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OpenIJ Sea Lock
OpenIJ Nieuwe Sluis


To facilitate the growth of future shipping traffic to the Port of Amsterdam the capacity of the current locks needed to be expanded. To allow for this expansion an additional sea lock is constructed that allows for 24x7 tide-independent locking. During the construction phase the port of Amsterdam must remain open for bussiness. The Dutch Directorate for Public Works and Watermagement awarded the contract for the works to the OpenIJ consortium.

To ensure proper operation of the complex lock systems the consortium makes use of the experience it gained in the AeroSpace Domain when it comes to integration of complex systems with a multitude of subsystem suppliers. As a result, as part of the 'Virtual Lock', EuroSim played an essential role in all phases of the project lifecycle.


A new large sea lock is constructed at the entrance of the North Sea Canal at IJmuiden in the Netherlands that provides improved access to the Amsterdam port region. The new lock is 500 meters long, 70 meters wide and 18 meters deep, making it the world's largest sea lock. Construction began in January 2016 and the lock will be available for shipping at the end of 2019. From then on the port of amsterdam will be accessible 24 hours a day.

Role of EuroSim

Large infrastructure projects like OpenIJ face the same problems as Aerospace projects in that the system comprises many subsystems that need to work together. Subsystems are built by a range of subcontractors. By nature Eurosim can support, through the use of simulation, the design, test and integration and training phases of such projects. EuroSim played an essential role in all phases of the lifecycle of the project:
Requirement engineering support
- In the first stages of the project Eurosim is used to simulate an visualize the proposed design in order to create stakeholder consensus and verify the main usecases of the system (Virtual Lock).
Integration and test support
- During development, test and integration EuroSim was used extensively as test and integration tool whereby the existing simulator was devevelopped further with more acurate models of the subsystem components. By simulating the components down to fieldbus level, the simulator could be used as an integration simulator whereby some subsystems were present in Hardware while others were being simulated (missing item simulation).
Operation and Training support
- Finally a simulator for Operation and Training purposes is build. It is constructed by combining the simulator available at the end of the test and integration phase together with the visualisation of the simulator used for requirements engineering. With this simulator Lock Operators can be trained safely for reqular and emergency situations while operating the lock.
The video Sea Lock IJmuiden provides a view of the "Virtual Lock" as designed at the early stages of the project.

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