Engineering Configuration and Change Management: first step in the Shipbuilding PLM journey
Effective configuration and change management of engineering content for downstream consumption by a diverse group of shipyard stakeholders is a common challenge in the shipbuilding industry.
The image shown below illustrates some of the traditional problems encountered, when a PLM system is not in use.
As can be seen in the diagram below, parallel and non-synchronized processes for distribution of engineering content to ERP, production floor automation and the deck plate can lead to confusion, inefficiencies, rework, and even accidents (for example, energized panel information not communicated correctly to workers on the deck plate).
The foundation stone of any Shipbuilding PLM initiative is the automation of engineering content handover to the shipyard, feeding a centralized configuration managed PLM repository with documents, 3D viewables and Part/BOM data, for orchestrated downstream consumption.
The figure below illustrates a simple example of how a central Shipyard PLM repository can resolve the issue of green material management (excess material required for fabrication) and communicate the correct dimensional information to the appropriate stakeholders: procurement needs the sum of the engineering + green material dimension, whilst the deck plate worker requires the final post-fabrication engineering dimension.
In conclusion, as soon as this first step in the shipbuilding PLM journey is achieved, a shipyard can operate with a significant new level of confidence with the certainty that all engineering content (3D viewables, drawings parts/BOMs, CNC tapes etc.) being consumed by the shipyard stake holders is synchronized and configuration managed in the same repository: a single source of product data truth for the shipyard.