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Project Summary
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Project Summary

The SHIPLYS system is intended to be used by the shipyards and associated design consultants, in conjunction with their clients the owners and operators, to provide optimised design and costing at the early stages of design, leading to improved life cycle management through production, operation, refits and end of life disposal and to meet the increasing requirements for LCCA (lifecycle cost analyses), environmental assessments, risk assessments and end-of-life considerations. User companies will either purchase a system from one of the project partners, or license and apply the methodologies within their own design systems, using the centralised databases and data transfer standards established.

Overall market size

The European maritime industry involves deep sea, short sea and inland transportation of goods and people, ship design, building and repair, port infrastructures, marine equipment, as well as offshore structures and operations and recreational craft. Around 80 to 90% of all goods imported and exported by Europe are transported by sea (1400 Bn Tonne-km, with a value of €1792 Bn – over 50% of all external trade), and within the EU more than 40% of goods are carried by water. On average, the cost of waterborne transport is less than 1/5 of the cost of road transport. 192 million people were transported by water in 2014, excluding cruises. Offshore vessels were the EU’s strongest growing sector; EU share of the world offshore vessel market grew from 28% in 2004 up to 37% in 2014. Overall, more than 3 million people work directly in the European maritime industry, which represents more than 1% of the EU’s GDP, and around €200 billion of turnover with a value added of €100 billion, continuing to grow at twice the rate of global GDP over the past ten years. Within this, the EU shipbuilding sector has more than 300 shipyards and a network of over 9,000 subcontractors, mainly SMEs, accounting for a total of about 350,000 jobs and a turnover of around €34billion.

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Ship life cycle software solutions software - market expectations

In order to produce ship designs that satisfy customer needs, production and legislative requirements, a large number of software tools are used in each stage of the design process to evaluate a variety of characteristics and life phases (structural, operational performance, production scheduling, etc.). Nowadays, there are various tools in the market that are specialised in ship design, but these are currently used in the detailed designs, not for early stage designs where they could be particularly useful.

To compete with the larger yards and low-cost countries, Europe’s SME designers and production yards need new  tools and paradigms to:

  • Carry out concept-stage design 3DCAD modelling with a reduced but sufficient number of main  definition parameters, and use these to establish a data set suitable to determine work load, processes, resource needs build a more complete analysis model.
  • Integrate the different design stages through more standardised information, using an approach such as the one which successfully worked for Building Information Modelling (BIM) in construction, to be able to keep the bid- stage technical information and pass it through into the detailed design stages.
  • Introduce a reliable modelling method for lifecycle analyses (costs, environmental, risk) for designs at the early design stage (supporting bid decisions) and later stages for detailed design.
  • To deal with the ripple-through of lifecycle effects if design changes are made before final design or to assess the through life impact of changes at various stages in order to arrive at optimum configurations
  • To have a reliable database of the design and lifecycle aspects of equipment and materials to underpin accurate virtual modelling (thus avoiding GIGO – ‘garbage in = garbage out”)

Summary of objectives of the project

SHIPLYS will improve the competitiveness of the European shipyards and SMEs involved in shipbuilding, ship repairing and recycling by:

Project RTD objectives:

  • Analysing and integrating Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA), environmental and risk assessments, product and process lifecycle management (PLM) and Virtual Product tools developed from previous national and EU level projects into a comprehensive and customised and single package simulation and analyses tool to achieve the goals of the project.
  • Performing three representative pilot demonstrations testing the technical, economical and commercial viability of innovative concepts for design and production processes in order to minimise life cycle costs and develop the appropriate technical guides to enable custom-made optimal solutions from a life-cycle perspective.
  • Sharing knowledge among all stake holders, including shipyards, ship owners, R&D developers and academics, for best practices and assets’ performance for minimal total costs over the useful economic life.

Leading to Impact objectives:

  • Maintaining and improving the competitiveness and sustainability of European maritime and shipping industry via a life-cycle approach, allowing them to meet legislation and to reduce the overall through life costs for vessels.
  • Improving design capability at the early stages to allow better design optimisation, virtual testing of novel designs, transparent and collaborative communication with clients, and overall reduced sunk costs in design for shipyards.
  • Increasing production efficiency, reduced energy consumption, environmental impacts and production costs both in shipyards and vessels in operation.
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Ship life cycle software solutions software

SHIPLYS aims to build on existing experience in the shipping sector, and transfer experience from the development of lifecycle modelling and rapid virtual prototyping in other industry sectors.

Three early ship design scenarios will serve as a base for testing of SHIPLYS software functionalities:

  • Scenario 1: Optimisation of a novel hybrid propulsion system used in a short-route ferry
  • Scenario 2: Development of conceptual ship design with inputs from risk-based lifecycle assessments
  • Scenario 3: Development of software to support early planning and costing of ship retrofitting, accounting for lifecycle costs and risk assessments

The project will start by defining the decision context, ie the detailed knowledge of each scenario and stakeholder’s perspective, and reviewing existing design and assessment tools and techniques. This will clarify the baseline for evaluation and the required level of detail and complexity, as well as the available data and resources. Then, the required data will be collected and processed using data sensitivity and uncertainty analysis techniques. The baseline and collected data will enable the project team to determine the performance of different models for comparison.

In SHIPLYS, these models for comparison will aim to minimise the LCC, environmental impact and risks, depending on the objective of each stakeholder. All this information will then be fed into the MCDA module, and the final results calculated. SHIPLYS will interpret the results and provide recommendations to the various stakeholders. This will be followed by integration and optimisation of the rapid virtual prototyping modules and SHIPLYS lifecycle tools (SHIPLYS LCT) and their adaption for the development of generic models.

The project includes the following technical work packages (WP):

The objective of this work package is to select and develop appropriate scenarios with stakeholders, particularly SME shipyards, for detailed assessment within SHIPLYS. Such assessment is with a view to developing virtual modelling tools to reduce time spent during early ship design particularly in SME shipyards, and to enable optimal design with life cycle cost assessment (LCCA), environmental assessment and risk assessment.

This work package will determine the requirements for rapid virtual prototyping models and life cycle tools and the requirements for integration of SHIPLYS tools with existing early design tools such as FORAN, Ship Constructor and others.

It is recognised that the efficacy of the approaches and tools is to a large extent dependent on the availability of good quality data. Thus, it is important to first screen data to assess the quality of data: if data is not useful it needs to be discarded; if data has uncertainties or gaps then such data needs to be processed accordingly for use in rapid design, LCCA and sustainability models. In addition to collecting relevant data, this work package will establish proper criteria for collecting data, assessing its quality and determining the criticality of its use in the SHIPLYS.

Comparing different design/ maintenance/ replacement strategies for ships from a through life perspective is an important functionality during the early design stage. Through the tools developed in this work package, users will be able to assess, during the early design stage itself, the life cycle performance of various options being considered. Such tools will, for example, enable designers to design out risks identified early on.

Realising new or substantially modified types of sea-going vessels often incurs substantial risks, notably during production stage, that need to be considered for overall performance and cost assessment. In order to be able to execute production simulation tasks reasonably well at an early stage of product definition and design, a “virtual” data set must be created as part of the virtual prototype creation that reflects the required product structure, expected work load, work force requirements in terms of capabilities and resource level, material content, or target schedule. This is needed to identify critical phases, hotspots, material delivery schedules and to evaluate the effect of delays due to possible production issues or supply bottlenecks.

The rapid prototyping will make extensive use of model generating techniques applied to early design and corresponding production processes. Being able to establish a prototype model in short timeframe will bring benefit of being able to investigate multiple alternatives easily and efficiently. The configuration prototyping tool aims at providing a collection of highly focused functions to quickly define the major configuration properties for a new design, allowing efficient creation of design alternatives. The work package includes the development of generic tools enabling SHIPLYS tools to be used in much wider contexts.

Testing is aimed at establishing that the full functionality expected from the software has been achieved. The software (individual modules of software and integrated) will be verified against case studies obtained from SME shipyards where previous results can be compared with results from applying SHIPYS retrospectively or where results from SHIPLYS can be verified against those obtained by using other methods. The guidelines developed in this work package will cover all aspects of the software developed within SHIPLYS including recommendations on the type and format of data required to conduct analyses.

We are actively involved in work with specialist design software companies (the potential problem solvers) and also with the problem owners in naval architecture, building and operations across Europe; they have provided a lot of initial information about their problems and requirements. We will continue this dialogue and introduce SHIPLYS as a potential solution; this will allow us to gain their inputs as to the constraints they experience in their ability to take up the technology. The problems owners are likely to be our ‘champions’ within their organisations as we demonstrate the potential for solving their problems.

The exploitation activities of the SHIPLYS project are a critical and essential activity for the project and all partners will play an active role in this work package. This work package has an elaborate programme of training to be imparted to future users of SHIPLYS.

An external industrial advisory group – the SHIPLYS Stakeholders Advisory Committee – comprises experts from major stakeholders who are interested in the objectives and results of the project. Their engagement will help SHIPLYS stay focused on the needs of the industrial community, learn first-hand from a wider set of expertise, and maximise the impact of SHIPLYS on its target market.

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Three early ship design scenarios will serve as a base for testing of SHIPLYS software functionalities:

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Schematics of a D-M, D-E and a hybrid system
Schematics of a D-M, D-E and a hybrid system

This Scenario, owned by FERG and USTRATH, is aimed at developing software capability to optimize a novel hybrid propulsion system used in a short-route ferry.

The hybrid propulsion system being considered combines internal combustion engines and battery cells. The optimization here is to determine the most suitable combination of propulsion (i.e. the proportion of propulsion directly from combustion and that from battery), using a life cycle approach covering LCC, risk assessments and environmental impacts. 

The approach will cover operation and maintenance, scrapping and recycling stages. Potentially, the implications of optimizing the propulsion system on the design and production of the short route ferry will also be considered using the generic functionality of the suite of software created.

In addition to optimizing the design of the hybrid system, an evaluation of three different propulsion systems: the hybrid system that distributes loads to generators and batteries based on specific route undertaken, the diesel –mechanical (D-M) system that propels the ship directly, and the diesel – electric system (D-E) that converts fuel into electricity that drives motors to propel the ship. Such an evaluation will be from the perspective of ship life cycle costs, environmental impact and risk assessment.

Work done in the FP7 projects Eco-REFITEC, MAINLINE and MOSAIC, and the European Platform for life cycle assessment will be considered in the development of applications within the Scenario. The ECO-REFITEC project aimed to assist shipyards and ship operators to perform cost effective refitting of existing fleet through technological developments and new tools helping to benchmark their performance and improve the retrofit processes and products and assessing the environmental and life cycle cost impact. In MAINLINE a life cycle assessment tool was developed to provide decision support in the integrity management of assets (such as bridges) from a life cycle perspective. MOSAIC investigated the use of special steels and composite materials for lighter, more eco-friendly merchant ships; the project involved looking at different options from a life cycle perspective. These projects had a common theme of evaluating options from a life cycle perspective, therefore allowing for knowledge gained to be transferred to SHIPLYS. Moreover, the project will avail of benefits from the European platform on life cycle assessment in this and other Scenarios.

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Conceptual Ship Design accounting for Risk-based Life Cycle Assessment
Conceptual Ship Design accounting for Risk-based Life Cycle Assessment

This Scenario, owned by VARNA and IST, is aimed at developing software capability to generate conceptual ship design with inputs from risk based life cycle assessments. The scenario is organized in three consecutive tasks: Task 1 on conceptual ship design, Task 2 on risk-based structural assessment and Task 3 on risk-based maintenance. Task 4 is focused on fast hull geometry prototyping and Task 5 is related to production assessment. Tasks 4 and 5 will be carried out in parallel with Task 1.

The approach being developed for this Scenario will be first applied to a Multi-Purpose-Ship, with VARNA involved in the development and testing of the approach. The shipyard has experience with this ship type and the information that they have will be used to calibrate the developed applications.

VARNA expect that the development of this Scenario will enable SMEs shipyards to make more reliable estimates, given the client requirements in the early stages of inquiry and the shipyard`s existing production capacity. Concurrently, they expect benefits from the provision to study the implications of risk-based inputs to conventional early design and the evaluation of options in terms of their LCC effectiveness and the environmental impact. It is expected that this Scenario and the software developed can be adapted to other ship types apart from Multi-Purpose-Ship, particularly where novel aspects are being introduced often necessitating a risk-based approach, and to other shipyards in addition to VARNA.

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M/V Normandie before and after retroffiting (©: BRITTANY FERRIES)
M/V Normandie before and after retroffiting (©: BRITTANY FERRIES)

This Scenario, owned by ATD and SOERMAR, is aimed at developing software to support early (bid-stage) planning and costing of ship retrofitting, taking account of LCC and risk management of processes involved. Risk management in the context of this Scenario includes hazard management and project management risks such as scheduling conflicts and the impact of delays. The ship retrofit process is a reengineering process of the vessel which in many cases can involve fundamental changes in the architecture, functionality or operation of the vessel, but the nature of repair and retrofitting projects differs substantially from long term new building projects.

 The ship retrofit planning process is focused on production systems for retrofitting/repair activities where optimal solutions for reducing costs, risks, safety and environmental impacts in a shipyard carrying out such work require rapid simulations. 

For this purpose, a ship retrofitting recently carried out in ATD (related to the installation of Scrubbers in an existing ship ROPAX), is proposed as a case study. The Figure shows a ship without Scrubbers and then after retrofitting of Scrubbers shown in the dotted circle.