the necessary equipment is available in classrooms so that every training is a combination of both theory and practice. Their instructors not only keep a close eye on product- and software updates but also include the latest regulations in their trainings.
Whenever a ship gets equipped with new devices, it’s essential for crew members to learn the specifics of these devices. Alphatron Marine often hear even the most experienced captains and navigational officers say they benefit from this type of training, as differences between brands, products and software cause every device to work differently. Certified instructors offer the latest tips and tricks on how to use our equipment that are often difficult to grasp with manuals only. Operational training can either take place (worldwide) aboard a ship or in one of the classrooms.
IT & AV
Continuously striving for high quality solutions, a no-nonsense approach and the human touch in technology are just some of the core values that have shaped Alphatron Marine into the company that it is today. The Alphatron Marine IT & AV solutions division is run by an enthusiastic team that specializes in the integration of technology in the field of complete IT and entertainment solutions. This is done without any compromise with respect to quality and reliability. Many years of experience in various maritime markets ensure that they are able to understand and integrate the applications a customer want in ready-made solutions.Experience the comfort of the human touch in technology with Alphatron Marine as strategic partner in IT and AV solutions.