Excelling at ship design involves combining specialist knowledge and expertise focused in niche markets together with data-driven work, according to Ulstein.

Ulstein specialises in designing highly complex offshore installation vessels, but it is helped by data driven shipbuilder software

Data driven

Source: Ulstein

Ulstein specialises in designing highly complex offshore installation vessels, but it is helped by data driven shipbuilder software

Ulstein’s Rotterdam office specialises in designing offshore installation vessels, which are often highly complex and for Ulstein, each new ship design brings new challenges.

“Of course, we feel like fish in water when it comes to large, complex ship designs,” said Bart Daman, manager naval architecture at Ulstein Design & Solutions BV in Rotterdam.

“Now that we are working data-driven, we can get to work even faster than before with the knowledge we already have in-house. It also allows us to start more quickly on complex, new challenges in a project. In the past, when we worked mostly with individual files like any other designer, project preparation was much more labour-intensive and more sensitive to error.” 

Complex designs

Ulstein has been working with Shipbuilder Software for years and it has provided a lot of peace of mind and convenience in the organisation, according to Daman.

”We store all our design knowledge in Shipbuilder Software. A continuous process in which our most recent acquired insights in ship and system design are stored invariably. Everyone in the organisation can thus access the information relevant to that person in his/her project.”

To this end, each new project is based on the latest knowledge, to which project-specific data is added. As a result, the company-wide shared knowledge level is increasing faster and checking standard data for each project is hardly necessary anymore as this is done during the initial input. All in all, this results in considerable time savings and a very consistent design package.

“We have become much more transparent as well,” Daman said, “both in-house and towards our customers. The entire process of reviewing, commenting and approving of drawings/documents by the customer runs via Shipbuilder Software.”

For example, clients can now see in real-time the status of a change they requested. So, one does not have to look up an Excel file or drawing in Outlook, but can immediately see the designer’s response to a proposed change. 

Working in a data-driven way also has commercial benefits. “We are now much faster during the tender phase and can start a new project four times faster,” says Daman.

“For any project, we have them ready within a few days. Typically it used to take up to two weeks or sometimes even longer. A huge advantage for our customers. This way of working suits our professional approach, where the customer gets a design of unprecedented high quality.”

In future, Ulstein, in association with Shipbuilder, the company behind Shipbuilder Software, said it will continue to focus on implementing the concept of data-driven working even further in the coming years.

”Not only does this allow our customers to get started faster with the construction of our design, but they can also use it as the basis for consistent document management throughout the life of the ship,” said Daman.