New Shipuilding Method Promises Cost Savings

Monday, March 31, 2008

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has developed and obtained an international patent for a new inundation method used in the tandem shipbuilding process.

With traditional methods, a vessel that was under construction would float on the water whenever the dry dock was flooded to launch a completed ship. The new method holds the incomplete ship in place, allowing the company to continue work on the ship whether the dry dock is flooded or dry, reducing construction time.

The method does not require any additional investments to facilities and has eliminated additional work. HHI assembles the main engine and propeller shaft, attaches the hatch cover, and lashes down the bridge to make the ship heavier before the dry dock is filled with water.

HHI successfully launched seven vessels constructed using this method, including a 10,000 TEU containership. The company plans to expand use of the inundation method to all dry docks.

“With this new method, HHI has reduced shipbuilding time and has created a new innovation for the global shipbuilding community,” said a HHI spokesman.

HHI was granted a domestic patent in January of this year, and applied for an international patent application, under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, in November of last year. The company will also register its patent separately in other countries including Japan, China and India.

HHI expects the innovation to help enhance the company’s global competitiveness in the shipbuilding industry.

The Tandem Shipbuilding Process involves building more than one ship in a dry dock simultaneously. When one ship is launched, all ships within the dry dock float up.

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