CAD/CAM: ASC Makes Waves Around the World

Friday, July 22, 2005
Many companies can claim to be global, but Autoship Systems Corporation (ASC) of Vancouver, Canada talks the talk and walks the walk. ASC has been in the business of CAD/CAM software development for nearly 25 years. A core tenant of ASC has been to establish itself as leader in innovation, helping to ensure that as shipbuilding techniques evolved, the industry could rely on its CAD/CAM software to meet new design and construction needs. ASC recently assisted two shipyards to this end: Cantiere Navale Ippolito s.r.l. of Santa Maria di Castellabate, Italy; and Circa Marine and Industrial Ltd of Whangarei, New Zealand.

Cantiere Navale Ippolito S.R.L.

Cantiere Navale Ippolito s.r.l. is located in the Campania region of Southern Italy. The shipyard has been run as a family business for more than seven generations, since its founding in 1800. In its first 170 years, the yard focused on mainly building wooden fishing boats, but in 1981, the shipyard embarked upon a major modernization project in response to market demand for larger fishing boats.

First, Giuseppe Vincenzo e Francesco Paolo Ippolito acquired more land and built a large slipway and private quay. This initial expansion was followed by a new, large covered shed and modern office building. Along with the bigger facilities came an increase in the number of employees from nine in 1982 to 32 in 1994.

As the market for wooden fishing boats decreased, however, there was an increase in the demand for steel-hulled vessels. As a result, Cantiere Ippolito rapidly developed steel production capabilities and the yard once again flourished.

Today, Cantiere Ippolito is a major source of economic prosperity in the region, using an area of 16,000 sq. m., of which 5,000 sq. m. are covered. Cantiere Ippolito now builds a wide range of working and pleasure boats up to 50 m in length from wood, steel and aluminum.

Along with its physical facilities, Cantiere Navale Ippolito upgraded its engineering software design tools. In 2003 the vessel builder chose the ASC CAD/CAM software suite, which has been used to date to build a selection of vessels, including some tuna catch boats and oceanic type.

Circa Marine and Industrial Ltd.

Circa Marine and Industrial Ltd. in Whangarei, New Zealand is another family-operated company started in 1976 as a manufacturer of home workshop machine tools. In 1982, the company moved into building boats in marine alloy. Today the workforce includes 50 people working in its foundry, machining shop, steel fabrication and boat construction departments. The shipyard builds commercial vessels, production boats, custom luxury vessels, aluminum products and completes boat refits, and vessels are built to various classification standards, such as Lloyds, DNV, M&I and BV.

In 2001, the Northland Regional Council of New Zealand started to search for a replacement workboat and pilot vessel. After 48 years of service, their vessel at the time, the Hatea, was becoming too expensive to maintain. Although the council initially looked at purchasing a second-hand vessel, it was decided that in order to meet the stringent operational requirements, a new custom-built vessel would be the best choice. Operational requirements required that the aft deck area had to be large to accommodate the working of buoys and beacons, and loading of oil pollution boom containers. To facilitate this work a three-ton crane was to be fitted aft. The vessel was to be able to keep a minimum cruising speed of 15 knots.

In addition, the vessel would be responsible to carry out work in one of the largest maritime regions in New Zealand - stretching from Mangawhai (just south of Whangarei on the east coast) to Kaipara District (just north of Auckland on the west coast).

Circa Marine and Industrial Ltd. was selected by the Northland Regional Council to build the new boat. Circa, in turn, contracted Alan Walker of Coastdesign, to design the vessel. Walker used Autoship software to generate the vessel structure in 3-D and the nested CNC files. He sent the files and working drawings to Circa Marine for cutting, construction and approvals, and the 30 ton (full load) aluminum catamaran dubbed Waikare took less than a year to build.

Autoship Systems Corp.

Autoship Systems Corporation (ASC) is a marine software supplier to all corners of the globe. ASC has built its high degree of customer service by selling and servicing its CADCAM software through a network of local dealers — specialized agents located in all major marine centers around the world. The two agents responsible for the business highlighted in Italy and New Zealand are Stefano Thermes a.s.a. of Napoli, Italy, and Alan Walker, N. A. of Coastdesign, Bay of Islands, New Zealand. The ASC CADCAM suite includes a number of integrated programs, each of which performs specific functions for vessel design and construction. Interfaces with third party software link the suite to other shipyard systems. It includes:

• Autoship Surface modeling for hulls, superstructures, appendages, tunnels.

• Autopower Powering and resistance for all hull types, stand-alone or can use Autoship model

• Autohydro Stability and strength analysis, stand-alone or can use Autoship model

• Autoplate Plate expansion for hull plates, uses Autoship model

• Autostructure Internal structure modeling, uses Autoship model

• Production Manager Material management and nesting, uses Autostructure model

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