In a perfect world, our vessels would be built exactly as they were designed, and the digital twin would always reflect the ship as it sits on the water. The complexity of shipbuilding and the concurrent way in which ships are built makes this a challenging goal to achieve, but every step we make towards it, can make for a substantial payoff.
SSI and Cupix are working together to make that vision a reality. At C&C Marine & Repair the joint solution is being proven, helping the shipyard continue to innovate, maximize uptime, eliminate reality capture silos, and understand what was installed and when.
The reality on the shop floor is that changes are discovered and executed on the fly. As the shop floor is executing the work, changes are not always reflected back to the rest of the organization. This leaves teams constantly asking for updates to identify what was installed, when was it installed, and how it differs from the original design.
Despite precautions, in the end, the vessel as built differs from as it was designed. This cycle adds ambiguity to the project and makes it difficult to accurately forecast what remains to be done.
I see the value in making this part of any yards QA/QC procedure to improve accuracy.
Kenneth Neumann, Project Manager and Design Supervisor, C&C Marine & Repair
The Traditional Reality Capture Challenge
It can be tough to understand the real-world reality. That’s why shipbuilders have naturally already started to invest in reality capture technologies to help bridge the gap between digital and real. But what has held some shipbuilders back has been the difficulty in connecting the captured information with the tools and model that was used to design and build the vessel.
Because a truly useful digital twin depends on accurate information being accessible and available, the ability to remove the traditional reality capture silos and connect the design model, reality capture, and product information together in a unified ecosystem maximizes the benefits of the technology and minimizes the costs to the organization. In addition, the fast-paced and concurrent nature of shipbuilding means that capture needs to be quick, accurate, and in context.
A Proven Solution
C&C Marine is a forward-thinking shipyard, and they are taking innovation seriously. Seeing the potential of the Cupix and SSI joint solution, C&C Marine trialed the system and quickly started to experience what was possible.
Using an off-the-shelf 360° camera, the shipyard can perform reality capture by just walking around the vessel. Capturing continuous video means that assets are captured quickly and in one pass, without the need to stop and scan. The captured data is brought into a single ecosystem where it is combined with:
- The SSI Product Model and digital twin.
- Laser/lidar scans where required.
- Drone data where required.
The result is an easy way to accurately compare your design model with what has actually been built – all within a single platform. Because the scanned data is seamlessly combined with existing information from the SSI Product Model, there’s no need to manually tie in the existing model. This approach eliminates existing reality capture silos and makes it easy to virtually walk around the vessel by level, compartment, space, or whatever is most relevant. With the information combined in one platform, communication with stakeholders doesn’t need to rely on integration experts or flipping between multiple sources.
Seeing ROI in Days
C&C Marine is always focused on meeting deadlines, and implementing new innovations cannot add additional risk to projects. In the past, innovations across the shipbuilding industry are often criticized for how long it takes to get started and actually see value from the new tools or workflow. In some cases, this value never truly materializes.
In this case, C&C Marine was set up in a few days and quickly started using the solution to augment their existing workflows. The investment from their end was minimal, and with a clear path from promise to value-add, the team was confident they would start seeing a benefit – almost from day one.
The Bottom Line
Putting together what was constructed on the floor with the as-designed model makes it easy to identify what was installed and when. For both new construction and repair/refit, that means, forecasts can more accurately reflect reality, the shipyard can maximize its productivity, and the vessel can hit the water on schedule.
“I see the value in making this part of any yards QA/QC procedure to improve accuracy,” said Kenneth Neumann, Project Manager and Design Supervisor at C&C Marine. “I also see this as a value-added tool for vessel delivery and utilizing this as part of the final deliverables. From a vessel maintenance standpoint, port captains and port engineers would find this [solution] very valuable. For the operators to be able to access a capture of the vessel with data-rich imagery detailing certain equipment could prove to be extremely time-saving. To close on that, all in all, I, as well as C&C are very happy with how the project is going.”
About C&C Marine and Repair
Located in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, C&C Marine & Repair has ten fully enclosed production and fabrication bays totaling over 500,000 square feet. C&C Marine and Repair utilizes the most State-of-the-Art equipment in the shipbuilding industry and continually expands its facility and upgrades its equipment in order to maximize productivity, cost efficiency, and safety.
Cupix is the industry’s most flexible and easiest-to-deploy 3D digital twin platform. They are the trusted partner of choice for delivering the industry’s most powerful and easiest-to-use 3D digital twin platform to builders and owners everywhere.