Enhanced 3D Model Based Design: A Design Tool for Future Vessel

Ship design has seen increasing complexity with the need to drive optimisation of space and performance at the same time. This creates a challenge whereby ship designers need to use advanced design tool to integrate all the various systems seamlessly with the least space required. The conventional 3D model based design software is not sufficient to achieve such outcome, hence there is a need to utilise additional 3D model based design modules which can be integrated into the existing software to assist ship designers to achieve the next level of ship design capability.

Three key areas of design for a modern sophisticated ship be it a naval warship, police coastguard patrol boat or a floating power plant would be the Hull, Marine System and Electrical & Automation System designs.

Conventional software allows users to perform the three areas of design disciplines independently at conceptual and basic design stage, only linking the three areas of design disciplines at detail design phase. However, this design approach has proven to be costly to most ship designer as integration issues are discovered much later at detail design phase and the flow of information from basic design to detail design has seen many gaps which leads to inefficiency just to keep track and to ensure the integrity of design information flow from basic to detail design.

ST Engineering has aspired to resolve both design issues of 1) integration at basic design phase and 2) information flow from basic and detail design phase. To achieve this, one has to create a common engineering platform by using a software platform which allows users to design starting from basic design until detail design for all three design disciplines.  Achieving this goal is crucial for ST Engineering and it is part of its drive towards the SMART ENGINEERING agenda.

Following Fig 1 illustrates the Hull design process, Fig 2 illustrates the Marine system design process and Fig 3 illustrates the Electrical and Automation design process with a common engineering platform approach.

Fig 1 – The Hull Design Process

Fig 1 shows the flow of hull form design, starting from hull lines design to hydrostatic calculation to scantling calculation and its transition to production design whereby the various structural elements are designed and production drawings of such structural elements are being generated. Aveva software is one such platform that ST Engineering has selected to be our common engineering platform.

Fig 2 – The Marine System Design Process

Similar approach is used for marine system design. Aveva P&ID is used such that critical pipe elements such as sizes, materials and naming can be traced and controlled at pipe design phase using Aveva Outfitting. This ensures the integrity of information flow from basic design to detail design. 

Fig 3 – The electrical and automation system

The same design approach is extended to electrical and automation system design. Aveva Electrical is used to manage electrical data, produce single line diagram and cable schedule. Aveva Electrical is able to link with Aveva Outfitting whereby the cable running in a particular cable tray is to be tracked and this allows consistency of basic design and detail design.

Finally, all production information for Hull, Marine System and Electrical and Automation System is to be generated using Aveva Marine and Outfitting Drafting. This design process ensures that integration of all 3 design disciplines is seamless and efficiency is achieved with integrity of basic design information flow to detail design.  

Building on ST Engineering past successes on using 3D model to incorporate design for ease of maintenance and operation, and for future upgrade, ST Engineering has taken one step forward to use virtual reality (VR) technology to interface with our existing 3D model to allow customers/users to review the 3D model with ease.

Fig 4 – Using virtual reality (VR) technology to interface with existing 3D model

Figure 4 illustrate how this could be achieved for engine room and wheelhouse. ST Engineering is leading the charge to achieve our SMART ENGINEERING agenda whereby the process of design and engineering is seamlessly performed using a common platform at both basic and detail design phase. This is further enhanced using VR technology for 3D model review. Such SMART ENGINEERING achievement coupled with SMART YARD initiative is definitely a step closer to meet Industry 4.0 vision.