Fincantieri Revolutionizes Shipbuilding With Cutting-Edge Digital Twin Technology


  • Fincantieri, Europe’s leading shipbuilder, is pioneering digital twin technology in shipbuilding.
  • A digital twin is a virtual model that mirrors a physical ship in real time, enhancing every stage of the ship’s lifecycle from design to decommissioning.
  • This approach integrates real-time data to optimize performance, maintenance, and training, aiming to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
  • Fincantieri plans to implement digital twins in future new builds, starting with the FCx30 model.
  • Despite challenges such as data ownership and legacy tool integration, Fincantieri’s digital twin architecture marks a transformative step in the shipbuilding industry.

Over the past decade, the shipbuilding industry has embraced new technologies to digitalize shipyards and onboard vessels. These advancements promise to improve production processes, optimize efficiency, and reduce costs across the ship’s lifecycle.

Fincantieri at the Forefront

Leading the digital revolution, Fincantieri, Europe’s premier shipbuilder, has introduced the concept of a digital twin. This virtual counterpart mirrors the physical ship in real-time, enhancing all phases of shipbuilding from design to decommissioning.

Implementing the Digital Twin

Initially, Fincantieri will integrate the digital twin into its FCx30 model to support maintenance, training, and other in-service aspects. This “digital thread” will be embedded in future new builds to optimize the entire lifecycle.

Data-Driven Shipbuilding

The digital twin uses real-time data from daily operations to transform a static model into a dynamic entity. This allows for seamless integration between digital tools and the ship’s onboard data network, enabling “what-if” analyses to optimize performance in propulsion, energy, and mission-critical systems.

Digital Twin Services

Fincantieri aims to develop a suite of digital twin services for operational availability, predictive maintenance, and scenario simulations. By merging physics-based models with data-driven insights, ship operators can gain a comprehensive understanding of their vessels.

Digital Twin Architecture

At the core of Fincantieri’s digital twin architecture is an Information layer where data from the physical ship is stored in a Data Lake. This repository handles vast amounts of information, facilitating the retrieval of data for connected software tools in the Application Layer. The Decision Support layer then uses this data to offer decision-making assistance through dashboards and simulation systems.

Building a Bespoke Suite of Services

Fincantieri is developing “Digital Twin ship services” focused on specific aspects such as maneuverability, predictive maintenance, and energy management. The digital twin allows for remote design upgrades, enhancing operational efficiency by providing real-time updates on onboard systems.

Enhancing Maintenance and Monitoring

The digital twin architecture optimizes ship performance at sea, reduces energy consumption, and implements predictive maintenance by analyzing system behavior, weather, and sea conditions. This smart maintenance approach can predict and mitigate potential damages.

Training and Technology Transfer

The digital twin improves training activities, increasing the crew’s knowledge and confidence in operating their ship. It also allows shipbuilders to use real operational data to enhance future design options.

Addressing Challenges

Fincantieri acknowledges challenges such as data ownership and integration of legacy tools. The company aims to create a comprehensive digital ship architecture that enables different domains to work together effectively.

A Step Change for the Industry

Fincantieri’s digital twin architecture represents a significant advancement in shipbuilding, offering vital tools for managing ships and extracting knowledge from the field, ultimately supporting the design and logistics of future vessels.

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Source: Naval News


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