According to reports, Samsung Heavy Industries has developed a new shipbuilding system, called the tera-block method, that allows the company to assemble a vessel from just two large ship blocks.
Comparing a ship with a house, ship blocks are the equivalent of bricks. As bricks are laid to build a house, ship blocks, which are made individually, are welded together to form a ship.
An extra-large ship usually consists of dozens of blocks. But in recent years shipbuilders have been trying to reduce the number of ship blocks they need in order to boost their productivity.
Bigger ship blocks allow for more efficient construction of blocks on land. And when they are welded together in a dock, bigger -- and thus fewer -- blocks lead to shorter assembly times.
Samsung Heavy Industries first launched its "mega-block" method in 2001, which requires about ten large ship blocks. Next it came up with the "giga-block" method using just five blocks. The new method cuts the blocks down to just two.
To reduce the workload and transport time, the company will tow the ship blocks directly through the water rather than load them on barges. The new construction method will allow Samsung Heavy Industries to build ten more extra-large ships per year using only dry docks.