How Simulation Provides Value And Reduces Costs In Ship Design


The list of demands facing naval architects is expanding and includes things like increasing efficiency, lowering costs, and meeting ESG goals. Ticking all the boxes demands a revised strategy for ship design that prioritises simulation as reported by Ship Technology.

Designing a ship

Proportions, hull, structures, weight, materials – just some of the considerations that go into designing a ship.

The four-phase approach to taking a ship from mission statement to vessel, consisting of concept, preliminary, contract and detail designs – each governed by its own “spiral” of requirements – has been the default for naval architects since the mid-20th century.

Trudging through a 1950s shipbuilding workstream puts intense pressure on time and profit margins in 2022.

Ship blueprints are the work of an intricate combination of siloed teams.

Challenges for those teams have become increasingly complex due to growing demands from efficiency targets and decarbonising initiatives.

Ship failures

Designers need to understand, explore, test and optimise everything from individual components to sub-systems, then assess how these interact across the entire ship.

Multiphysics simulation capabilities in a unified design environment make this possible.

Dejan Radosavljevic used to work on marine regulation, evaluating reasons for ship failures at sea.

He is now Marine Director of Siemens Digital Industries Software, putting him at the forefront of shipbuilding’s digital revolution. 

“I had the opportunity to encounter many failures on ships in operation and see the impact of poor or wrong design decisions, which I believe were mostly the result of the traditional design process,” he says.

Confidence through simulation

Radosavljevic’s question gets to the heart of how simulation-driven design can help naval architects.

Simulation helps to fix these costs from the outset.

Optimal inputs can be algorithmically determined and aggregated via the digital twin.

And, as Radosavljevic points out, even if a ship owner does request a sudden specification change, simulated environments insulate designers against the costs: “the existence of a single source of truth and parameterised simulation design will keep the impact of changes to an absolute minimum.”

But with simulation software, this can all be handled in a digital environment.

As Radosavljevic explains: “Things like steel weight calculations or power are all made part of the same simulation analysis.”

One other benefit offered by simulation – crucial in the modern shipping industry – is its contribution to hitting ESG targets.

The IMO Energy Efficiency Design Index regulations mandate that most ships built before 2022 must be 20% more energy efficiency compared with 2012 levels.

It is a daunting target for naval architects, especially as it means the ships they design now will have to be compatible with the low-carbon technologies and fuels of the future.

It allows designers to nimbly adjust their focus and meet new targets, exploring limitless combinations of arrangements and materials on a ship.

The entire carbon footprint of a ship can be evaluated and tweaked – rather than depending on alternative fuels or streamlining of particular features as an ESG silver bullet.

Take action now

Overhauling design methods that have been at the industry’s heart for nearly seven decades is anathema to traditionalists.

The rise of renewable technologies means old-fashioned model testing and historical precedents in naval architecture are obsolete. 

Today, essentially, designers must start from a blank sheet of paper, which they haven’t done for 150 years.

And there are other aspects: engineer hours are by far the biggest cost.

Siemens Digital Industries Software have the capabilities and knowhow to bring designers into the 21st century and iron out problems that may crop up along the way.

Simulation is the key to unlocking the future of Shipbuilding and Siemens hold the key to unlocking the benefits of simulation.

Integrated design: shipping’s simulation-driven future

What if naval architects could replace the cumbersome design spiral with a quick new system, thereby improving a ship’s efficiency, lowering emissions, and lowering costs? The benefits of integrated ship design go well beyond these. It enables the testing of advanced materials and fuels in a simulated setting. In order to achieve important objectives, architects can experiment and push the envelope. Additionally, it develops a digital twin for a vessel, offering a lone source of truth on a build to unite diverse teams. It may sound intimidating to do away with the design spiral, but Siemens Marine has the know-how to make the shift to a simulated future easy. Get the whitepaper to learn more by downloading it.

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Source: Ship Technology


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