Product Lifecycle Management to Unlock Shipbuilding’s Digital Potential


Published Nov 14, 2023 11:52 AM by CADMATIC

Cadmatic, a prominent player in ship design and shipbuilding solutions, has formed a strategic partnership with CONTACT software to revolutionize the shipbuilding industry by introducing a dedicated Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution. This collaboration signifies a significant departure from borrowing solutions from unrelated industries like automotive or process engineering and highlights the industry's commitment to tailored digitalization.

Ship design and construction are complex, global endeavors that span several years, involve millions of parts, and require collaboration among professionals speaking different languages. Managing information is critical for commercial success, adherence to budgets, and compliance with safety and performance standards. The urgency to incorporate new fuels and green technologies further underscores the importance of digital transformation.

Shipbuilding stands apart from industries like automotive and aviation because each vessel is a unique creation, tailored to specific commercial needs. Even sister vessels have limited design information that can be reused. Shipyards often work on multiple vessels concurrently, making the process less linear.

In the shipbuilding industry, PLM serves as process lifecycle management, crucial for controlling project execution time, managing workloads, and enhancing the commercial viability of shipyards.

A typical shipbuilding project spans one to five years and involves thousands of contributors handling millions of distinct parts, each with its data and associated documents. Managing this complexity within a 3D CAD design framework is essential. Project managers must have access to design and associated documents for each component and closely monitor approvals to ensure that modifications align with project specifications. In a single shipbuilding project, up to 50,000 such situations can unfold concurrently, necessitating visibility and control for effective project management.

Shipbuilding relies heavily on documents, making it challenging to reconcile them with evolving 3D models, resulting in significant discrepancies between designs "as engineered," "as visualized," "as designed," and "as built."

The strategic partnership between Cadmatic and CONTACT software aims to create meaningful connections between data models and documents, addressing the shipbuilding industry's unique requirements. Leveraging CONTACT's Elements platform and Cadmatic's industry-specific expertise, the goal is to develop a platform for data storage and infuse shipbuilding-specific intelligence to maximize benefits.

Dedicated PLM solutions in shipbuilding extend beyond project management into the operational phase of vessels. By creating digital twins applicable throughout a ship's lifespan, shipyards add significant value to the process, maintaining agility in adopting new technologies or delivering retrofits. This sets the shipping industry apart and enables effective vessel management throughout their lifecycles.

In conclusion, the adoption of a shipbuilding-specific PLM system represents a pivotal stride in the industry's digital transformation journey. It underscores the industry's commitment to optimizing efficiency, profitability, and quality in ship design and construction, empowering shipyards to harness digital assets and streamline processes. This tailored solution ensures vessels are delivered to specification and budget while adapting to evolving industry standards, reflecting the maritime sector's dedication to innovation and progress.

Discover how Cadmatic is transforming the shipbuilding industry at the International Workboat Show 2023 in New Orleans from November 29 to December 1. Explore the latest marine technology and connect with industry experts at booth 1137. Don't miss this opportunity to witness Cadmatic's innovative contributions to shipbuilding in the era of Industry 4.0.

This article is sponsored by Cadmatic. You can learn more about Cadmatic's shipbuilding data management solutions online.

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.