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October 10, 2017
EnterprisePlatformPublisherLTShipbuildingTips & Tricks

There is a huge amount of information contained in our environment these days. Most of the information that various stakeholders require to do their jobs is accessible to them. However, the challenge we have today is how to provide that information in the context and format they can consume without spending hours searching. For example, your purchasing department will have a hard time consuming BOM information from a collection of drawing PDFs, but would have a very easy time-consuming information from a single Excel file with a list of all parts, assemblies, spools and all relevant BOM data (not necessarily listed on the drawings) that they were interested in.

The question I am asked often is, “What is the best way for other stakeholders (planning, weight management, quality control, testing and verification, subcontractors, etc.) to get access the most up-to-date to the information they need without ShipConstructor?”

Even though I am an advocate of implementing a PLM system in every organization from the smallest design agency to the largest shipyard, I do understand the business of shipbuilding and that this business transformation takes time. With the latest version of SSI products (ShipConstructor & EnterprisePlatform) there is a now a way that any stakeholder in your organization can access virtually any piece of information in the ShipConstructor project in a format they can consume. This can be as simple as a native AutoCAD drawing for lifting and turning, a light weight Navisworks model of a unit, a pdf of an assembly drawing, or even an image of a model drawing. The possibilities are endless.


Solution Overview


Stakeholders Requirements

For a system to be used by all the stakeholders that require information from the ShipConstructor Marine Information Model (MIM) we need to ensure that it solves some key requirements:

  1. Have information in a format that can be consumed easily
  2. Ensure information is always up-to-date
  3. Access the information quickly
  4. Access the information via a modern Graphical User Interface (GUI)
  5. Do not require ShipConstructor or AutoCAD to be installed
  6. Do not require knowledge of ShipConstructor

Without these key requirements solved, the benefit to the end user (stakeholder) would be reduced.

There are several products which make all this possible with most only requiring a one-time setup. From the end user’s point of view, all the complexity is abstracted away and will only require less than one minute of effort to access any piece of information.


Automatically Generating Information

EnterprisePlatform JobServer

Solving 1: Have information in a format that can be consumed easily

With the EnterprisePlatform we can already generate any information from the ShipConstructor project in various different formats. I have blogged about the EnterprisePlatform many time before and have written about the many different types of output from change management to 4D planning. You can view them here.

Solving 2: Ensure information is always up-to-date

The EnterprisePlatform JobServer will allow you to automate the generation of any piece of information on any schedule that you desire. This can be hourly, daily, weekly, etc.

It can also be configured to only generate information on the items that have changed in the last day or any other user defined time span.

EnterprisePlatform ProjectCache

Solving 3: Access the information quickly

To allow information to be available instantly without the user waiting for information to be generated in the context they need, all output generated from the JobServer is stored in the EnterprisePlatform ProjectCache. The information is indexed for very quick retrieval from the end user.

The ProjectCache only stores the latest information and does not store a history of the output. For configuration management you will need an information platform such as a PLM system.

EnterprisePlatform ProjectViewer (End User – Any Stakeholder)

Solving

  1. Access the information via a modern Graphical User Interface (GUI)
  2. Do not require ShipConstructor or AutoCAD to be installed
  3. Do not require knowledge of ShipConstructor

The most important piece at least from the end user’s perspective is to provide an intuitive mechanism for them to access the information they need in the format the can consume.

Each stakeholder will require the same piece of information but formatted differently.

With the EnterprisePlatform ProjectViewer the user will be able to filter to the information they require by simply double clicking on the information in the GUI. The correct application will load (Adobe Acrobat, Navisworks, AutoCAD, Excel, image viewer, etc.) displaying the required information.

The ProjectViewer does not require ShipConstructor or AutoCAD to be installed. However, if you want to open a format that requires ShipConstructor or AutoCAD you will require a viewer that supports that information.


Video Demonstration

If you cannot view YouTube video’s you can access it via SSI Nexus here.


Closing Remarks

Sharing information across the organization is one of the most important initiatives organizations are focusing on. However, we need to be able to share information at the right time, must take less than 1 minute to find the correct information, it must be up-to-date, it must be consumable by the end users and the workflow needs to naturally integrate with current workflows.

With SSI’s open architecture, the information for any stakeholder has always been accessible but there still was some level of effort required for the information to be available for the end user to consume.

With the EnterprisePlatform product line and especially the ProjectViewer, users can now easily and without any training, have all information in the ShipConstructor project in the format and context they can consume at their fingertips in less than a minute.

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