Total CAD/CAM Solution for Ship Design and Building

Tuesday, July 09, 2002
Autoship Systems Corp. (ASC) has initiated a new 'total system' approach to CAD/CAM software for shipyards, aiming to eliminate what it terms the most expensive CAD/CAM inefficiencies within the design-to-manufacture process: data exchange and interface discontinuities between specialized products (and the additional training and maintenance costs that result). ASC sought to achieve these goals through designed interoperability, with the overall system bringing a shipyard's major design and construction phases into the same data chain, and the interface remains familiar through each stage of the process. Autoship's total solution includes five ASC products and software options from two partnered companies. While some of the product names are familiar, four of the Autoship products are either brand new or so re-engineered that they can be considered brand-new: The Autostructure 1.1 Group (Released 1st Quarter 2002) Autostructure performs internal structural modeling tasks. Designed to support many networked engineers working simultaneously on single or multiple projects, its data base capacity and response time provide well for even the largest shipyard. It starts with project files generated in Autoship and Autoplate (plate design and structural modeling can proceed in parallel). Autostructure aims to simplify design tasks by providing specialized dialogues, excellent graphical methods, and advanced regeneration based on automatic tracking of part dependencies and interrelationships. The Autostructure group consists of three associated programs: Autostructure itself, Project Manager, and Report Manager. Project Manager provides database management functions (project creation, archiving, backup and access control). Report Manager provides flexible and customized report generation. Autoship 8.1 (Released 1st Quarter 2002) Version 8.1 retains all that ASC has learned from 20 years of developing this CAD/CAM product, yet has been re-engineered to provide the foundation for a modern and integrated CAD/CAM suite for ship design. The many additions and enhancements to the user interface include the Navigator (a floating window in which the project is displayed as a tree), and the OpenGL Viewer developed for Autostructure. Dynamic display is included when editing curves, and immediate updating is available when editing control point weight. Centred on a NURBS-based mathemati The Perception suite from Spar USA (http://www.sparusa.com) does cost estimation, material management, scheduling and work management. Direct transfer of part information from Autostructure will provide a link into the shipyard supply chain. • AutoPLANT from Rebis (http://www.rebis.com) is an advanced piping design system. Working together, Autostructure and AutoPLANT provide designers with the ability to incorporate structural-piping design into the structure design drawings — which is much less costly than resolving structure/pipe interference during the build process.

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