Wednesday, September 3, 2014

EXCLUSIVE! Product Life Cycle in Shipbuilding - Moving Forward

Neelam Mathews
Sept 3, 2014

As India’s new government looks at reform to boost industrial growth with manufacturing a header in its plans, Siemens PLM software India team organized the 3rd India Shipbuilding Executive Summit co-hosted by American Society of Naval Engineers, Indian Maritime Foundation, American Bureau of Shipping, and Siemens PLM Software. The event provided a platform for senior officers from the Indian Navy, and senior executives from the Shipbuilding industry to discuss issues of contemporary relevance in the context of improved Design, Manufacturing and Service Efficiency in the Shipbuilding industry in India, with the apt theme- ‘Ship Building, a significant Manufacturing force-multiplier.’

Brigadier (Retd.) Prakash Tolani, Senior Director, Siemens, kick started the event with a roundup on two previous summits, linking the sequential flow to the subjects chosen for the ISES3 round table discussions. These topics were based on continuity with the previous ISES, in addition to current imminent issues concerning the Indian shipbuilding industry.
·         Shipbuilding Design, Development and Production Competency
·         Reliable Technologies and Reduced Maintenance
·         Training and Skills Requirements for the Shipbuilding Industry
·         Enhancing Fuel Efficiency of Modern Marine Vessels
·         Design for Safety

The discussions were designed to arrive at a formulation on how to project before the government’s Ministries of Commerce and Industry, and Shipping to work in tandem to benefit the industry.
Ship Building- Opportunities and Challenges

Manufacturing has consistently performed below par, contributing only 15% to the GDP, having fallen 1% in the past five years. “A link has been established between Ship Building and Manufacturing- both are concurrent streams,” said Vice Admiral Ganesh Mahadevan, former Chief of Maintenance, Indian Navy. “Upto $5 trillion is up for grabs,” said Mahadevan, pointing out the potential of manufacturing in India.

Shipbuilding plays a prominent role in the sector, though there is a need for augmentation in training. India’s National Maritime Plan 2010-20, though well intentioned, has not fructified and requires ratification. And that shall be the immediate challenge before various chamber of commerce and industry associations,” Mahadevan said. Commodore (Retd) Ranjit Rai, IMF, talking of global trends, questioned the slow growth of procurement even as shipyards have made large investments, awaited orders.

The Indian Navy and Coast Guard have played a role in promoting shipbuilding in India and the quest for indigenization has resulted in private sector involvement. “It is essential to keep the industry informed on capability,” in order for them to plan ahead, Mahadevan explained. Presently, almost 50% of manufacturing related to the Indian Navy is being done by the private sector. Examples include large-scale titanium castings made in Jalandhar in the Northwestern state of Punjab.

Educational Training Updates

A platform for continuing education training is no small task. “We want to promote the core platform, for which classes are available online,” said Capt (Retd) Glenn Ashe, American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE), the seventh oldest US professional association. “Continuing education is a central aspect. We want to begin with a core platform of courses for training that can be accessible to anybody online and can be used as a basis for certification for a naval engineer. We will also provide more advanced courses in cyber and combat system.” While ASME will not certify an officer as level 1, 2, it will provide training, and the Coast Guard technical authority will issue a certification. “We hope next year to offer an opportunity for courses in India.”

While ASME is working to help provide forums for interactions, “Naval engineering is not just naval architecture… (it) includes electronics, information systems cyber, combat systems….” said Ashe.

Rear Admiral (ret.) Craig E. Bone Vice President, Corporate, American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), spoke about how rules were evolving as a result of growing capabilities. With changes in ship design occurring, “We are looking at revising subjects.” ABS International Naval Ship Guide in development since 2012, intended to be available worldwide to designers, builders and owners, is applicable to ships owned and operated by Navies and Governments with missions related to safety, security, or defense.  “It is applicable also to cruisers and destroyers,” added Craig. It uses ABS Steel Vessel Rules as the foundation, and includes additional requirements from open sources.  An emphasis is being made on how to apply it to international designs.

Shipbuilding Design, Development and Production - Gaps

As the marine sector transforms to a more efficient one, and modernization takes place, keeping low operating costs and environmental considerations in view, ships have to be designed faster and better. For this, it was recognized a different approach to ship design and construction, needed to be adopted urgently.

Discussions centered on manufacturing and assembly methods to include procurement and material control, design and engineering and R&D. It was noted:
·         Shipyards bring large overheads and use of good sub-contractors available with expertise in cable laying, and pre-outfitted hull systems were becoming the norm in outsourcing. Cochin Shipyard Ltd., for example, reduced its strength from 2700 to 2000 people, had 300 CISF staff. “Why can’t we shift to a private security agency?” queried a participant. A debate expected to take off in the near future as government security personnel get more in demand.
·         Given high costs and high turnover of talent, the need for system availability to take a program forward with digital mockups, was expressed by a private sector official. “The design has to fit into a matrix and data has to be preserved through its lifecycle. Citing the Korean shipbuilding industry that uses the cluster concept, it was noted, “design should follow a modular construction.”
·         Time consuming and cost issues related to practices, such as being unable to work under cover in bad weather, need to be addressed.
·         3-D modelling should be available at site, said an Indian navy official. The private sector seemed to have dealt with this issue.
·         It was pointed out connectivity between design and supply chain and the process of excess inspections added to delays.
·         A definite attitude to design between commercial and naval ships was noted, with the former addressing design at the start. “The navy needs to freeze design at some point instead of conceiving design as it goes along.” Changes midway, have in the past, lead to higher costs and delays.
·         Material management lacks procurement planning. There is a need for pricing agreements to enable better deals. Constrained by procedures, procurement has become costly for Government shipyards. Standardize kits and fittings to get better deals. Minimize storage requirements.
·         Need good Enterprise, Resource, Planning (ERP) practices. Kitting, for instance, should be closer to work aisles. Need for timely cost progress and value reporting.
·         Improve progress and cost management metrics. Need for Chain Management
·         Digitalization, animation should be done for mission critical areas.
·         A diagram should be made initially in design to determine how the ship will operate.
·         Safety standards must be incorporated in design.

·         Indian Shipbuilding Design – Focus on Digitized World

A shipbuilding solution requires a holistic approach that improves total enterprise collaboration, synchronization and productivity, as well as lifecycle ship service and support, by optimizing shipbuilding processes. “While the current technology offers opportunities, the application on ground is zero,” said Vice Admiral (Retd) Pradeep Chauhan, pointing out the lack of cohesion between the design, trainer and shipyard.  “Where is the yard that has a department of ergonomics, for instance?” he queried further.

“Our designers need exposure. The industry was cost intensive, but today, technology gives us exposure.” There was an urgent need to move away from the mindset of “being physically there…Our shipyards are not comfortable with digitized exposure.”

Chauhan pointed out design deficiencies resulting due to a lack of digitalization at the design stage and the need for cohesiveness. “We have built generations of warships without degrade.”

Recommendations and Actionable Points

·         Need for codification of design of mission critical spaces- basics could be codified for different sizes.
·         Standardization of equipment requirements will boost manufacturing. It was noted, keeping standards updated is a challenge.
·         A cost rationalization study to be done on 3-4 warships was suggested to evaluate how costs had been affected by delays due to decision-making. This could be used to improve design and manufacture delays in future.
·         Siemens was asked to demonstrate animation software of actual processes in industrial complexes rather than ships.
·         It was recommended a shipyard take up as a pilot study on addressing ergonomics at the design stage. It was proposed the Government should look at including ergonomics in RFPs.
·         An analysis on lifecycle of a ship from concept through maintenance cycle was suggested
·         There is neither an organized multi-skill training in India nor a vocational training for shipbuilding.  It was suggested a proposal be forwarded to the government to open three technical institutes in India for shipbuilding.
·         Quality of lubricants needs to be assessed.

Studies for Action

Gautam Dutta, Senior Director Marketing, Siemens, who along with his team had planned and executed the smooth bearing of the summit, ensured he would follow-up on the actionable points and conduct of the study.

Vice Admiral Pradeep Chauhan and Brigadier Prakash Tolani agreed there should be some mechanism for the Indian Navy and Coast Guard to use animation as a safety feature and standardization of procedures. It was essential to take benefit of available knowledge base. They recommended adding the following to the actionable items-

As rust is a common enemy, ASNE should make available inputs from June 25 2015 Mega Rust Naval Corrosion Conference proceedings to IMF “so we don’t lose knowledge base.”
Siemens could suggest digitalized training to compensate for trainer infirmity. Siemens could also tie-up a demo with one of the shipyards to present a model of monetization related to lack of training.

A study to be undertaken by a private shipyard for cost audit in terms of standardization. This could then be shown to the Indian Navy and used as basis for training establishments to devise mechanisms for fuel efficiency.

Siemens PLM Software- Bringing in Cost Efficiencies

The Siemens Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) for Shipbuilding solution enables a holistic approach to shipbuilding that improves total enterprise collaboration, synchronization and productivity, as well as lifecycle ship service and support, by optimizing shipbuilding processes. PLM for shipbuilding by utilizing ship design software with embedded templates accelerates ship delivery, boosts team productivity and facilitates the use of proven best practices that mitigate potential risks and eliminate program delays. In addition, shipyards can seamlessly track the configuration of a ship from concept development through production and across the ship’s entire operating lifecycle. 

-          Malay Pal, Siemens PLM

A look at Planning Commission – Shipbuilding & Repair- Strategy and key recommendations

The Planning Commission Report on Shipbuilding Design says:

India currently lacks design capabilities and most of the concept designs are being sourced from a pool of global designs. Many Indian shipyards have set up their small design centers and some independent design centers have also been established, but broadly, the country is purchasing conceptual design from foreign firms and doing detailed engineering within the country.

According to the report, key policy measures to enable the shipbuilding and ship repair sector to meet its mid and long term goals include:
A policy statement in clear terms should be pronounced conveying the commitment of the Government to undertake various priority measures in the sector
Financial incentives to facilitate the industries to achieve critical mass
Infrastructure status to shipbuilding would help the domestic industry to utilize the tax benefits available to the infrastructure sector and also avail credit at lower rates for investment.
Promote use of locally build vessels by local shipping companies
Offset scheme for Government procurement in which the foreign yard is mandated to source some marine engineering goods from India to help develop capabilities
Need for State Maritime Policies
Shipbuilding should be treated as an infrastructure industry
A renewed thrust is required to develop education and training facilities, and R&D infrastructure This would also include promoting applied R&D to facilitate the development of basic design as well as standardization to encourage series production

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