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Integrated ship design: an innovative methodological approach enabled by new generation computer tools

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Abstract

Ships currently built in the western market, and in particular in Italy, can be considered highly complex and technological. The main products of this market are passenger ships, military ships, mega-yachts, and offshore supply vessels. As opposed to what happens for other vehicles of comparable complexity and cost (i.e., airplanes), the time available to deliver a ship is rather limited. The design process of large complex ships, therefore, requires a long and resource-intensive development cycle. Indeed, it must foresee both the compliance with specific technical and regulatory requirements and the containment of ship’s CAPital EXpenditure and OPerating EXpense. Moreover, particular attention must be given to decisions made during the early-stage design, because of their large impact on ship functionality and overall configuration. In order to reduce execution times and costs, computer tools are currently used. However, since they very often are not integrated, time-consuming remaking activities, able to reduce the design robustness, are necessary. To overcome this issue, several software have been developed to implement the innovative integrated design methodology. In this paper, after a review of both the modern ship acquisition process and the computer tools available on market, a new methodological approach is presented. Specifically, it is shown how the integrated use of new design tools can lead to the rapid and undemanding implementation of a ship’s virtual prototype, in order to enable the proof-of-concept of new technologies, already in the early-stage design.

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Correspondence to Vittorio Bucci.

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la Monaca, U., Bertagna, S., Marinò, A. et al. Integrated ship design: an innovative methodological approach enabled by new generation computer tools. Int J Interact Des Manuf 14, 59–76 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12008-019-00612-4

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Keywords

  • Integrated ship design
  • Virtual prototype
  • Computer system integrator
  • Early-stage design
  • CAD