While shipbuilding can take several years, a ship will remain in service for several decades, and the distribution of costs is no different. Minimizing the long-term costs of a ship just fractionally can result in extremely large savings when compounded over its life.
Modern vessels are achieving lifespans of upwards of 40 years. That kind of longevity is impossible to attain without understanding the reality of the condition of the vessel. Consistently monitoring and assessing the on-board reality, and managing that information in an accessible way, ensures that a clear view of the vessel exists.
The scale of a ship, and the sheer number of components involved, can make this a challenging task. It’s no surprise that many ship owners today only have a murky idea of the ship as it’s being operated.
Successfully assessing the current state of a vessel means:
- Having access to up-to-date digital data from the ship.
- Consistently capturing the status of the components on-board.
- Being in a position to perform refit and repair efficiently when necessary.
With those elements in place the need to perform unexpected repairs or refits can be mitigated, and when it is necessary, there will be fewer surprises uncovered throughout the process.
The amount of information gathered throughout a ship’s life is immense. Every piece of data has value, but being able to utilize that data in a way that makes processes more efficient, is effective no matter the data source, and ensures that key personnel can access it in the future is crucial.
Information can come from a wide variety of sources like:
- 2D drawings
- 2D CAD
- 3D CAD
- Laser scanning data
- Compliance readings
- Maintenance schedules
- On-site readings
- Many more
Each one of these sources can alone result in an overwhelming amount of data, taken together, any findings that can make a bottom-line impact to a vessels costs are at risk of getting lost. When finding that impact in-house involves digging through the implications of that data within individual software packages, it’s no surprise that many organizations fail to find the ROI they expected.
The ability to manage that data, in a way that works with the use cases we see in maritime, is what allows for actionable outcomes and their resulting return to clearly impact the vessels at sea. The best ship owners/operators are accomplishing this by:
- Consuming data from every source.
- Understanding how every piece of information affects the organization’s processes.
- Seamlessly integrating the data into the existing Information Platforms the organization uses.
Implementing a solution that does that incrementally, and without replacing what already exists, prevents risk to current projects and allows for immediate ROI. At the end of the day, that’s why we have all turned towards modern levels of data extraction in the first place.
Repair / Refit
When increasingly strict environmental regulations meet longer vessel lifespans, the result is thousands of ships that need retrofits, repairs, or both performed. Making that process as seamless as possible, with minimal downtime, is a crucial aspect of minimizing the impact on an organization.
Getting ahead of the problem by always having the most up-to-date picture of the ship being operated is one way to do just that. New builds are starting to require digital twins to be delivered alongside the vessel, but that isn’t the case for most already built vessels. If an up-to-date digital twin isn’t available, creating a usable, reverse-engineered model of existing conditions involves multiple site visits, significant person-hour costs, and can risk disrupting the operation of a vessel. When performed incorrectly, the delays because of fabrication or installation errors are common.
For your organization to make repair and refit seamless and be able to take on more repair and retrofit projects, the design and engineering teams need to be able to:
- Quickly and accurately capture the as-is conditions of an existing vessel when a digital twin is not available.
- Seamlessly utilize and manage any existing digital and hard copy designs and information that exists.
- Integrate new processes within existing Information Platforms incrementally and without changing what is already in place.
Continuously assessing the current state of a vessel and actively managing the information that is captured is the best way to ensure that an organization is always ready to plan for an unexpected repair or a change to regulations.
Taking Control over Maintain Information
All the information created in the pre-delivery design and build phases of a project is hugely valuable and forms the basis of the information available post-delivery. Those involved in post-delivery will be highly focused on using that existing information to facilitate repairs, overhauls, and refits and capturing new information from data analytics, IoT, and AI sources to improve operations.
When it comes time to design the next vessel in a series, or even an unrelated project, the information gathered from the design, construction, and operation of a ship can be used to inform decisions. When effective capture and storage is in place, it becomes possible to iterate and improve the underlying processes of your organization faster than before.