Most companies nowadays develop their products in 3D from start to finish. However, 3D data is not yet used to optimize other business processes on a consistent basis, except maybe in the manufacturing context. There is no shortage of tools available. The integration of PLM and 3D PDF technology allows 3D data from the development department to be prepared in automated fashion and supplied to other areas of the company in a standardized – and, above all, universally readable – format.
The Meyer Werft Group, which specializes in the construction of cruise ships, has adopted the platform concept in order to develop and produce a range of ship designs based on a common technical platform. The native CAD conversion performed by PROSTEP was a key factor involved in the reuse of design data from Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany, at the MeyerTurku shipyard in Finland.
After enjoying a number of boom years, German shipbuilders are also feeling the impact of the worldwide economic crisis. A decline in new orders and an increase in order cancellations pose a problem for the shipbuilding industry. IT experts recommend using the crisis as an opportunity to improve competitiveness. Data integration and data communication in the development networks concerned with the ship development process in particular still offer significant rationalization potential.
Thanks to encryption and Digital Rights Management (DRM), the secure exchange of sensitive data over the web is no longer a problem. The challenge lies in shifting even large mountains of data quickly and reliably between the respective exchange partners. The exchange of bulk data calls for special protocols and mechanisms, such as those provided by PROSTEP’s web-based data exchange portal OpenDXM GlobalX.
Compared with the automotive or aerospace industry, the shipbuilding industry is characterized by extremely short development and production cycles. It takes only a little more than a year for a vessel to evolve from initial design to launch. Up to 200 suppliers may be involved in its development. Insufficient communication between the shipyards and their partners is becoming an ever more significant obstacle in the development process. Fortunately, solutions for process automation in product data communication provide anelegant way of avoiding such problems.