Prod­uct Life­cy­cle Man­age­ment for Ship­build­ing

to­mor­row’s high tech fleets will de­pend on ship­yards – long af­ter the chris­ten­ing is over. siemens PLM soft­ware makes that dream pos­si­ble – to­day


Ac­cOrD­inG tO GLOBAL POW­er­HOUse siemens, a ma­jor trans­for­ma­tion is un­der­way in the marine sec­tor. As op­er­a­tors strive to de­velop more en­ergy—ef­fi­cient, re­li­able and en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly ves­sels that also lower op­er­at­ing costs, they will in­creas­ingly de­pend on ship­yards to make that hap­pen. thatÕs right: ship­yards. Long af­ter the ves­sel slides into the wa­ter and the chris­ten­ing party is but a dis­tant mem­ory, the clean and ef­fi­cient work­boat of to­mor­row will lever­age a wealth of data that the builder will man­age. Be­fore any of that hap­pens, ship­builders will also need to de­sign and build ships faster and bet­ter than ever be­fore.

the two con­cepts are not mu­tu­ally ex­clu­sive. the yards hop­ing to be around to serve to­mor­rowÕs clients will, says siemens, re­quire a sea change in the way they op­er­ate. in the fu­ture, says siemens, it will no longer be good enough to just build a good ves­sel. Op­er­a­tors will ex­pect that the yard be an in­te­gral part of their ves­selÕs life cy­cle – from cra­dle to birth. It isn’t just about the ship – it is also about the ship­yard it­self.

in a nut­shell, the siemens Prod­uct Life­cy­cle Man­age­ment (PLM) for ship­build­ing so­lu­tion en­ables a holis­tic ap­proach to op­ti­miz­ing ship­build­ing. PLM for ship­build­ing im­proves to­tal en­ter­prise col­lab­o­ra­tion, syn­chro­niza­tion and pro­duc­tiv­ity, as well as life­cy­cle ship ser­vice and sup­port, by op­ti­miz­ing ship­build­ing pro­cesses. the way for­ward is­nÕt just a con­cept; siemens ver­sion is here to­day.

In the Be­gin­ning: Ship­yard Op­ti­miza­tion

Op­ti­miz­ing ship­yard per­for­mance means more than im­ple­ment­ing a fancy soft­ware pro­gram. Long af­ter U.s. yards lost the ver­ti­cal in­te­gra­tion ad­van­tage of hav­ing steel pro­duc­tion as a part of their core busi­ness, theyÕve had to look for other ar­eas where they can im­prove their game. Vet­eran ship­builder fred Har­ris, long an ad­mirer of the Korean ship­build­ing model, once told this writer that ‘lay down space’ – or in other words, am­ple real es­tate to work – was also a key com­po­nent within that Korean model. But, what if a yard has nei­ther? thatÕs where siemens PLM comes in.

The mod­ern ship­yard ben­e­fits greatly from tech­nol­ogy en­hance­ments. Older legacy yards can gain sim­i­lar – if not greater gains. in one ship­yard in Ger­many that had been build­ing ships for more than 200 years, a siemens dig­i­tal sim­u­la­tion and op­ti­miza­tion anal­y­sis was able to re­duce cy­cle time by 10 per­cent and la­bor by 20 per­cent by achiev­ing a more ef­fi­cient flow of ma­te­rial through the ship­yard.

the con­cept sounds good, but we asked siemens Di­rec­tor of Global Marine-in­dus­try Mar­ket­ing tim nichols if the so­lu­tion would scale down to the typ­i­cal U.s., sec­ond and/ or third tier yard. Òsiemen­sÕPLM soft­ware is de­signed to fa­cil­i­tate col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween de­sign teams and op­er­a­tions re­gard­less of their size with the ca­pa­bil­i­ties to in­te­grate a va­ri­ety of non-na­tive cAD inputs into a sin­gle in­te­grate ship struc­ture from work boats to lux­ury yachts and cruise lin­ers to 100,000+ air­craft car­ri­ers, Óreplied nichols, adding, ÒOne ship­yard ceO in­di­cated that he ex­pects his Ôs­mart ship­yardÕto achieve a 15 per­cent cost re­duc­tion, which is sig­nif­i­cant vis-ˆ-vis ships built be­fore the trans­for­ma­tion cost bil­lions of dol­lars.Ó

the next step in­volves what siemens de­scribes as a holis­tic ap­proach to op­ti­miz­ing ship­build­ing. this in­cludes con­nect­ing all as­pects of the ship­build­ing cy­cle, each ex­ist­ing in stove piped for­mat. nichols ex­plains fur­ther, Òsiemen­sÕPLM soft­ware can man­age a com­pre­hen­sive data-base, which in­cludes the 3D mod­els of the struc­ture, sys­tems and com­part­ments, but also the ship sys­tem level re­quire­ments and rel­e­vant de­sign de­ci­sions, con­fig­u­ra­tion and change man­age­ment sta­tus É which is cru­cial over a pro­tracted con­struc­tion pe­riod É as well as process and build pro­ce­dures. this sin­gle source of to­tal in­sight is avail­able any­time and any­where and can be ac­cessed in a tablet or other mo­bile de­vice any­where in the ship­yard.Ó

Sup­ply Chain Man­age­ment

Be­cause you canÕt build a ves­sel in a vac­uum, ship­yards rely on a global sup­ply chain of part­ners and sup­pli­ers to help de­sign, de­velop, man­u­fac­ture and test new ship con­cepts. Us­ing the isO-ap­proved Jt data for­mat, which sup­ports multi-cAD de­sign con­tent and flex­i­ble round-trip sup­plier data ex­change, PLM for ship­build­ing al­lows ship­builders to ex­change data re­li­ably and flex­i­bly with sup­pli­ers and part­ners, some of whom may use a dif­fer­ent au­thor­ing tool. As an ex­am­ple, siemens soft­ware pro­vides an open ar­chi­tec­ture, which elim­i­nates the need for all sup­pli­ers to con­vert to a sin­gle cAD sys­tem thereby elim­i­nat­ing un­nec­es­sary ex­pense and spe­cial train­ing for all of the sup­pli­ers.

the soft­ware also syn­chro­nizes sup­ply chain op­er­a­tions by en­sur­ing the right parts are avail­able at the right time. nichols pegs the cost sav­ings for a ship­builder who em­ploys a tightly con­trolled, dig­i­tized sup­ply chain at 15 per­cent of a ves­selÕs to­tal value.

Build­ing the Ship

to­mor­rowÕs boat­build­ing will evolve into some­thing closer to assem­bly line manu- fac­tur­ing as op­posed to the Ôin­dus­trial revo­lu­tion Õscenes (some­times) com­mon in some do­mes­tic yards to­day. for ex­am­ple, Bollinger – as re­ported in the Fe­bru­ary 2017 edi­tion of MarineNews – has, with the help of ssi, dipped its toes into ro­botic weld­ing, some­thing which prom­ises more of an assem­bly line process for fu­ture se­ries-build pro­grams. Ahead of that, siemens has called for the Òdig­i­tal sim­u­la­tion and op­ti­miza­tion of ship­build­ing op­er­a­tions and pro­cesses.Óin this way, siemensÕ PLM soft­ware can be used by plan­ners and pro­duc­tion man­age­ment to model the flow of ma­te­rial through­out the ship­yard and pre-fab­ri­ca­tion shops and sub­se­quently to and through fi­nal con­struc­tion to op­ti­mize work pro­cesses, re­duce ma­te­rial lead time, and re­duce the time to con­struct a ship.

the dig­i­tal­iza­tion of ship de­vel­op­ment pro­vides de­sign­ers, en­gi­neers, sup­pli­ers, and pro­duc­tion plan­ners the abil­ity to work in par­al­lel with a com­plete and cur­rent rep­re­sen­ta­tion in 3D mod­els of ev­ery sys­tem, com­po­nent and com­part­ment on a ship. nichols adds, Ònow, teams through­out a ship­yard can work in par­al­lel with con­fi­dence that they are work­ing with lat­est in­for­ma­tion that is aligned ship re­quire­ments and all reg­u­la­tory re­quire­ments.Óno longer do ship­yard teams in dif­fer­ent parts of the yard need to work in Ôs­tovepiped si­los.Õ

And, be­cause avoid­ing and min­i­miz­ing Ôchange or­der­sÕin the yard is crit­i­cal to an on time and on bud­get de­liv­ery, the soft­ware suite has built-in work­flows that rig­or­ously man­age con­fig­u­ra­tion changes by hull num­ber and lo­ca­tion. Òin at least one pro­gram, there were 24,000 changes man­aged by siemens PLM soft­ware over one 12-month pe­riod for 6,500 en­gi­neers, 112 work­flows and 31 In­te­grated Prod­uct teams,Ósaid nichols.

no less im­por­tant, and as reg­u­la­tions im­pact the types of equip­ment re­quired on board, this adds weight to hulls which can ill-af­ford the loss of space and/or dead­weight ca­pac­ity. The pre-con­fig­ured ship­build­ing cat­a­lyst in­cludes best prac­tice guides such as weight and sys­tems re­quire­ments man­age­ment. Ac­cord­ing to nichols, Weight man­age­ment is one of the sys­tem level re­quire­ments that can be man­aged in siemen­sÕPLM soft­ware by com­po­nent, com­part­ment and/or lo­ca­tion.

Af­ter the Launch: Ship Ser­vice and Sup­port

in the past, ship­yards werenÕt nec­es­sar­ily fo­cused on man­ag­ing sus­tain­abil­ity re­quire­ments for their cus­tomers. nor were they nec­es­sar­ily wor­ried about achiev­ing con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment in fleet avail­abil­ity, re­li­a­bil­ity and over­haul cy­cle re­duc­tion. But thatÕs ex­actly what the shipowner of the fu­ture will de­mand. to this end, PLM for ship­build­ing en­ables ship­yards to eas­ily de­velop and pub­lish all han­dover doc­u­men­ta­tion in­cluded in the ves­sel spec­i­fi­ca­tions and con­tract.

Helped by PLM Soft­ware, fleet own­ers and re­pair yards can bet­ter man­age all main­te­nance and reg­u­la­tory re­port­ing re­quire­ments, ser­vice plan­ning, ex­e­cu­tion, ser­vice pro­cesses, and met­rics mon­i­tor­ing and re­port­ing in a sin­gle en­vi­ron­ment. And, this will go far be­yond the work of the typ­i­cal Ôguar­an­tee en­gi­neer. Õni­chols adds, Òcom­plete and ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion to sus­tain a ship or an en­tire fleet can re­duce re­pair, main­te­nance and over­haul cy­cle times, boost fleet avail­abil­ity and lower to­tal own­er­ship cost.Ó in­creas­ingly, both com­mer­cial and gov­ern­ment fleets de­ci­sion mak­ers are now plac­ing equal im­por­tance on ini­tial cost and sus­tain­ment cost.

Con­fig­u­ra­tion man­age­ment from Siemens al­lows ship­yards to seam­lessly track the con­fig­u­ra­tion of a class of ships or an in­di­vid­ual hull num­ber from con­cept de­vel­op­ment through pro­duc­tion and across the shipÕs en­tire op­er­at­ing life­cy­cle. in essence, this helps to pro­vide greater ef­fi­cien­cies and sav­ings much ear­lier in a se­ries-build cy­cle. And, says, nichols, Òthis is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant when the con­struc­tion phase can last 4-5 years, the Bill of Ma­te­rial for a ship can ex­ceed more than 1,000,000 parts and changes are con­tin­u­ous through­out the build­ing of a ship.Ó

For large fleet op­er­a­tors, the soft­ware can aid the main­te­nance plan­ning teams to pre­pare for over­hauls and mod­ern­iza­tions and track the per­for­mance of ships and sys­tems in ser­vices.

Look­ing for the Next Job

even a busy yard knows that some­day, that seem­ingly fat back­log will evap­o­rate. siemens aims to give ship­yards a leg up on more ac­cu­rate bid tenders for gov­ern­ment and com­mer­cial work alike. nichols ex­plains, Òsiemen­sÕPLM soft­ware pro­vides a dis­ci­plined foun­da­tion to re­spond to both com­mer­cial and gov­ern­ment bid tenders in­clud­ing com­pli­ance with spe­cific sys­tem re­quire­ments and reg­u­la­tory spec­i­fi­ca­tions. More­over, with siemen­sÕPLM soft­ware re­tain­ing the de­tails from suc­cess­ful classes of ships, many sys­tems on fu­ture classes of ships need not be re-en­gi­neered.Ó Hav­ing that archived data in a log­i­cally or­ga­nized dig­i­tized for­mat might just be the ticket to your next se­ries-build as­sign­ment.

Be­fore, dur­ing and long af­ter the next build­ing boom, the ship­yard of to­mor­row will be in­volved in how ships are op­er­ated; stand­alone hulls or large fleets alike. siemens is work­ing to cre­ate that re­al­ity to­day.

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