Plant Design and Optimization solution helps protect centuries-old market leadership
Tecnomatix Plant Design and Optimization proves to be a most effective solution for the demands placed on a modern shipyard
Meyer Werft – Jos. L. Meyer GmbH was founded in 1795 and can look back on a very successful track record, especially in the building of special-purpose ships. The worldwide demand for luxury liners with a capacity of 2,000 passengers and above is growing, as is confirmed by the full order books of Meyer Werft. To cater to the need of building more ships in less time, shipyards have to make their production processes more efficient. Improving efficiency can also help Meyer Werft counter heavy competition from the Far East.
Throughout its long company history, Meyer Werft set goals to use innovative tools, take new directions and turn visions into reality. The growing demand gave rise to the vision of a “digital shipyard” and in Siemens Tecnomatix® software, Meyer Werft found the ideal partner for turning this particular vision into reality. The Tecnomatix Plant Simulation application within the Plant Design and Optimization solution has now been in use since 1998. Tecnomatix is used for the planning, simulation and optimization of production systems and processes. Using Tecnomatix, Meyer Werft can optimize its existing production systems and develop planning alternatives more easily. Future manufacturing processes in the shipyard can thus be developed more quickly and optimized from the start. At the same time, the software cuts shipbuilding development times and costs significantly by simulating and improving the work process, accounting for various factors and resources (for example workers, equipment and transport infrastructure). Because the shipyard has only limited space available for large, heavy ship components means storage of the semi-finished products is a major production challenge. However, this problem has likewise been overcome thanks to simulations using Tecnomatix.
Following extensive product benchmarks, Plant Simulation proved to be the tool most suitable to cope with the demands placed on a modern shipyard, due to its modular architecture and seemingly endless scope of functionality.
According to Dr. Frank Roland, Manager of Research & Development, Meyer Werft is “…now able to plan and simulate different production processes via Tecnomatix, such as the use of personnel by worker skill level and by project priority.” Furthermore, the software “optimizes the use of transport equipment, such as cranes.”
Dr. Roland adds that Tecnomatix is “eminently suitable for visualizing and optimizing production activities, and that users are particularly enthusiastic about its 3D graphics capabilities. This is very helpful in making production-related decisions,” explains Dr. Roland, adding that “unnecessary risks are avoided and the entire productivity increased as all processes can be simulated and tested before implementation.”
Meyer Werft is one of the first shipyards to use Plant Simulation on a large scale. Chantier d´Atlantique, Fincantiari and Flensburger Schiffsbaugesellschaft also recently decided to use Tecnomatix in this manner. This confirms that a constantly growing demand for digital manufacturing also exists in this market, joining the heavy industries, consumer electronics and automotive industries.
On the whole, nothing but benefits
Meyer Werft derives considerable benefits from the use of Plant Simulation as explained by Dr. Roland: “Our planning engineers can already digitally demonstrate in the offer phase the construction sequence of the new ship to the commissioning shipping line. We can also determine quickly whether or not a specific ship can indeed be built, and if so, how.”
As the shipbuilders in Papenburg were already well versed in the use of simulation, it comes as no surprise that a development partnership formed between Meyer Werft and Siemens. This resulted in the creation of an enhanced tool for space allocation that has already been integrated in Plant Simulation, as well as numerous other developments, including a library of shipyard-specific objects. The overall Tecnomatix offering from Siemens has proven an effective solution for the optimization of planning and production at shipyards.