Editorial: software ... is it ‘evolution’ or ‘revolution’ ...

By Greg Trauthwein, Editor & Associate Publisher
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Greg Trauthwein

The August “Shipbuilding Annual” is one of my favorites to research and produce every year, but even more so when this edition coincides with the SMM exhibition in Hamburg, Germany, which is the largest, best shipbuilding fair in the world.
Early next month more than 50,000 visitors from around the world will walk through the halls of the Hamburg Messe und Congress, for meetings, conferences and social occasions for sure, but first and foremost for a glimpse of the new and emerging technologies for the maritime industry.
This edition is literally packed with articles that best exemplify the innovative spirit that transcends the maritime community today, but the highlight once again is Patricia Keefe’s feature focus on Software Solutions in the ship construction sector; or more accurately the evolution of software solutions in making the ship design and manufacturing process better.
When we set Patricia on this course a couple of months ago, true to form she dug into researching the topic with abandon. While it was originally envisioned that this would be a ‘one-and-done’ feature, it actually is the first of a trilogy, culminating in the October 2014 ‘Marine Design Annual’ edition.
When it comes to software solutions, you can call it an evolution, you can call it a revolution, but advances in computing and software technology are arguably the number one technological innovation that has made the business of designing and building ships more efficient, cost-effective and profitable. Her story, which is a continuation of our ‘75th Anniversary Celebration,’ starts on page 67.
Starting at Posidonia 2014 in June and over the early course of the summer we were able to catch up with several industry leaders in varying sectors for their insights on not only their companies, but the industry at large. As the U.S. shipbuilding sector continues to gain steam, powered by transport needs in the vibrant energy sector, I had the opportunity to visit with Vigor Industrial owner Frank Foti in his shipyard in Seattle last month. In my 20+ years at the helm of Maritime Reporter, I have been privileged to meet and interview hundreds of CEOs and executives from across the maritime world, and it is no stretch to say that Foti was as entertaining and informative as any of them. The story of Vigor Industrial’s consolidation of the Pacific Northwest maritime industry starts on page 94.
Looking a bit further afield, Abu Bakar Mohd Nor, CEO of N-KOM in Qatar, shared with me his vision of this new Middle East shipbuilding powerhouse, which relies on strong resources from parents Keppel and Nakilat. The story on N-KOM starts on page 80.
Last but certainly not least, the central figure in our “Heavy Lift” section is insights from Dyneema CEO Gerard de Reuver (page 98). de Reuver delivers a literal primer on everything you wanted to know about Ultra High Molecular Weight PolyEthylene fiber and its increased use in ultra heavy lift operations, including the recent salvage of Costa Concordia.
 

(As published in the August 2014 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News - http://magazines.marinelink.com/Magazines/MaritimeReporter)

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