True Concurrent Engineering
ShipConstructor is the only solution that allows true Concurrent Engineering. For the first time and only with ShipConstructor, drawings generated in the AutoCAD DWG format, the industry standard, can be automatically updated as the project evolves without losing any manual detailing or other work performed directly in the drawings. With the development of MIM and the tight integration between ShipConstructor and AutoCAD, SSI was able to develop an essential and innovative ShipConstructor technology called Associative DWG. Associative DWG allows Concurrent Engineering to also extend to the AutoCAD DWG based production drawings such as nests, arrangements, spools, and assembly drawings.
Concurrent Engineering is a critical requirement for the effective engineering and construction of complex, collaborative projects. Concurrent Engineering is defined as the ability for all disciplines in an entire engineering department to concurrently perform engineering tasks of every type including:
• the definition, and modification, of industry specific rules and standards
• the execution, and modification of a detailed design for all disciplines
• the creation and maintenance of the production documentation required by the shipyard
All of these tasks must be completed with a minimum of rework, errors, or impact on other disciplines. In order to accomplish this, software applications that allow for a complete implementation of Concurrent Engineering must offer complete visibility to the current state of the portions of the product model that belong to other disciplines. They must also allow for the creation of associative relationships at every level of the product model including the industry specific rules and standards, the 3D model and any generated production documents. These relationships are critical to minimizing rework as changes occur.
Unfortunately, generic CAD tools rarely have these capabilities. They were typically not created to facilitate the execution of large-scale collaborative shipbuilding projects so lack the oversight, management, and depth of associativity needed. Even applications created entirely or in part for the shipbuilding industry are not much better. They may have some sort of common, collaborative environment and a degree of associativity within the product model, the combination of which is often touted as a complete implementation of Concurrent Engineering. In practice however, there are flaws. Most shipbuilding applications have a variety of limitations including inadequate 2D drafting and markup capabilities and the inability to electronically transfer production documentation to other departments, suppliers, or subcontractors. Therefore, many shipbuilders using these applications also use AutoCAD, and the DWG format, at some stage in the process. Unfortunately, if the drawings are created or modified within
AutoCAD rather than the main shipbuilding application, this leads them to become disconnected from the product model. This disconnection is a major stumbling block to an effective implementation of Concurrent Engineering.
Only ShipConstructor extends associativity to the AutoCAD based drawing level. Therefore, only ShipConstructor offers true Concurrent Engineering to shipbuilders using AutoCAD in any part of their process.
Scalability applies to multiple realities of our clients and is critical to the management of risk around growth and changes to technology. The SSI solution is significantly more scalable than any other competing shipbuilding software on the market, making it the only product suitable for clients with differing budget sizes, differing workforce skills and abilities, differing infrastructure environments, and differing project types and sizes.
The SSI solution is suitable for:
• Large or small budgets:
- The licensing model can be scaled to provide an acceptable ROI for design agents and shipyards.
• Disparate technical and infrastructure environments with installations in emerging, low tech markets as well as established markets applying cutting edge technology.
- Depending on client requirements, the SSI solution can be implemented as the most lightweight CAD/CAM solution possible, employing only the simplest version of AutoCAD or as a heavyweight enterprise solution implementing the entire ShipConstructor suite with all complimentary Autodesk products, fully integrated with the client's choice of the most advanced complimentary 3rd party products, technology, tools, skills and industry best practices available.
• A broad range of workforce skills and abilities:
- Speed to Proficiency - Clients can more easily find and train staff due to ShipConstructor's familiar AutoCAD foundation and use of shipbuilding specific concepts and terminology.
- Secure and Controlled - An organization with a very high level of skills can allow broader interaction with more of the model and software. Conversely, if skills are lower, managers can be very granular in what permissions are granted.
• Complex and simple projects of all sizes: The ShipConstructor flexible licensing model, integration with COTS technologies and interoperability provides for a broad range of configurations. Enterprise level organizations such as large naval and commercial shipyards, or engineering firms, as well as small design agents, repair/refit yards and smaller contractors can all implement the SSI solution to meet their requirements.
Configurability and Flexibility
All organizations in the shipbuilding and offshore industries worldwide share many of the same challenges and requirements. However no two organizations are exactly the same and unique competitive advantages are often derived from these small differences. ShipConstructor does not constrain you to a specific workflow or to a narrow choice of complimentary 3rd party products. It can be implemented in a different way within the same organization as requirements change, or according to the requirements of different organizations.
Complimentary technologies: The use of COTS technologies such as Autodesk and Microsoft SQL Server allows for a shorter implementation time and lower overhead. Large enterprise-level clients can take advantage of the fact that ShipConstructor has deliberately utilized complimentary technologies to provide cost-effective solutions to smaller organizations but the cost savings will apply to all companies.
Integration: ShipConstructor can be implemented standalone or can be integrated into far more complex processes and applications allowing both small and large organizations alike to adopt the software. This also allows an organization to implement the software outside of other processes and integrate it more completely as required.
ERP/PLM: The core software can be used for lightweight change management activities for smaller organizations using built in capabilities (AutoCAD drafting and markup, Associative DWG, user defined attributes), but also allows integration with enterprise class systems at larger organizations
Workflows: Configurable templates, bills of materials, CAD standards and workflows can be tailored to fit specific needs. This allows a higher degree of efficiency to be created and maintained.
Speed to Proficiency
Clients can more easily find and train staff due to ShipConstructor’s combination of a familiar AutoCAD platform, the use of shipbuilding specific terminology and concepts, and SSI’s commitment to ensuring that the software maintains an innovative and intuitive design.
SSI is dedicated to ensuring that the latest software technology innovations are harnessed towards increased usability at the same time as efficiency enhancing features are added. The use of terminology already familiar in the industry rather than abstract geometric concepts further enhances the intuitive nature of the software making it natural to learn.
Perhaps the largest contributor to ShipConstructor’s intuitiveness is its AutoCAD foundation. With over 10 million users of Autodesk products worldwide, the majority of engineers, designers and new graduates have AutoCAD skills and therefore have already completed a portion of the training required for ShipConstructor. If employee turnover is a challenge, this directly lowers the cost of employee training, allowing a skilled workforce to be created in shorter time with lower overhead.
The most common language in use today for the communication of CAD data is DWG. Since DWG is the native format for ShipConstructor model data and production drawings, ShipConstructor is uniquely positioned to allow the highest degree of interaction with other internal departments and also the supply chain. In the marine industry specifically, DWG is a standard for communication with suppliers, subcontractors, classification societies, and project owners. By facilitating this communication, ShipConstructor lowers the costs associated with interacting with other organizations and reduces the risk of errors inherent in currently required conversion processes.
Other Best-of-Breed Applications: Organizations of differing sizes and different requirements can choose peripheral solutions that are best for them. This allows solutions to be built around ShipConstructor that are suited to organizations of almost any size.
Other Organizations: Capabilities including lightweight distributed project execution in WorkShare and use of the SQL Server Express database engine (amongst many others) allow the software to be used by both smaller, or less technologically savvy organizations (including larger organizations in emerging markets) as well as by larger enterprise class companies.
Security and Control
Actions and workflows can be controlled by either individual or departmental permissions. These permissions allow organizations to align what can be done in the software with the skill level of specific individuals and the requirements of business processes. This provides an additional level of security and reduces rework due to unauthorized or unintentional changes. The combination of flexible controls and user level revision tracking on changes available in the product allows for a high degree of accountability.