Original Date: 04/24/2007
Revision Date: / /
Information : Digital Planning for Shipyards
The University of New Orleans, College of Engineering draws upon its strong modeling and simulation expertise to design and develop a modeling and simulation capability for the shipbuilding industry. Working at the Gulf Coast Region Maritime Technology Center at the Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Avondale Operation shipyards, this project specified, designed, and demonstrated a digital planning system that will revolutionize the way shipyards are able to plan and evaluate a design for manufacturing.
The University of New Orleans, College of Engineering (UNO COE), under the auspices of the Gulf Coast Region Maritime Technology Center (GCRMTC), has led research and development of modeling and simulation (M&S) tools to benefit shipbuilding planning for manufacturing. Current shipyard practice for production planning is a labor-intensive, manual, and textual-based process usually requiring redundant work to implement change. Compounding the problem is that production planning usually occurs when the design is nearly complete; this does not readily allow for design changes to accommodate unforeseen production problems. M&S techniques have been applied to interrogate process plans and assembly sequences. However, these efforts are limited by the time and expense of collecting the appropriate data required for the model and the expense of creating the usually stand-alone models.
The objective of the Manufacturing Process Modeling Technology project was to develop a system that would store pertinent manufacturing process and planning knowledge, associate specific product data with the process information, and make both readily available to analysis tools. There were three distinct phases to this project: Phase I formulated a detailed modeling plan and requirements for the Manufacturing Process Planning System (MPPS) and selected a potential commercial solution to the system (Figure 3-1).
The Phase II portion of the project performed a proof-of-concept study of Delmia Process Engineer, the selected commercial package. The goal of the Phase II effort was to determine the applicability of the selected software to the requirements specified in Phase I. Phase II determined the impact of the system to current-state business practices, areas for improvement in future-state business practices, organizational impacts, legacy system areas of impact, and capability gaps and limitations.
The Phase III effort investigated the system in more detail in preparation for the anticipated implementation of the MPPS with the DD(X) program.
Testing was performed at two shipyards, Bath Iron Works (BIW) and North Grumman Ship Systems (NGSS). The division of research paralleled the associated efforts of each shipyard with respect to the DD(X) Destroyer Program. NGSS tested the capabilities of the tool within a new program, specifically the DD(X) program. NGSS utilized the tools for planning tasks associated with the conceptual design. BIW addressed the tail end of the production process, focusing on a Build Plan Review (BPR) process within a mature program (the DDG program). The goal was to determine if the tools could handle the quantity and type of information needed for detailed planning.
The results of the Phase II investigation demonstrated that the Delmia toolset (and the MPPS) provide rich functionality that will enable the shipyards to initiate process planning improvements during the development of a new ship program. The investigation at BIW has shown how an integrated, electronically based and three- dimensional support system can dramatically improve certain process planning tasks by as much as 90% for certain tasks within the BPR process, even under an existing infrastructure. NGSS results indicate that the benefits of implementing within a new shipbuilding program greatly outweigh the expense since the supporting infrastructure can be tailored to accommodate and support such a planning system. Using the planning test results, the shipyards propose a potential $12.8M savings on the first hull of a demonstrative destroyer program.
By the end of the project, the team members were able to secure budgeting within the respective shipyard budgets for implementation of the MPPS. Since then, both shipyards have implemented some version of the system using commercial off-the-shelf components for best-of-class utilization.
Figure 3-1. System Concept
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