Darmstadt, June 2023 – Maritime systems such as cruise ships and frigates comprise several million components, far exceeding the magnitude of other industrial products. This poses particular challenges for shipyards in terms of production planning and control. As part of the ProProS project, PROSTEP has developed a new planning methodology based on a digital twin together with the Lürssen shipyard group and the Machine Tool Laboratory (WZL) at RWTH University in Aachen, with the aim of providing shipyards with better supports. The project, which was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Action (BMWK), was brought to a successful close at the end of May.
In the project, the three partners developed an innovative methodology for planning and controlling the production of large individual products that enables the efficient use of available resources and makes it possible to assess the impact of disruptions as early as possible. The methodology is based on a digital twin that maps the ship and the production activities. In this twin, the activity plan is created without manual intervention based on the ship structure and is planned and optimized with due consideration given to the available resources.
The software demonstrator created as part of the research project can handle the very large structures and activity plans found in the shipbuilding industry.
The transfer of real-time data from production makes it possible for the production planners to rapidly detect disruptions and replan the production process based on the current status. This provides them with a tool that increases efficiency in the production process and shortens throughput times. The software can even be used to make predictions about future activities. The solution enables detailed and highly efficient production control when building complex individual products, without driving up the level of manual effort required for production planning.
The combination of project partners – the Lürssen shipyard group, WZL and PROSTEP – created a consortium of companies that complemented each other in terms of expertise. The Lürssen shipyard group is a world-renowned manufacturer of megayachts, naval ships and special purpose vessels. As the consortium head and experienced industry partner, it ensured that a realistic solution could be created. The researchers at the WZL worked on the design and layout of structures and processes in production and contributed their experience with fault management and real-time production planning to ProProS, which made a significant contribution to the successful completion of the project.
PROSTEP assumed the role of PLM and digital transformation expert in the project and contributed its expertise to both the conceptual design and the actual implementation of the software solution as project manager Carsten Zerbst says: “Several shipyards already rely on our integrations for establishing a link between design and pre-production. ProProS means that we can now contribute additional intelligence for improving control and evaluation of the production process.” PROSTEP will now continue to develop the project results in order to create a mature solution for proactive production planning and control in customer projects.
About PROSTEP AG
PROSTEP AG is recognized as a partner to the leading manufacturing companies worldwide. We count the top companies in this industry among our customers. PROSTEP is an independent consulting and solution development company, but also supplies ready-made product solutions. Our strength lies in a combination of industry-specific expertise, process know-how and technological competence. We offer our customers competent consultancy services, a comprehensive range of other services, and innovative solutions covering every aspect of product lifecycle management.
The PROSTEP Group has a current headcount of more than 300 in Germany, Poland and the USA. In addition to its headquarters in Darmstadt, PROSTEP also maintains branch offices in Berlin, Böblingen, Hamburg, Hanover, Cologne, Munich and Wolfsburg, as well as in Wrocław (Poland) and in Troy, Michigan (USA).
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