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EMRI was the first company in the world to use analogue steering/rudder control systems, which improved steering performances significantly.​

EMRI´s HQ in Denmark 1974​. Today EMRI are still located here with R&D, Sales, Production and Testing.


EMRI first saw the light of day on April 1st 1972 and was established by MSc.EE Jens Christian Nørtoft Thomsen. He was working at now defunct Decca Arkas, when he decided to use his engineering skills to start his own company. By using his connections, he started making autopilots and rudder indicators as a subcontractor exclusively for Decca Arkas.

EMRI - Electronic and Marine Research Industries performed internationally acknowledged research studies on analogue steering in the late 1970´s. The purpose of this research was to improve steering performances. A brief introduction to this research can be found here.

EMRI´s MAC20 Autopilot, introduced in 1989. A few of them are still in use.​


In 1981, the relations to Decca Arkas ended when they denied selling their electronic remote-controlled course repeater to EMRI, which was forced to develop its own.

From that point on, EMRI became free to supply the entire maritime industry.

EMRI sold around 20 custom made autopilots during this decade and was not a significant market challenge to anyone. However, business progressed in 1989 when the North Sea Shipyard decided to use EMRI´s analogue autopilots as standard. It was also around that time EMRI developed their first microprocessor product - the SEM1000 Autopilot.

​EMRI´s SEM200 Autopilot which harvested great recognition from navigators. Many vessels still uses this Autopilot.


The SEM1000 was sold over a seven-year period, and in 1994 the SEM200 Autopilot was introduced (this was later also to become known as the FAP-2000 when sold through Furuno). Over 1000 SEM200’s have been sold and became very popular especially among vessels navigating in narrow waters. It has always been known among customers as a good and well-steering autopilot/track-pilot.

In 1991 EMRI acquired their own woodworking and thereby insourced production of wood, plastic and aluminiumparts.

EMRI´s Joystick panels are used primarily by Cruise vessels, Survey vessels and Mega Yachts.​


EMRI supplies vessels with much more than Autopilots and Rudder Servos - just take a quick glance at the products menu. The first Joystick/DP System was delivered in 1981 however, this decade became a turningpoint in this product type for EMRI. During these years almost double as many systems was sold than had been delivered in total the last 20 years.

Close contact with ship integrators and a good image among the cruise industry for manufacturing precise and reliable equipment played a central role in this. Also deliveries to Mega Yachts played a role, as EMRI could make custom designs to meet individual demands from architects and owners.

​EMRI´s SEM300 Autopilot, the newest addition to the history of manufacturing Autopilots.


In 2011 Jens Christian Nørtoft Thomsen sold the company to his son Claus Nørtoft Thomsen who took over as EMRI´s owner and Managing Director, a position he still has today. He had been working at EMRI since 2003. In 2012 EMRI launched the SEM300 Autopilot, the successor of the SEM200. It is branded as FAP-3000 when sold through Furuno.

The Danish company now maintains production of more than 600 products. The company was established with the purpose of supplying excellence in ship control to the maritime industry, and will continue to do this for many years to come.


On 1.July.2020 EMRI became a part of the Furuno organization who are an innovative market leader within the field of maritime navigation, communication and acoustics. EMRI will continue business as usual while our access to Furuno´s technical expertise, innovative technologies and expanding global reach will provide new benefits and solutions for our customers. Claus Nørtoft Thomsen continue as EMRI´s Managing Director, as the company will keep designing and manufacturing quality products for the maritime industry.