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Controllab is specialized in the analysis and development of control software for cranes. The basis of our success is the digital twin, i.e a 3D simulation model, that we create for every crane. The twin enables us to develop and thoroughly test the software before the real crane has been built. With this technology we have helped our customers to develop highly successful new cranes.


Every crane has performance limits like the maximum speed or maximum load. With system dynamics, we investigate these limits and see how they affect the design of the crane. The basis is a parameterized 3D simulation model that we use to run simulations and investigate hundreds of scenarios. Special techniques like time and frequency domain analysis are used to analyze the model and use the outcomes to make design improvements.


Controllab has a set of control system solutions that will help to control the crane load in any environmental condition:

  • Use additional lines connected with the load that keep the orientation of the load, follow the main hook automatically and damp out wind induced swinging of the load (tag line control).

  • Compensate for the motion of the crane base, e.g, a ship in waves (motion compensation).

  • Damp out wind and motion induced swinging of the load (anti-sway).


Coupling the 3D simulation model with the control PLC’s is known as Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) simulation. With HIL simulation, the complete crane control system can be tested, before the crane is actually built. This technique has been proven time and time again to increase the quality of the control system and reduce the number working days during the FAT and SAT. At Controllab we even go further. By extending the HIL simulator with a high-res 3D visualization, a digital twin emerges that can be used for training crane operators.

Dutch Dredging Simulators

Three companies that have earned their stripes in the maritime sector are developing a dredging simulator. This simulator is portable and affordable.

BLIT simulator

Together with MSA-Service, Controllab has developed a training simulator for a “Boat Landing Installation Tool” (BLIT).

Eagle-Access Training Simulator

The Eagle-Access is an innovative crane for the transport of people. It is fully electric and compensates the motions of the ship. Controllab has has successfully developed and delivered a training simulator for this crane.

Battery Storage Simulator

Controllab has been working on the control systems for battery storage containers for some time. The experiences that we have gained and the tools that we have developed have all come together now in our Battery Storage Simulator.

Wind Turbine Installation

High Wind develops new installation techniques to install offshore wind turbines. The Boom Lock system is a smart tool that allows offshore cranes to install wind turbine components at high wind speeds.

Motion Compensated Crane

Controllab investigated the feasibility of an OPTS crane. The OPTS is a crane mounted on a ship’s deck that can transport passengers safely to and from the ship.

Motion Compensated Access Bridge

SMST specializes in the delivery of lifting, transportation, drilling and pipe lay solutions, especially for the maritime and offshore industry. Their Telescopic Access Bridge (TAB) that can safely transfer personnel to an offshore structure.

HIL Simulation

The Seakeeping and Manoeuvring Basin of the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) allows model ships to run independently in waves, followed by a towing carriage containing measurement equipment.