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April 27, 2005
SSI News

Albacore Research Ltd. (ARL) and Universal Marine Systems (UMS) today announced a new integrated workflow for Japanese customers who want to use EasyStruct for structural design and ShipConstructor for piping and penetrations.

Albacore Research Ltd. (ARL) and Universal Marine Systems (UMS) today announced a new integrated workflow for Japanese customers who want to use EasyStruct for structural design and ShipConstructor for piping and penetrations.

ShipConstructor, developed by ARL, is the AutoCAD-based 3D product modeling system for the design and fabrication of ships and offshore structures. ShipConstructor users have the benefit of a single integrated solution for the engineering of shell plate, structure, piping, HVAC, and equipment.

EasyStruct, developed by UMS, is an AutoCAD-based 2D design and 3D structural modeling system widely used by shipbuilders and other manufacturers. EasyStruct users have long been in need of a way to augment their current structural design process with an effective solution for piping and penetrations. With the new ShipConstructor/EasyStruct integrated workflow, they now have this solution.

Final touches were made during a visit of Universal Marine Systems at ARL’s premises in January 2005 (From left to right: Mr. Takehiro Haruno, Group Leader Universal MS Japan, Mr. Kunihiko Shishida, General Manager Engineering Universal MS Japan, Mr. Rolf G. Oetter, President and CEO Albacore Research Ltd. Canada, Mr. Denis Morais, Software Developer Albacore Research Ltd. Canada).

Engineers can now easily convert their structural design created within EasyStruct to a ShipConstructor 3D model. ShipConstructor is then used to place outfit items and run pipe through the EasyStruct structural model. Penetrations are then automatically created from the library of approved penetrations. Using a sophisticated transfer mechanism, penetrations are easily transferred from ShipConstructor into the EasyStruct drawings. The database transfer mechanism even deals with changes to existing penetrations or deletions. This results in significant time-savings and improved accuracy that facilitate early outfitting and generate the potential for automation.

“The fact that shipbuilders can use EasyStruct for structure and ShipConstructor for piping, equipment and penetrations represents a major productivity improvement for Japanese shipyards,” said Mr. Kunihiko Shishida, General Manager Engineering of UMS. “ShipConstructor has such a great reputation as a time-saving and quality improvement tool. We’re very pleased that EasyStruct customers can now make use of ShipConstructor’s easy to use piping, equipment, and penetrations capabilities.”

Making this project a success required the close collaboration of ARL and UMS. Developers at both companies have been working together not only to enable the transfer of data between applications, but to make the dataflow as simple and robust as possible.

“We had met with UMS staff several times over the years and made initial arrangements for cooperation during Sea Japan 2004,” said Mr. Rolf G. Oetter, President and CEO of ARL, “Since then, UMS and ARL have been in constant contact as we have enhanced our two products to enable the connection between the two.”

“We have learned so much about Japan’s unique approach to shipbuilding and have grown to admire their pursuit of efficiency and precision,” added Mr. Oetter.

Over the past year, ARL has increasingly focused development efforts on the specific needs of the Japanese shipbuilding industry. A recently released update of ShipConstructor includes, among other features, a feature for easily creating Accuracy Control Marks, a practice common in Japan for accurately aligning stiffeners on plates and aligning plates for welding.

“ARL’s efforts to develop features based on Japanese shipbuilding practices are making ShipConstructor increasingly attractive to Japanese shipyards,” said Mr. Fumiyoshi Kato, President of Yakushiji Industry Ltd., Japan, ARL’s regional representative. “Accuracy Control Marks and the new integrated dataflow for EasyStruct and ShipConstructor are helping to improve the productivity of the Japanese shipbuilding industry.”

“In addition, many experienced designers and engineers in Japan are retiring,” added Mr. Kato, “so shipyards are faced with training a new generation of workers. With manual drafting or 2D-based CAD systems, this initial training period could take three years, but with an easy-to-use 3D CAD system like ShipConstructor, new designers and engineers can become proficient in a much shorter time period.”

The new ShipConstructor/EasyStruct integrated flow will be available to ShipConstructor and EasyStruct customers in forthcoming updates of ShipConstructor and EasyStruct.

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