SSI integrates PLM and CAD at Ingalls Shipbuilding
Proving the success of its EnterprisePlatform program for sharing engineering information, the shipbuilding software development company SSI has integrated the Marine Information Model from its ShipConstructor CAD/CAM software with the Aras PLM system at Ingalls Shipbuilding.
About Ingalls Shipyard
With 11,500+ employees and a shipyard encompassing 800 acres, Ingalls Shipbuilding is a major builder of US Naval and Coast Guard Vessels.
Cost Cutting Pressure
The U.S. government has told shipyards like Ingalls that it is moving to fixed price contracts rather than cost-plus. In response, Ingalls Shipyard has been driven to seek major efficiencies in operations.
Integrated PLM is the key to savings
Ingalls identified that a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) program that was tightly integrated with its CAD/CAM program for engineering would be a significant driver of savings because it would help turn data into action. Ingalls wanted a software solution that would enable and promote collaboration and communication to increase productivity and reduce errors. As well, the software had to have a visual method for approvals, planning and displaying the impacts of change before they happened. This would allow concurrent engineering and planning.
But…PLM Must Handle Needs of Shipbuilding
Unfortunately, a big problem was that most PLM programs were originally designed for automotive and aerospace manufacturing and have difficulty handling the requirements of the shipbuilding industry. Most PLM systems lack the required agility and flexibility and are not resilient enough to accommodate future growth.
The SSI/Aras integration project has numerous advantages. It is an end-to-end software solution that is centralized but available to all departments with all the design information and production output stored in the same location with appropriate workflows linked to various processes. All of the data sent is optimized for specific scenarios, giving stakeholders exactly the information they need and no more. Ingalls can plan in 3D and see visually what has changed over time. The system enables and promotes concurrent engineering. But the greatest benefit is the improved ability to manage change which, in shipbuilding, is constant.
Most PLM implementations take years to implement. The SSI/Aras solution was implemented in just nine months.