Featured MarEx Print Article: Turnkey Synergy
This week's PRINT ARCHIVE SELECTION, Turnkey Synergy, is taken from our June 2007 edition, featuring VT Halter's CEO General Boyd E. "Butch" King on the cover. In an era where shipbuilding activity in this country has reached levels not seen in thirty years or more, U.S. yards are also competing in a global market. On the commercial side of the balance sheet, this can and does mean competing against foreign-subsidized efforts overseas. In this article, we examine why ShipConstructor software – and the design groups and shipyards who utilize it – are ensuring that the American shipbuilding effort keeps pace. Making money in a robust market is one thing; keeping that base working and efficient in the down times that may follow is quite another.
The bid for the typical design package for a newbuilding deal usually starts with a twodimensional presentation. Once the winning bid is announced and awarded, the "production engineering" phase of the operation commences. For many shipyards, this can be done in-house with on-site engineering departments. For others, however, it can involve the use of a naval architecture and design firm. Whichever route is chosen, the key to the effort always includes packaging the design information to put it onto the floor in the right fashion so that the production people can best put it into play.
In the case of those using ShipConstructor, the software is laid on top of – and depends on – proven AutoCAD technology and also leverages the wealth of AutoCAD experience that already exists in the industry. This significantly reduces the time it takes to migrate to a ShipConstructor solution and simplifies data exchange with other parties. According to Ken Lane, Executive Vice President at Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG), "ShipConstructor started out as a tool for lofting metal parts. By developing this 3-D model, users can better track shapes such as the lengths of perimeters and side roll templates." ShipConstructor provides better accuracy and fewer missed pieces, and the 3-D presentation removes the need for guessing on the production floor. Unspoken in all of this is the importance of better information for production personnel in a shrinking industry where the number and skills of these technicians are diminishing over time.
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