Alphatron Marine brings Western ship-bridge philosophy to Asia by placing a premium on human welfare and innovation. "We offer ship owners total bridge solutions, taking into account European rules on ergonomics and human welfare. This is typically something Asian shipbuilders are not always aware of," says executive director Luuk Vroombout. "We call it the human touch in technology." The company designed and developed the Alphabridge modular bridge console concept, which is a state-of-the-art wheelhouse arrangement integrating all the equipment for navigation, communication, propulsion, control and automation in one style. Alphatron has installed more than 160 of these bridge layouts worldwide from luxury yachts, tug boats and patrol vessels to container ships, tankers and feeders. The Alphabridge complies with European standards for simplicity and ease of operation. Instead of various panels and monitors, the concept has combined functions into a limited number of panels and monitors, some with touchscreen and user friendly menus. For onboard safety and entertainment, Alphatron has also incorporated a full information and entertainment system, which includes a television, digital video disc player and internet access over the internet protocol structure on board. The company is working on the multiconditional access technology, which can operate most vessel functionalities from a single control unit. "As a private company we are much faster in developing new ideas than stock-listed competitors who have to go through a lot of meetings before they do something," Vroombout says. "That's the charm of a company like Alphatron." The company is looking to partner with shipyards and designers in Asia including the mainland focusing on specialist vessels such as yachts, patrol boats, fast crew ships and vessels for oil and gas. "Our strategy is first to acquire some landmark projects on the mainland, where we can put our label on," Vroombout says. "We need a network there because although we Dutch are the Chinese in Europe, we are not the Chinese in China."