Which type of industry is shipbuilding? Shipbuilding is different from other industries in several ways. Shipbuilding involves unique challenges that are difficult to solve with general tools. Unlike offshore structures, ships are engineered and built before they are approved. Any changes to the design must take into account pre-existing engineering work and sections that have already been constructed. It is important to know which tools are most appropriate for the industry. Listed below are some of the most useful tools for shipbuilding.
Shipbuilding

As the world’s largest industry, shipbuilding is both complex and diverse. In addition to providing a large number of jobs, the industry also generates significant amounts of revenue from global markets. South Korea, for example, made shipbuilding an important strategic industry in the 1970s. Today, China is following suit, and Croatia is privatizing its shipbuilding industry. However, the shipbuilding industry is still far from being a globally competitive industry, despite the high capital and labour costs associated with it.

Historically, shipbuilding took place in specialized facilities known as shipyards. Shipbuilders are called shipwrights and are responsible for constructing ships. Shipbuilding has roots as far back as prehistoric times. Until about thirty years ago, ships were constructed in conventional models with bluff bows, a full stern, and heavy sides and massive rigging. As commerce increased, the need for ships that were faster and easier to maneuver rose.

Modern software systems for large shipbuilders are based on a concept called the ‘Ship Product Model’, which stores geometric elements, such as the hull and fairing, for production. This ‘Ship Product Model’ can be visualised at different stages of the ship’s design and manufacture, and can be exploited to provide accurate information that will support the production of the ship. The integration of design and manufacture is reflected in Figure 9.46.

The invention of the helm, which controls the direction of a ship, was a critical innovation for the Chinese. The Chinese were the only people who used this type of helm for a long time. Nevertheless, shipbuilders sought to improve it. Consequently, shipbuilding in the Middle Ages needed to be adapted to the shape of the helm, and shipbuilders acquired the necessary skills to improve their craft. Moreover, with the advent of the carrack, the west ushered in a new era of shipbuilding. Regular oceangoing vessels were constructed, and the sambuk became a symbol of maritime trade in the Indian Ocean.
Marine equipment manufacturers

The Chinese government has issued a series of action plans and guidance for the shipbuilding industry, aiming to improve supply-side capacity, enhance transformation and upgrade the industry. These action plans clarify the overarching strategic objective of making China a world leader in shipbuilding. Specifically, the plans propose the elimination of low-end production capacity, increasing R&D investment, and improving the industry’s concentration and efficiency.

As the shipbuilding industry moves towards the more sophisticated and high-value segments, marine equipment manufacturers need to adapt to meet the demands of these growing markets. Offshore oil platforms, for example, require massive technological resources and expert design, construction, and operation. These platforms are part of highly complex high-tech projects, and involve all segments of the industry. The equipment manufacturers in this sector are a key element of the industrial marine sector, and are a crucial component of the success of these projects.

The shipbuilding industry in Europe is one of the world’s most advanced and diverse. From 19th century sailing schooners to modern world-class icebreakers, the European shipbuilding industry is world-renowned for its range of products, from propulsion systems to large diesel engines. Other industries include maritime equipment manufacturers, shipyards, and oil rigs. And these companies make everything from keels to moorings and cargo handling.

While there are many shipbuilding companies in the U.S., most of them employ fewer than 100 people and have only a limited building capability. Of these, thirty of these shipbuilding facilities are major, and 26 are inactive. Maritime Subsidies, an official publication of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is helpful in comparing shipbuilding productivity. The shipbuilding industry is highly regulated, with many countries providing subsidies to shipbuilding companies.
Laser welding

For the purposes of determining the welding efficiency and the overall performance of the process, the root sides of five chosen welds were treated with a focused laser beam at a high focus position. The selected welds had different degrees of melt content at different levels of the welding speed, ranging from no melt to a substantial amount of melt at the highest welding speed. The experimental parameters are shown in Table 3.

At its highest power, a 16-kW ytterbium fibre laser is used. The laser head is fixed to a carriage which moves along an overhead portal at up to 10 metres per minute. The entire system is automated. The system is capable of welding panels up to 6 x 6 m and can be scaled accordingly. Some configurations of laser welding produce defects in the interior, a problem which researchers are currently working to resolve. The keyhole mechanism of laser welding allows the beam to be focused at a narrow depth while minimizing heat input and distortion, and improving the mechanical properties of the weld.

The combined application of advanced laser technologies has significantly reduced the overall cost of production. The use of lightweight composite materials and steels for the hull of a vessel will decrease weight while preserving strength. The results are lighter vessels with improved fuel efficiency and increased safety. A 10 percent reduction in vessel weight is equivalent to a 7% reduction in fuel consumption. The lighter upper structure also improves stability. The process is a significant step forward for the shipbuilding industry.

Hybrid laser-arc welding is an emerging technology, but it has not yet found its way into common practice in the shipyards industry. In the past, shipbuilders have joined different metals using a separate adapter component or through an expensive process known as explosive cladding. However, with advances in laser welding technologies, these methods are beginning to be used more frequently. This process may ultimately lead to more cost-effective shipbuilding.
Computers

There are many benefits of computers in shipbuilding. First, they save time and labor, since workers no longer have to interpret drawings or look for material. Second, computerized steelwork production drawings save 50% on boat building costs. And, third, computerized drawings can help with the production of unique and special parts of ships. Computers can help reduce costs by 50% if a database is used for designing the ship. Hence, computerization is becoming a common practice in shipbuilding.

The authors of the book, “Computers in Shipbuilding” (SASP), have outlined the advantages and disadvantages of this new software. They say that it is a good alternative to manual fairing methods. Hence, they recommend that shipyards implement the SASP, a production planning and control system. This software is used in most of the shipyards in the world. Further, the shipyards can avoid making mistakes by using computer programs.

Another advantage of using computers in shipbuilding is that it allows users to develop specialized expertise. They can access cognizant codes and extract information, as well as input their own. Ultimately, these programs save time and effort and lead to lower costs. And if the computer software can do all this, then shipbuilding firms will be better off as a result. But what about the downsides of these computers in shipbuilding? Here are some examples.

Modern ships require sophisticated tools and systems to perform optimal performance. Long design cycles can cause high costs for any changes. However, using computer simulations can help engineers get the entire product evaluated before construction even starts. The benefits of simulation include a reduction in the number of model tests, which are expensive and time-consuming. And the shipmakers who use this technology should invest in it. They will be glad they did. If you have an idea for a ship, you can build it with computer simulations.