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Corporate Profile Globally Speaking How does a large marine technology firm like Kongsberg Maritime face the challenges of being a turnkey supplier in a market well known for its fluid change in demand, outlook and geographical location? Keeping one eye firmly on those changes as they happen, according to Ole Gunnar Hvamb, Executive Vice President, Offshore & Marine at Kongsberg Maritime is the first step. "Yard and ship-owner consolidations, Asian newbuild market strength, expansion in China shipbuilding, increased worldwide transport demands and energy consumption, the drill rig and heavy offshore boom. These are just a few of the significant changes to affect the marine industry over just the last five years," said Hvamb. "Going back further and Kongsberg Maritime has had to follow many diverse trends over the years, in part because as an organization we have so many facets and core competencies. From diving to ROVs, communications technology to Dynamic Positioning and navigation and automation to marine IT. These are all areas that have changed dramatically since the seeds of Kongsberg Maritime were first planted," said Hvamb. Family Roots The first product to come out of the Kongsberg Maritime extended family was a local radio tuner for tape recorders from Autronica, which was founded in 1956. Autronica followed this up in 1959 with its first fire alarm system and although the company isn't within the Kongsberg Group anymore it is still a leading player in commercial fire alarm systems. Norcontrol, a familiar name to many, was founded on April 1, 1965, with its first product, a main engine remote control system for diesel driven ships. This was followed up by the world's first computerized radar/ARPA system, which was delivered to the vessel MS Taimyr in 1969. Already a divergent pattern of product development starts to appear reflecting the current range of products and services that Kongsberg Maritime offers today. The expansion of product areas continued and in 1972 Norcontrol launched its first DataChief computerized alarm, monitoring and control system. The DataChief brand and technology has been one of the cornerstones of the Kongsberg family ever since, and has produced six different versions, with each iteration providing further advancements in the way ships are operated. The company doesn't claim to have provided all the revolutions in monitoring and control, but its developments in the automation arena have provided positive effects for the shipping industry as a whole. In 1975, another core competency of Kongsberg Maritime was cemented in history, when Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk, a longstanding Norwegian manufacturing firm founds Kongsberg Albatross to develop and deliver Dynamic Kongsberg serves a diversity of marine industries worldwide. Pictured is Heidrun (Copyright Statoil) Positioning systems. Then in 1978 the company introduces its first engine room simulator. The 80's and 90's saw the various arms that form Kongsberg Maritime today continue to develop systems for the benefit of the offshore, naval and merchant marine industries. During this time, several acquisitions within Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk added further core competencies to the group and pulled various disparate areas of the business closer together. In 1997 Kongsberg Maritime was officially formed as the umbrella organization consisting of Kongsberg Simrad, Kongsberg Norcontrol, Kongsberg Norcontrol Simulation and Simrad - ultimately owned by Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk, which is now known as the Kongsberg Group (also parent company to Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace). The somewhat complex path from the foundation of Autronica in 1956 has led to a much clearer destination. Following a merger of the separate companies under Kongsberg Maritime in 2004, which made Kongsberg Maritime the full operating company, the structure is now very flat, with separate departments linked by the same worldwide sales and marketing organization, centered in Norway, but fully operational in its local markets. The sale of the parts of Simrad that market to the leisure and professional markets in September 2005 was a signal to the industry at large that the company was organized to further cement its position in its various disciplines and markets, as one organization. It's today's structure that highlights Kongsberg Maritime as a forward thinking supplier to the marine market. This structure is also necessary for a company with such a diverse range of products on offer to hugely different markets, New K-Bridge consoles being assembled. Kongsberg Maritime's K-Chief, part of the new K-Line integrated system. 54 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News