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December 23, 2005
SSI News

Albacore Research Ltd. (ARL), the creator of the 3D Product Modeling and Production Planning software ShipConstructor, is proud to announce the company’s new name: ShipConstructor Software Inc. (SSI).

Albacore Research Ltd. (ARL), the creator of the 3D Product Modeling and Production Planning software ShipConstructor, is proud to announce the company’s new name: ShipConstructor Software Inc. (SSI).

“After 15 years of Albacore Research Ltd., we have outgrown our original company name,” says Mr. Rolf G. Oetter, Co-founder, President and CEO. “The shipbuilding industry talks ShipConstructor and we want to reflect that.”

“We have grown substantially over the last couple of years, not only in North America, but worldwide. ShipConstructor has become the software-of-choice for the U.S. Second-Tier Shipbuilding Industry, resulting in the funding of two intensive development programs by the National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP) and several Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants. We are proud that highly respected and recognized companies such as Northrop Grumman Ship Systems and Gibbs & Cox in the US, Dubai Drydocks in UAE and Austal, Australia and USA, trust ShipConstructor with their projects,” adds Mr. Oetter, “and the number of ShipConstructor users worldwide is growing fast.”


Mr. Rolf G. Oetter, Co-founder, President and CEO of ShipConstructor Software Inc. signing the documents marking the change from Albacore Research Ltd. in to ShipConstructor Software Inc.

Software development originally started out as a one-man University project in 1989, with the incorporation of ARL following in 1990. ARL quickly established itself as an industry leader with the best available PC-based compound curvature plate expansion program ‘ShipCAM’ – now part of the ShipConstructor Hull module. In 1996, ARL reacted to customer needs for an AutoCAD-based ship production software system with the release of ‘CAD-Link’, now a major component of the ShipConstructor software suite as the Structure module. In the following years, ARL developed more sophisticated software versions as well as additional modules, to what has become an immensely powerful 3D product data modeling and production planning tool for ship design and production – the ShipConstructor software suite. The suite now provides functions for curved plates, structure, pipe, HVAC, equipment, and NC-processing, and also generates sophisticated production documentation, including assembly drawings, pipe spools, and production reports.

As Co-founder, Mr. Rolf G. Oetter has seen the company develop from the one-man show in 1989 to a company of close to 40 people in 2005. Being a specialist for production optimization, Mr. Oetter has been paramount in sticking to the company’s motto of questioning current shipbuilding standards and looking at shipbuilding tasks from a different angle, ensuring a broad view and the best possible solutions to the issues associated with shipbuilding. “Just because something has ‘always been done a certain way’ does not necessarily mean that that way is the most efficient way of doing it, says Mr. Oetter. “ShipConstructor has been vital in transforming many yards to modern and efficient operations and, in 2001, received the Marine Log Maritime Achievement Award in the ‘Enhancing Shipyard Productivity’ category, acknowledging that our approach works.”

Behind the software is a very strong team of energetic and well educated computer scientists and computer engineers. The backbone of this team is Mr. Darren Larkins, Chief Software Architect. “Our development team prides itself on delivering the highest level of product development and technical support. The level of customer accessibility to developers is unparalleled in the industry and allows for immediate expert feedback and solutions,” says Mr. Larkins. “Furthermore, we do not scare away from totally rewriting the software to make best use of the technologies available today. The Structure module, for example, is currently being rewritten to allow for the parametric-like features of the new Database Driven Relational Object Model™ (DDROM™) or ‘smart parts’ technology.”

Another key member of the team is Mr. Jason Paterson, Senior Software Architect, who was the first to join ARL in 1994, as a student. Jason is well recognized by many of our customers because of his excellent training courses and his patient and extremely knowledgeable technical support. Jason has been vital to keeping our customers’ operations running smoothly. After the introduction of our new Quality Assurance Team in 2005, Mr. Paterson has refrained from doing training and technical support to focus his extensive knowledge and experience on the architectural challenges associated with software development. Mr. Eric Dionne has taken over the role of a trainer with his immense experience. Together with Mr. Steve Ivison, he ensures that software development focuses on the needs of the shipbuilding industry. Those two shipbuilding experts combine over 50 years of shipbuilding experience.

“Close collaboration with our customers is essential to providing the best possible solutions to day-to-day problems,” says Mr. Ivison. “I have worked with ShipConstructor on the shipyards’ side for years and am excited to work with it from a different perspective now, bringing to the table years of worldwide shipyard experience.”

Today, SSI is a fast growing company with close to 40 employees, and 17 local representatives in all major continents, including an Asian subsidiary office in Singapore, ARL Asia Pte. Ltd., headed by Dr. Oskar Lee, as well as a subsidiary office in Mobile AL, United States, ShipConstructor Software USA, Inc., headed by Mr. Patrick Cahill.

“For the future, we plan to continue the growth of ShipConstructor, concentrating on STEP interfaces, the Common Parts Catalog (CPC), as well as Project Split and Merge. These functions will benefit shipbuilders by providing even more flexibility and enabling many players to operate on the same project. We are also in the first stages of an Electrical Package and are looking into the development of a Weld Management tool.” says Mr. Oetter. “The continued success and growth of ShipConstructor is paramount to our team, and we intend to continue delivering features that enable our customers to succeed and grow – according to our motto: We go the extra nautical mile for our customers.”

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