Napa, ABS Team on Safehull Express

Tuesday, February 24, 2004
The ongoing collaboration between Napa Ltd and ABS has culminated in the recent release of a new version of SafeHull, called SafeHull Express. SafeHull Express is used for the design and assessment of ship structures in accordance with the ABS rules. The new and upcoming versions of ABS SafeHull Express are based on NAPA technology and functions, developed through cooperation between Napa Ltd and ABS Americas.

The joining of forces has resulted in the integration of a complete initial strength assessment system into the shipyard production process. This is the first time such integration has been achieved. The fundamental benefit of integration is that a single 3D ship model can be used consistently in various system environments, which makes the design-to-production process one continuum. The same 3D model can be utilized throughout the initial and structural design stage and the production process. The seamless exchange of data between NAPA Steel, ABS rules and FEM analysis, combining the basic design needs into one package, will speed up the design process considerably.

The 3D ship models created in SafeHull Express can be directly utilized in the NAPA system for further refinements. SafeHull Express creates a 3D ship model containing information used for rule calculation and finite element analysis. This model is fully compatible with the NAPA Steel and NAPA compartments used for other design disciplines at shipyards.

SafeHull Express provides easy-to-use templates for defining the geometry and scantlings of the main hull structures. The graphical user interface of SafeHull Express, such as templates and the main window, has been created by using NAPA’s built-in tools and functions. Utilization of the NAPA system features in the development of SafeHull Express was facilitated by means of the NAPA Application Programming Interface (API), which gives external programs direct access to the NAPA database and functions on the software level. A very important part of SafeHull Express is the workflow control, which is based on the NAPA Manager. The topological functions of NAPA play a central role in idealizing the actual structure into a simplified model suitable for finite element analysis.

Together NAPA and SafeHull Express provide a user-friendly software environment for designing ship structures. Verification with the ABS rules can be performed efficiently as part of the ship design process. SafeHull Express brings the benefits of 3D to the earliest stages of the design cycle, thereby helping to speed up the design process. Building a 3D structural model of the hull in the early design stage provides more accurate estimates of material and construction costs, thus helping shipyards to prepare bidding contracts more cost-effectively.

“Integration of the initial strength assessment and finite element analysis into the shipyard’s design and production process can radically change the way shipyards operate,” says Ilmo Kuutti, Vice President of Napa Ltd. “This development opens new opportunities for our customers by speeding up the design process and cutting costs. Shipyards operating on the competitive edge will appreciate the additional advantage.”

According to ABS President and CEO Bob Robert Somerville, the new SafeHull Express “will be the fastest, simplest and most technically advanced design system available to the yards. Because it has been developed in conjunction with industry leaders such as Napa Ltd and MSC Software, it will also be easily integrated into a shipyard’s existing system.”

The agreement on the delivery of the NAPA system, concluded with ABS in 2002, is among the most notable agreements in Napa Ltd’s history. It also marked another important milestone for the company, as collaboration with ABS on software development formed a significant part of the agreement from the outset.

“NAPA is the only ship design system on the market that has been developed specifically for initial and basic ship design. This has contributed to NAPA’s present position as something of an industry standard among shipyards in Europe and the Far EastAsia. Teaming up with SafeHull Express will substantially enhance NAPA’s role,” Kuutti says. “Napa Ltd has been in the forefront of pioneering 3D ship modeling technology for decades. The fact that ABS chose NAPA indicates that Napa Ltd is recognized for being the best at what we do.”

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