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3D product models can help provide lifecycle support


Designers of Offshore Patrol Cutter must provide a 3D model Compiled by Marine Log Staff compatible with ShipConstructor


ompetition for the contract to build the Offshore Patrol Cutter has been understandably fierce. The U.S Coast Guard could potentially buy up to 25 OPCs. At an estimated $300 million to $400 million per cutter, that’s serious money. Earlier last month, it looked like the U.S. Coast Guard had whittled the contenders to three shipbuilding teams—Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., Lockport, LA, Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Panama City, FL, and GD-Bath Iron Works, Bath, ME. As we were going to press, however, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Pascagoula, MS, and VT Halter Marine, Inc., Pascagoula, MS, both filed protests of the awards with the General Accounting Office. The OPC will replace the Coast Guard’s aging 210-foot and 270foot Medium Endurance Cutters. The 270-foot cutters were built in the 1980s and the 210-foot cutters were built in the 1960s. For their proposed OPC, the U.S. Coast Guard has asked designers to provide them with a 3D product model that is compatible with ShipConstructor. ShipConstructor is the flagship software for SSI, Victoria, BC, Canada. The AutoCAD-based CAD/CAM suite is used widely by small-and medium- sized shipyards worldwide. The OPC RFP document J-4 Statement of Work for Detail Design, paragraph 085.5.2 says that, “The 3D Product Model shall be provided in either ShipConstructor or an ISO 10303 Step compliant system that is exportable to ShipConstructor.” “A key reason for this,” says SSI’s Mark Waldie, “is that there is a wealth of information contained in the ShipConstructor Marine Information Model that can be useful for Lifecycle Maintenance. More money is spent on maintaining the ship than building it.”

26 MARINE LOG March 2014

Waldie calls the new RFP requirement, “a natural evolution for the U.S. Coast Guard since their National Security Cutters (NSC) and Fast Response Cutters (FRC) are already built in ShipConstructor software.” He adds, “Almost all potential bidders on the OPC project already utilize the program.” Of the winning bidders, Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., and Eastern Shipbuilding Group already use ShipConstructor extensively. The Coast Guard is currently using ShipConstructor generated 3D models to review the progress of construction on the NSC and FRC projects and the Coast Guard plans to use data from as-built 3D product models to help provide lifecycle support.

2D drawing function Waldie says that one of the more important recent developments for ShipConstructor is the ability to generate a 2D drawing from the 3D product model. Classification societies require 2D drawings. Using shipyard standards, MarineDrafting allows the creation of 2D approval and workshop drawings directly from the 3D model. These drawings are created in AutoCAD DWG format and remain associatively linked to the 3D model as changes happen.

Reduction reworking The shorter project schedules associated with today’s demanding shipbuilding programs are causing more overlap between each phase of design and engineering. This overlap means that the 3D design continues to progress after approval or workshop drawings

March 2014 Marine Log Magazine  
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