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ICCAS 2015 Review 

Background

Attending conference is often considered of limited benefit with many companies reluctant to fund authors and/or delegates.  The International Conference on Computer Applications in Shipbuilding (ICCAS) conference offers unique characteristics that ensure an international reputation for papers of high quality and content with benefits that merit company funding: as John Martin reports.

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As shipbuilding orders reduce worldwide, companies seek to improve their organisation and productivity to be cost effective and competitive with all financial spending justified with defined benefits. Attending conference is not generally considered a justifiable expense that contributes to improved company performance. However, the ICCAS, with the unique philosophy of papers based on demonstrated practical application of computing, can bring considerable benefit to a company for minimum financial outlay. Authors can promoted the skills and expertise of their organisation by communicating achievements to potential partners and customers. Delegates can observe global developments across the industry, appreciate the practical application of successful computing implementations, and discuss common problems with international peers. Young Engineers can enhance their knowledge by exposure to some of the best shipbuilding expertise across the world: critical at a time of an ageing global workforce in the industry. With a wide range of papers addressing all aspects of ship design, build and operation, the published proceeding can be beneficial to all functional departments in a shipbuilding environment. They can assess global developments, review problems experienced by others and how they were solved for success, and identify best practice.

ICCAS started in Tokyo, Japan in 1977 with noteworthy conferences held bi-annually in major shipbuilding countries.ICCAS Conference opening

ICCAS 2015

The 17th. International Conference on Computing Applications in Shipbuilding was managed by RINA and held in the Swissotel Bremen, Germany, in September 2015 with a programme of 81 papers from 19 countries. The three-day conference consisted of three concurrent tracks covering all aspects of ship design, production and operation.

The ICCAS International Committee of shipbuilding ‘experts’ reviewed and scored all submitted abstracts and then selected papers to give a balanced conference program of logically grouped topics. Presented papers and reserve papers were published in the Conference proceedings as three volumes given to all authors and delegates. A CD of all presentation material, subject to author agreement, is also given to all delegates in due course. ICCAS 2015 Proceedings are for sale through RINA.

Eight papers were presented on Design for Risk, Support, Lifecycle, Energy Efficiency, Dependability, Hydrodynamic Performance, and Market Uncertainty. Addressing such operational considerations during early design indicates a strong trend to ensure the design is optimal for build, maximum operational efficiency, and minimum costs through in-service life of the vessel. Case studies discussed proven success in implementing these design practices.

Methodologies for use in Engineering Calculation and Analysis technologies were presented in six papers. Effective mesh generation and interface between engineering tools and CAD 3D models are examples of topics presented. Verification of calculated results by sea trials or observation of behaviour of the designed product was explained.

Energy Efficiency was addressed in several papers based on the Joint Operation for Ultra Low Emissions (JOULES) project. Papers described the development and subsequent on-board assessment of systems designed to minimise emissions.

ICCAS conference presentationsThe innovative paper: “Ship Life Cycle Maximisation with Flexible Design for Retrofit and Modification” K Hiekata, University of Tokyo, Japan, discussed an evaluation method for ship design to maximise Life Cycle Value in operation by means of design extensions for retrofit and hull modifications in response to market fluctuation. This involved the Ship Performance model from standard Naval Architecture, a Marketing Model based on worldwide oil price factors, a Metrological Model based on planned routes, and a Deterioration Model assessing the age effect on equipment efficiency. Ship operational routes are simulated over a several year lifecycle to determine if retrofit or modification is viable as a means of optimising operational costs, illustrated with case studies using simulation to calculate a Lifecycle Value (LCV) for the ship. The ship-owner can use the LCV to decide if it is cost effective to, for example, add or remove a bulbous bow or remove and replace an inefficient engine to reduce operational costs, particularly with significant change to oil price or trading route.

The search for an effective and efficient method of creating a production quality hull form continues with three papers on the topic all having a dissimilar approach to achieve a common aim. The increasing CAD driven practice of using NURBS surfaces has always been problematic and time consuming, particularly when using many patches, and a common proven methodology for a simple effective and truly fair and verifiable hull still evades the industry.

The implementation and acceptance of digital technologies in the classification process was discussed in three papers including automatic generation of classification drawings from design models and e-approval for classification.

Hull generation and classification society requirements are two long-standing shipbuilding issues and presented papers described recent developments in these topics. 

Production Planning and Outfitting Efficiency were discussed in nine papers indicating a strong interest in improving manufacturing and build efficiency. Topics included block-building strategies, various methods of improving outfitting performance, and the use of 3D models in the planning process. A further topic of common concern addressed by eight papers was manufacturing methodologies, including dimensional control when forming, welding or aligning steelwork structures.

A paper with practical application in all shipyards was “Physics-Based Simulation for Production and Installation of Ship and Offshore Plants” Myung Il, Seoul University, Republic of Korea. This paper addressed the classic shipbuilding problem of lifting, moving and turning large steelwork assemblies. It addressed the problem by development of a dynamic simulator with geometric models of the assembly structure to be lifted and realistic force calculations on the cables and spreaders used in lifting/moving/turning of ship and offshore structures. Two case studies were presented; in both cases the simulation results reflected the observed behaviour in real operations when the assembly was lifted or turned in the shipyard, verifying the validity of the simulation technology.

Thirteen papers presented on CAD/PLM technologies and methods ICCAS conference dinner 2indicates a universal interest to capture and manage the high volume data and information necessary for design and build of vessels, and the variety of vendor products on the market being applied to address this requirement. Papers demonstrated that data and information management continues to be problematic and offered several solutions. All are trying to achieve the ultimate goal of a single source of information to be accessed by all departments and functions across the shipbuilding process.

A new and unique approach to the problems of large volume data management, built on considerable experience ship design and manufacturing using digital technologies, was “Data Governance and Designing Warships” Tony Wallis, BAE Systems, Maritime Naval Ships, UK.  This paper addressed the topic of data management in ship design, manufacture and build by introducing the value of data to the workforce. A data quality and governance project was described and how it should be implemented. The discussion stated a criterion for success is the identification and cataloguing of data, such as where is it hosted, which part of the business uses it, who creates and manages it, and relationships between the data. The approach taken to ensure data quality, integrity and management was to develop an organisational structure with accountabilities for ownership, stewardship, custody, and use of all the data across the shipyard.

The use of simulation is increasing in the industry, and ten simulation papers were presented across all three tracks. Simulation technologies are becoming more accepted as they mature, and results are being verified by field trials and practical operations in the real world, confirming the accuracy of simulation predictions and performance. Papers included helicopter/ship operations, ship motion prediction, and undocking of Queen Elizabeth II Aircraft Carrier ­ the largest warship built in the UK.

An interest in the potential use of mobile technologies, such as tablets, in shipbuilding was presented in several papers, Although there are still problems to resolve when implementing hand held mobile technologies in a shipyard environment, the work to date was impressive and indicated an availability and application of these technologies in the short term future.

ICCAS conference dinnerEach ICCAS conference includes a visit to a local shipyard, popular and of considerable interest to the delegates. In ICCAS 2015 the shipyard was Meyer Werft at Papenpurg. Delegates were given a welcome talk and videos of the company history and viewed scale models of significant ships built at the yard.  The delegates then toured selected areas of the yard and viewed a dry dock in the large shipbuilding hall to see the 167,800 GT cruise ship ‘Ovation of Sea’ under advanced construction and the adjacent dry dock used for block assembly. The visit concluded with a simulation of moving the vessel from the dock to the sea, illustrating the difficulty of navigating low bridges and tight spots in the river. Once again the shipyard visit was a fitting finale to a very successful ICCAS conference.

Vendor stands and technology displays from conference sponsors Aveva, bBeta, Intergraph, Nupas Cadmatic, Prostep, Sener, Siemens, SKF, SSI, TechViz and Virtalis were in a large foyer with facilities for coffee and lunch, giving an excellent environment for delegate networking between presentation sessions. A hosted conference dinner enabled delegates to meet peers from the global industry, socialise and discuss papers.

ICCAS 2017

The 18th ICCAS will be held in Singapore in September 2017, with a call for papers in May/June 2016, and offers the opportunity for authors from shipbuilding and offshore industries to submit papers that present their experience and success in implementing and applying advanced IT and computing technologies in their organisation, and the proven benefits of doing so.

The uniqueness, scope, quality and content of an ICCAS conference are indeed justification for financial approval.

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