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Narayana Prakash, Project Manager,GTRC Marine Consultants Ltd,Nassau.


It is understood and believed by all the

S hipyard building and shipbuilding are no
doubt – “steel-intensive” investments. The
shipyards, ship owner and all unanimously
industry remains highly consolidated with the
agree to time-lines, which can be planned and
Asian shipbuilders accounting for a major
simulated on computers but difficult to achieve
chunk of the global order books. Of the Asian
on group from a Greenfield Shipyard.
nations, the Korean, the Chinese and the
Japanese shipbuilders in particular dominate
In the current scenario the Indian Shipyards
the global shipbuilding arena.
have to put in place their project execution
skills and troubleshooting mechanism to save
The shipbuilding activity in the European
other orders from cancellation. In a market,
nations has witnessed a downtrend owing to
where asset prices has fallen and a dim view
the unavailability of labor and the
of charter rates, cancellation for delayed
corresponding high labor costs. Even though
delivery could be the worst nightmare a
Japan still remains one of the top global
shipyard can face.
shipbuilding nations in terms of order book
position, the country’s shipbuilding prospects
This paper describes on line with Korean or
appear bleak. Countries such as India,
Chinese or Japanese Shipyards who are the
Vietnam etc., with an abundance of cheap
forerunner in Shipbuilding as to what is lacking
labor have recently emerged to the fore in the
in most of the Indian Shipyards. Quick
global shipbuilding arena. The industry is
execution with quality has been the order of
primarily characterized by huge working-capital
the day with added hardware and software’s.
requirements, huge labor requirement etc. The
demand for the ships may either capital based
Not much is happening in Greenfield yards in
or for replacement purpose.
India, either because of the cash flow
constraints on part of the shipyards or shipyard
wanna-bees, or on the part of ship-owners of
During boom period many shipyards came
the ships being constructed in the facilities.
taking orders from Owners but Infrastructure
The premises of the “potential” yards are
work started only after signing the contractual
typically huge, strategically located and
documents. Other existing units were shown
blessed with great natural conditions.
for appraisal of the quality and facility. Little did
the Owners knew that Greenfield shipyard
Shipbuilding is discussed most favored by
would pose hurdles in the smooth construction
“private players” in India but not any more.
Private players expanded their vision without
performance and Public Sectors polished the
The global shipbuilding industry has witnessed
many crests & troughs in its growth story from
the period spanning the 1960s. With the
First part of the article discusses the plan and
industry dominance shifting from the European
layout of the Infrastructure .Second part
to the Asian nations such as S. Korea, China
discusses the production process in today’s
and Japan, the industry has undergone
demanding schedules.
massive changes in terms of construction
technologies, new demand for various ship
types etc.
designing good layouts is ineffective if the
The period spanning 2000-2007 has been a demand is ill identified and defined. There
‘golden era’ for the global shipbuilders with the could be no good solution to a false problem,
global order book position growing at a for too simplistic assumptions would represent
Compound Annual Growth rate (CAGR) of an unrealistic situation leading to a useless
24%. The investments in the industry too have answer (Apple, 1991).
kept pace with the order book requirements. Two questions are central:
However the deliveries of the ships have not • What is to be produced?
been able to keep pace with the growing order • How much is to be produced?
books and as such, the order books of the
major shipbuilding nations are booked up to A great attention must be paid to the initial data
2012. which must be reliable and accurately
defined and estimated. The basic data that are
Before taking any orders for Ship construction required as input to the procedure amount to
in Greenfield Shipyards, New or Old players in five, viz.: the Product P, the Quantity Q, the
the Market must complete the Yard Routing or Process R, the Supporting Services
Infrastructure.If Infrastructure is not ready due S, and the Time T (figure below) .
to whatsoever reason, Infrastructure still must
be “one step ahead” of Production Process.

The forgotten fact is that ship construction is a

business venture and must succeed financially
as well as technically.


Review of the Systematic Layout Planning

Design Method

Until the advent of systematic approaches in

the 1970s, layout planning was perceived as
an abstract achievement, and most of the SITE SELECTION AND LOCATION
approaches which were undertaken resulted
from a combination of experience, customs Most Shipyards do not have the luxury of
and established procedures. establishing themselves on a “green field “ site
and adopting an ideal site. Land as a factor of
Richard Muther is the first designer who ever Production plays a major role from the
formalised in a well structured pattern the selection point of view.
layout planning design process (Muther, 1973).
It is quite evident that such an approach There are several uncertainty associated with
helps avoiding obvious insignificant mistakes a Greenfield shipyard, starting with regulatory
that might yield unwanted consequences over clearance, land issues and more so project
a long term. management issues.
The upcoming sites are established building
Layouts are designed to satisfy existing smaller vessels and slowly increasing in size to
demands in defined contexts. The proficiency accommodate increase in orders. What is often
observed is the restriction by river bank and
requirement of modified production flow lines. How far firm should specialize in production or
should depend on other firms?
Few questions during Preliminary site survey
must entail the following? Should all the connected goods with the main
product be manufactured by the firm itself and
Is the area consolidated? the business scope to be expanded?

Is the area planned to be enlarged by way of Should be after sales service to the consumers
reclamation? be undertaken by the firm itself or should firm
itself or should firm enter into some agreement
Ideal Shipyard Layout should manifest: with other firm for this important responsibility?
Site Planning is very Important as the when the
• Free flow of Materials (no bottlenecks). plant becomes too large, certain diseconomies
may set in. Sheer size of plant may cause
The Advantages in fully agreeing stand at: bottlenecks in the production process. The
movement of men and materials inside the
• Uniform work Load plant may become more costly. Transportation
• Shorter ship build cycle. costs outside the yard may also become
• Economies in Construction practices. excessive.

Selection of Site ; 9!=9 X 8 X 7 X 6X 5X 4X 4X

3X 2X 1=362880 METHODS.

All we need is = 1!=1X1

=000001 METHOD.

To be economically viable, the development of

a new shipyard requires the fulfilment of five
basic requirements: existence of potential
customers, availability of skilled workforce,
financial funding, selection of a suitable
product mix, and implementation of an efficient
production process.
The scope of activities of the Shipbuilding
organization to be planned before hand for
smooth flow of the Production process.

What techniques have to be followed in

Production? What parts have to be
manufactured in the factory itself and for what
parts should depend on other firm?

Should all the process involved in the

production be carried in the factory or some to
depend upon contracts?

Has the firm produce raw materials or should

depend upon other firms?
1. A steel stockyard
The shipyard in project may be assumed to be 2. A steelwork hall
equipped with building capacities to handle 3. An Outfitting centre
simultaneously three or more ships in 4. A pipe shop
progress. The erection area may be expected 5. A general-purpose shop
to comprise of at least three distinct building 6. A Blasting and paint shop
platforms, which may consist of berths, graving 7. A warehouse
docks or even a synchrolift depending on the
site configuration and the future prospects of
8. A units and blocks storage area
the shipyard. 9. An erection area consisting of three
10. Outfitting quays
11. Lifting and handling installations
12. One building accommodating the
production supporting services
13. One building accommodating the
management and administrative offices
14. A health and medical service
15. A training centre
16. A building accommodating the catering
17. A transportation station
18. A parking
In the final analysis, it is clear that the
comprehensive test of efficiency is survival. In any shipyard flow analysis is of the utmost
importance in the framework of a layout
Production Layout Main Components
design. Flow analysis deals with quantitative
and qualitative assessment of movements of
Shipyard Layout - Factors effecting the materials, personnel and information between
development facilities. Yet the emphasis is on the flow of
materials since the layout must be optimized
for the most efficient flows of products. Below a
• Type and quantity of ships to be built typical arrangement or layout is shown as in a
• Area requirement planning phase so as to study the movements
• Existing area and time consumption.
• Degree of mechanization
• Material handling and transfer systems
• Production methods adopted
• NC processes
• Panel Lines
• Block and sub-assemblies
• Shotblast and painting
• Covered space .

Operations relate mainly to: Steelworks,

Outfitting and storage operations, Pre-erection
activities, Ship construction and outfitting.
Activity Relationships Diagram constitutes an Finally a LAYOUT for Mitsubishi Kyogi
anticipated broad configuration of the final Shipyard is shown below.
shipyard layout. See below the legendary path




A) Building berth :
1) Low initial cost
2)No shelter from weather
A crude layout, i.e. the basis that requires 3) High cranes requirement
adjustment and rearrangement to obtain the 4)Launching costs are high
final layout configuration is to be planned. 5) Possibility of structural damages
Establishing the rates of the desired closeness during launch
between all the facilities is a laborious process.
It is a subjective approach, which requires B) Building Dock:
minimum background and experience about 1) High Initial cost
the activities to be implemented within the 2) No shelter from weather
projected facilities. The flows of materials, 3)Access may be hard
personnel and information were taken into 4) lower cranes requirement
consideration. 5) lower possibility of damage during

C) Building shed and Ship lift :

1) High Initial cost
2) Shelter from weather
3)Good access.
4) High cranes requirement
5) Low launching costs
6) Low possibility of damage during


Shipbuilding is an assembly process, involving

hundreds of thousands of individually
prefabricated elements and items of
machinery, equipment and outfit. The secret of
efficient shipbuilding lies in how efficiently we
can put them all together.

Preparation for production

Milestones in Shipbuilding Activity:

Event Construction Activity

of Preparations of Approved
Contract drawings
Preparations of Production
Cutting Preparation for Production
Prefabrication and block assembly
Laying Block assembly
Hull Erection
Launching Testing and commissioning

Handing over the vessel to

Delivery Owners

Ship Construction Cost Estimating:

To succeed commercially, shipyards must

be able to accurately estimate costs. Cost
estimating is necessary for the bid process,
for change orders, and for trade-off
studies. Numerous cost estimating
approaches exist. They are based on
extrapolations from previously-built ships,
detailed bottoms-up parametrics, and
integrated physics-based analyses.
higher return on their investment in fixed
assets and can spread their fixed costs over a
much larger volume of business.

•Design and engineering –two steps:

–Functional design is the detailed specification
of all structure, material and equipment,
meeting all the relevant regulatory
–Production engineering is the development of
all the detailed drawings, sketches, instructions
and other documentation needed by the
shipyard to build the ship.

•Production planning –three steps:

–Build strategy: how are we going to build this
–Scheduling: when are we going to build it?
•Computers and software’s–allow detailed –Resource allocation: what manpower/facilities
definition of every part, integrated purchasing, do we need?
detailed planning and scheduling of every
construction activity, resource levelling •Procurement –three main areas:
•Dimensional accuracy checks and –Major and long-lead-time machinery and
Precision steel cutting –results in better fit, equipment
robotic welding, reduction in rework, improved –Commodity materials, such as steel, pipe,
quality cable and paint
•Pre-outfitting–prefabricating outfit material in –Subcontractors.
a shop and fitting it on a hull block in another
shop is more than 3x more efficient than fitting Prefabrication:
it piece by piece on board ship and more than
9x more efficient than fitting it on a ship that is Hull Steel:
afloat –Just in Time(JIT )delivery of plates and
•Goliath cranes–building a ship in 900-ton structural shapes to a storage area
blocks is a lot more efficient than building it in –Blasting and painting with a primer
60-ton blocks –Cutting, marking, shaping, labeling
•Megadocks–building five ships at a time in –Manufacture of two-dimensional
one dock is a lot more efficient than building subassemblies (panels)
one ship in each of five docks.
The biggest difference between shipbuilding –Just in Time (JIT) delivery of pipe and other
today and shipbuilding 30 years ago is that material to warehouses
today we spend a much greater proportion of –Cutting, marking, shaping, labeling,
our total effort preparing for production. palletization
As a result, modern shipbuilders take much –Just in Time(JIT)delivery to the appropriate
less time to build a single ship: as a result, they work stations for attachment to or installation
produce more ships from a single building on hull structure
position than old-style shipbuilders. Production/Fabrication Activity:
For example, a Korean or Japanese
shipbuilder can deliver as many as ten big Unbalancing Problem will cause idle time,
ships a year from a single building position. As bottleneck, and increasing of Work In
a result, modern shipbuilders get a much Progress(WIP). Analyzing the activity network
using PERT /CPM method to get the critical Most big ships –tankers, bulkers and
path .Work Stations to be reduced bringing the containerships –are 90% to 95% complete
result to a halt duration of activity. when floated out of the dock.
•Final outfitting and system testing is
Hull Erection conducted once the ship is afloat and at a pier
.•Trials are then carried out to confirm each
Flat-Panel Blocks: ship’s performance characteristics: a naming
–Three-dimensional assemblies of flat panels ceremony usually precedes delivery.
–Pre-outfitted: everything that goes into them – •LNG carriers are different: they are only 60%
piping, vent ducting, cable trays -is installed in to 65% complete when floated out of the dock,
the shop because the cargo containment system cannot
–Fully painted except at the butts be installed until the hull is complete
.•Final outfitting and system testing of LNG
•Curved-Panel Blocks: carriers is conducted in parallel with the
–Three-dimensional assemblies of both flat installation of the cargo containment system.
and curved panels –involving the complex •Trials of LNG carriers include rigorous testing
shape of the hull structure fore and aft and of the cargo system with actual LNG, in
requiring computer-set jigs addition to all the standard procedures.
–The processes are the same as for flat-panel
blocks but are much more complex. Most of the large cargo ships can be built in 16
months or even less of which actual
construction requires about 10 months .

Because of the containment system ,an LNG

carrier requires five times the time in the water
that is needed for other big vessels.

As a result the shipyard needs a lot of

expensive pier space.

•Equipment Modules:
–Three-dimensional, self-supporting, self-
erecting assemblies of equipment, mounted on
foundations or temporary skids
–Everything in a module is tested and
operational: only the external connections
Completion and

1. Production –Planning- Control:

AND REPAIR: In the 21st century, economy globalization
is inevitable and international trade by
Design of a mixed shipyard facility layout ocean shipping is increasing greatly, so
for ship production and repair there is a fastigium in the ship market for
shipbuilding industry. The shipbuilding
Various considerations were invoked for the
selection of the facilities that ought to be
logistics management system based on
retained for shipbuilding and ship repair MRP-II and JIT is built up, which has three
respectively, the aim is to define which might kinds of plans and controls, i.e. MPS
be shared between the two activities and which (master production schedule), MRP
should be segregated. (material requirements planning) and shop-
floor production schedule. The shipbuilding
Below find the activities that are involved for logistics management system is important
Production and repair. and applicable for shipbuilding to build up
the logistics mode fitting modern
shipbuilding so as to improve the
technology and management level and
increase the competitive power.
The Outfitting scheduling and production established setup may lose heavily including
and production control need to be cancellations due to non delivery of Quality
improved within the context of the system vessels.
as a whole. Evaluating and reorganizing
For a New Shipyard, Yard Infrastructure must
outfit work and the development of metrics
go hand in gloves but “one step ahead” of
for outfit work content are part of this effort Production.
.The Frame work could include:
Shipbuilding requires more of project
a) The overall planning process. management skills than fabrication.
b) Design modeling software pertaining to
planning and scheduling. The New trend found in few of Indian shipyards
c) Organizational planning and scheduling is building the vessel up to Keel laying stage
function including manning levels. and then hang around with improvement in
d) Sequential planning and scheduling Infrastructure. The reason for this is the stage
outputs. payment that they receive from Owners. The
day is not far when these types of Builders will
e) Organization of production with hybrid
land in real trouble.
matrix structure.
f) Work content measures with respect to Below find an alternative for a Greenfield
outfitting. shipyard setup with no proper Infrastructure.
g) Progress monitoring and review that it
satisfies the planned phase .

2. Yard Infrastructure:

As mentioned before Yard Infrastructure plays

an important role, which is being ignored at the
first level of decision making. Orders are taken,
contract executed and then failure to deliver
the ships in time has become the order of the

The delay in delivering non quality ships may

put many shipyards to hold the rope around
their neck and slowly tightening by themselves.

Value of the ships has fallen along with the fall

in ship earning driven by economic recession.
Ship Owners reeling from this asset price
decline could either

a) Cancel the contract at the above market

b) Reduce the contracted price
c) Delay the delivery of the vessel.
It is difficult to streamline project management
The above considerations are NOT valid for a issues at a newer yard, leading to delayed
well established shipyard, but those on lines delivery. The above chart shows “one step
with the “Greenfield “nature without
ahead advancement “of yard Infrastructure
compared to Production process.
4. Project Management:
Thumb Rule is:
Builder to provide following to Buyer:
OPTIMIZE the facilities and layout
ECONOMIZE the capital expenditure 1. Construction Schedule-within 60 days of
MAXIMIZE the production efficiency the contract signing with the builder shall
MINIMIZE the building cost (yard and ships) be submitted to Buyer a construction
Looking at the above ,yard management skills 2. Quality Assurance Programme- Quality
needs to be changed in the coming years with Assurance Programme shall be made by
respect to planning ,scheduling ,coordination the Builder and submitted for the Buyers
and communication. reference.
3. Any amendment, modifications and/or
3. The Job Training Act and changes in Rules and Regulations is to be
Shipbuilding: treated as a change to the contract.

The Shipbuilding Industry’s main challenge is STEEL PLATING CUTTING

the shortage of Skilled Managers at the Junior
and Middle level management who can be
Before steel cutting can be accepted, the
groomed to take up higher responsibilities. The main structural drawings together with
Training facility has to be developed by the construction monitoring plan should be fully
Organization so as to provide education, approved by Classification and BUYER,
training and re-training of workers. 10% of the steel plates and profiles should
be in the Builders warehouse and
The Company must have a “Training Policy inspected by all parties. Shipyard to
“which entails in promoting each individuals provide Buyer with 30 days notice prior to
personal involvement in maintaining high steel cutting along with their planned
quality standards. schedule for purchase of the remaining
steel material
Yard must maintain an apprenticeship
program, and maintain a level of Training
expenses in each calendar year no less than
Base Training expenses. KEEL LAYING
Before Keel laying, all major drawings
New requirements from Classification societies should be approved by Classification and
and regulatory bodies and the rapid BUYER and a minimum of 20% of the
development of technology means modern double bottom blocks including outfitting
ships are increasingly equipped with modern and painting to be completed and
complex integrated system bursting with
accepted. Shipyard to provide Buyer with
information technology the focus being safety
and security, fuel efficiency and protection of
30 days notice for keel laying.
the environment.
Promote awareness of true costs of non added Before launching, main hull, crane column,
value work through training, seminars and hatch coamings, deck cranes, propeller &
workshops for all levels of workforce. Re- rudder installation to be completed. All
training for flexibility is not widespread in the underwater tightness tests are to be
present scenario which needs to be looked
completed and all painting works in ballast
tanks and fore peak tank to be completed. business. The other part contains
Preliminary notification to BUYER for responsibilities related to the management
launching is to be provided 30 days in of resources to get the job done.
The Overall responsibility lies with Project
When the vessel is substantially
completed, sea trial is to be carried out. 6. Material handling :
Before Builder request for sea trial,
construction and testing of all hull, Material management in the shipyard
machinery and electric part has to be industry has aroused considerable interest
completed including all machinery, in recent years. It has been emphasized
equipment and systems, all electrical that the effective handling, storage, and
equipment and systems, hull equipment flow of materials determine the successful
and system including accommodation. operation of a warehouse. Production,
Painting work shall be in the final coat planning, and scheduling are also
stage only on exposed decks, with all other important and vital in determining shop
areas complete. floor schedules because they minimize
processing cost and material inventory
5. Organization Chart: cost. There is a need for proper planning
and control of processes and materials,
including procurement, storage, and
inventory, making the process cost
effective. Monitoring and tracking in the
industry are thus very important in fulfilling
the aforementioned objectives. Group
technology also plays an important role in
material management for grouping and
coding. It has been reported that proper
grouping and coding of materials not only
reduce labor and material handling, but
also reduce time and the shifting of parts to
different places.

In Shipbuilding Industry, the matrix

structure is a hybrid organizational form
containing characteristics of both Project
and functional structures. This structure
allows operational responsibilities with one
part containing responsibilities associated
with the management of an independent
7. Material /Product Transfer within

The main point of shipyard construction is the

smooth flow of logistics.

Most of the time is wasted in material handling

and movement which leads to delays of the All these prerequisites yield the flows of
vessel as per schedule. Any design of Panel elements, comprised of personnel,
lines /Transfer lines for Block fabrication etc materials or parts. This stage of the planning is
minimum time for handling the product in capital since it underpins the efficiency of the
whichever form is a must. Shipyard in specific context. A great emphasis
is put on the evaluation of the flow of materials,
Following must be considered: since an imperfectly appreciated flow of
materials would likely lead to an unsuitable
• Shipyard layout and shop solution. Therefore it is of the utmost
arrangement. importance for the flow pattern to be planned
• Shipyard Production management. and not left to develop in a haphazard way.
• Shop equipment supply.
• Shipbuilding Equipment 8. Maintaining Schedule:
• Ship Design flow for Production,-
flow of clean drawings.
takes longer time than shifting an element
from one unit to another unit. The Delay
comes due to multiple approvals-Design
(internal) /owners/classification societies.

10. Dimensional Accuracy and Quality

Control: A lack of Understanding
between accuracy control often gives a
low priority and is not generally
recognized as being a key aspect of
performance improvement. There is a
general acceptance of rework such as
removing excess material and distortion
removal in assembly processes.

Shipyard must establish norm for

dimensional accuracy,prepare check
sheets and measure accuracy at
different stages of construction of
Blocks and at erection stage.

11. Priority for Improvement:

Priority for Improvement varies from
Shipyard to Shipyard but to give
importance based on time frame
following must be taken into
consideration. a)
Clean Approved drawing and design for
production. b)
The above schedule shows the competition Production Engineering.
schedule which if adhered can do wonders in c) Master Planning –Steel and outfit
Indian Shipbuilding. Public Sector Cochin scheduling.
Shipyard Ltd, Cochin has delivered 6 Bulk d) Outfitting at Block Stage.
Carriers ,30K and delivering 4 months ahead e) Dimensional Accuracy and Quality
of the schedule. This is the beginning in Indian assurance.
Ship building in competition with Korean and f) Storage and Warehousing.
Chinese Market. g) Pipe shop and other manufacturing
h) Management of Workforce.
9. Clean Production drawings: i) Steel work and Outfit production
Yard should have a formalized and information
consistent shipbuilding strategy from the j) Steel work and Outfit Coding system.
design rules and guidelines are developed
for each stage of the design process in
order to optimize production performance. 12. Coding Systems: Each yard
should adopt a standard, hierarchical
The Production drawings that are sent to coding system that enables the clear
Production Department must be clean with definition of parts, elements, interim
no mistakes. Handling a drawing mistake
products steelwork, outfit systems and relatively high labour costs, and having the
shipboard zones. need for rework.

Block Construction:
13. Block Assembly:
Block assembly is seen as an opportunity
to reduce the work content at the
construction point.
STRATEGIES Block construction, common for large vessels,
also is used for some smaller ones. Blocks can
Until about 1950, ships were generally built vary in size from approximately 50 tons for
piece by piece (similar to a building site), an small vessels to up to 400 tons for large
approach with a very low investment cost, vessels such as very large crude carriers
minimum crane requirements, and small-scale (VLCCs).
transport. Today, the piece-by-piece approach
is rarely used, except in undeveloped Block construction has advantages that are
countries, where the labour cost is low, and in more dramatic than those for assemblies:
developed countries for some small craft and higher productivity and, therefore, lower labour
one-of-a-kind ships. costs. But blocks also entail disadvantages:
the need for highly accurate assembly, a larger
Shipbuilders have recognized the advantages investment cost in facilities, and a very high
of building larger portions of ships in covered reliance on control of accuracy and on on-time
production facilities, then assembling those delivery of materials.
portions in a dry dock or on a slipway.
As larger numbers of similar ships are built,
standardization, repetition, and automation
lead to economies of scale and production
efficiencies, and, in turn, to lower costs and
reduced schedules. But, as the size of the
modules built in production facilities grows,
more investment is needed for larger cranes
and transporters, and much more attention is
required for configuration control to maintain
the build tolerances between the modules.

Assembly Construction

The ship-construction method that erects

assemblies on building berths, is common for
small- to medium-sized ships. It has the
advantages of being somewhat faster and less
expensive than piece-by-piece construction,
requires minimal investment, and provides
greater flexibility in the sequencing of
It has the disadvantages of still being fairly Grand-Block Construction
slow, having low productivity and, hence, Grand blocks can be built from either
assemblies or smaller blocks. Blocks may be
combined into grand blocks that weigh as
much as 3000 tons especially if they have to MULTISITE CONSTRUCTION
be assembled in Floating Dry-docks .Grand
blocks are usually outfitted and painted in Once the techniques of building ships in large
advance. The benefits attributed to grand blocks were mastered, several shipyards took
blocks are reduced building-berth erection time the next step of building blocks at multiple
and welding, easier access to blocks being shipyards, then transporting them to a single
assembled into the grand blocks, and no need shipyard for assembly into a whole ship.
for staging on the building berth. This technique of assembling ships from large
blocks produced at different locations is more
One disadvantage of grand blocks is that they common than might be expected, and it has
need to be moved to the building berth via both potential benefits and problems.
large-lift-capacity cranes or other means. They
also need to be aligned to other grand blocks. If the location is one the riverside or seacoast
then the portion of the grand blocks can be
Generally used with mid-sized vessels, the ring Transported via waterways.
approach is not as common as block
construction. It has been used for some large If the location of favorable site is on land then
ships as well . the blocks could be transported using
The several advantages of ring construction Transporters. The distance from the main Yard
are that it can be substantially completed must not exceed 100 miles. This will aid in
under cover; it improves productivity and regular visits for the Clients representatives
lowers labour costs; and it allows production and yard personnel’s to check the quality
from assemblies, which provide flexibility to observations.
recover from inaccuracies, or from blocks. The
disadvantages of ring construction are that it RATIONALE FOR MULTISITE
requires substantial investment costs and has CONSTRUCTION
an inflexible sequence of work, making it totally
dependent on timely deliveries. Shipbuilders choose to spread work among
various shipyards for many reasons..

Demanding delivery schedules may also force

shipyards to build various portions of ships at
multiple sites simultaneously. In the
shipbuilding industry, demand is highly
variable; so, too, are the odds that a shipyard
will win an order. As a result, shipyards are
reluctant to maintain workforces sized to meet
the highest demand.

The flexibility to obtain blocks from other

fabricators in such market conditions offers
shipbuilders a definite advantage.The most
compelling reason for shipbuilders to build
portions of ships at multiple shipyards is the
potential for reduced costs. Theoretically, it is
possible to generate cost savings by
concentrating specific blocks in one company
so that duplication of skills and facilities can be
eliminated. The result is lower overall overhead
costs,as well as the benefits of learning
extended over a longer production run. Some incurred by maintaining separate trades and
recent decisions on the subcontracting of workforce for
structural blocks have been driven by this cost- transporting blocks between sites.
savings focus. Some very efficient new
facilities focused on building only blocks for Finally, since processes must be coordinated
other shipyards to assemble have been among several shipyards, management of the
introduced in Korea ,China Japan and Europe. schedule for construction and delivery of the
blocks becomes more difficult. Delays in block
The basic motivation for this strategy is to construction at one shipyard, or delays in
achieve economies of scale and thus be able delivery caused by transportation problems,
to better compete in the global commercial can seriously throw off the schedule for the
shipbuilding market. Concentration could delivery of the ship.
create the scale necessary to enable an
investment in new fabrication/assembly During construction of the blocks at each
technologies that would not be possible to shipyard, quality-control functions must
justify at a lower scale (lower level of examine the blocks during construction and
throughput). identify any potential distortion problems when
the blocks are completed.
Another reason for multisite construction is to
most effectively utilize a shipyard’s existing Detailed finite-element analysis is also required
assets as the global shipbuilding markets to understand the requirements for and
fluctuate. In shipbuilding, as in the other potential effects of proposed lifting and
capital-intensive heavy manufacturing transportation plans. All software tools,
industries, efficient capacity utilisation is a key procedures, nomenclature, and methods must
driver of business effectiveness. To this end, be coordinated among all the shipyards to
partial outsourcing is an effective tool in avoid problems in matching the blocks during
Japan’s shipbuilding environment. final assembly

Finally, the shipyards receiving and

POTENTIAL DISADVANTAGES OF assembling the blocks must have the capability
MULTISITE CONSTRUCTION to receive, transport, and load the blocks onto
Multisite construction also involves possible the assembly berth. Creating this capability at
disadvantages or additional costs. shipyards that do not have it could add
significant costs to the programme, thereby
First, the problems of accuracy control become negating any total cost benefit.
more acute because design and build
tolerances must be maintained at several
shipyards.Common nomenclature, techniques, Last but not the least proper communication
and software packages must be used to ,Management control and coordination
ensure that the blocks built at different between the two organizations are extremely
shipyards align correctly during assembly. important to ensure that structural tolerances
Problems with alignment can lead to potential of the blocks are maintained at the two
significant rework costs. shipyards, both during production and after
transporting the blocks. Also, most previous
Blocks must be constructed or reinforced in a examples of Multisite construction have been
way to ensure that dimensional for commercial shipbuilding programmes.
tolerances are maintained during
transportation. They also may require
additional bracing or structures for the 14. Changing Mindset to Structured
transportation process, which will incur Approach:
additional costs. Additional costs will also be
Every Shipyard must have its on As discussed before, Cochin Shipyard Ltd
Performance improvement program (PIP) success story is derived from the support and
which envisages the following: adherence to building philosophies-a feat
specially contributed by G T R Campbell
a) Evaluate the applied technology and Marine Consultants Ltd., Nassau,
practices against international best Bahamas
b) Assess the shipyards current best Key to success by G T R Campbell Marine
practice rating. Consultants Ltd., Nassau, Bahamas is
c) Identify the gaps and imbalances in the
applied technology.
enumerated below:
d) Establish the shipyards current
performance and competitive position. 1. Bringing the order and assisting
e) Identify the areas that require attention throughout the Shipbuilding
if overall performance is to be contracting process
improved. 2. Providing a preapproved Basic and
f) Determine the product focus and Class drawings
required performance through market 3. Providing Production drawings
analysis. 4. Arranging Material supply
g) Set future performance targets. 5. Supervision by highly experienced
h) Define the overall characteristics of the professional supervisors
shipyard that will allow it to compete in
6. Prompt trouble shooting of any
chosen markets.
i) Describe the processes and practices
hiccups during production
that will yield the required performance.
j) Generate a prioritized performance In Short ,Cochin Shipyard ltd ,Kochi has
plan. worked out at par with the Koreans or
Chinese.This is the beginning in
Shipbuilding Industry other 26 shipyards
which needs to follow suit very seriously.


In order to promote the domestic shipbuilding
industry, the government extended the subsidy Shipbuilding industry is not only manpower
scheme to private shipbuilding companies. intensive but also capital intensive and has a
Earlier, only state-owned companies were longer gestation period compared to many
eligible for the subsidy. other industries.

As per the scheme, launched in 2002, the

government provided a 30% subsidy on all Technological change has transformed
ship sales to foreign companies and for shipbuilding from a project-oriented, one-off
vessels over 80 meters long sold in the local construction process to a mass-production
market. Only contracts entered into before manufacturing process. Ships are now built in
August 14, 2007, are eligible for the subsidy factories.
This is particularly true of large cargo ships –
THE SUCCESS STORY IN INDIAN crude carriers, dry bulk carriers and
SHIPBUILDING: containerships –the designs of which are well
suited to standardization and repetitive work.
2.Lamb, T., and Hellesoy, A., (2002). A
Gas carriers are a bit different: they are more shipbuilding productivity predictor. Journal of
complex, labor-intensive and time-consuming, Ship Production, Vol. 18, No. 2, May
and hence more expensive. So are large 2002, pp. 79-85.
offshore vessels such as drill ships and 3.Korea Maritime Consultants co.-Design
FPSOs, passenger ships and naval vessels. of a Greenfield shipyard-presentation .
.September 29-30,2007
The future? Korea will continue to dominate 4First marine International findings for
the market but will shift its emphasis to higher- global shipbuilding industrial base
value ships as China takes an increasing share benchmarking study.6 Feb 2007
of the lower-value ships. Japan still has a large 5Future of Naval shipbuilding in Australia-
market share but is losing ground to Korea and choice and strategies.2007,Allen
China. Nowhere else matters. consultaing group.
6Shipbuilding industry 2009-research and
Indian Shipbuilding must start with yard markets brochure.
Infrastructure now as when the global slump 7Muther, R. (1973). Systematic layout
recovers we are ready to compete with world planning. Cahners books.
markets. 8. Koenig, P. C., (2002). Technical and
economic breakdown of value added in
Shipbuilding. Journal of Ship
Production, Vol.18, No.1, February 2002,
The Future of Indian Ship Building: pp.13- 18.
9. Design of a Small Shipyard Facility
It seems that the shipbuilding world will Layout Optimized for Production and Repair
become a two tier market. The leading yards Hamid CHABANE,Commandement
can des Forces Navales.
continue to command their pricing whilst the 10.Conco Philips-The Big ships
less well-positioned yards will have to agree to Presentation.,Feb 10,2006
considerable lower prices to entice owners to 11. Using CPM /PERT method for path
take the builder risk, covering less of their balancing the assembly of Dust collector
pricing. The constraint in capacity is in the top- 20m3 machine.-Edo Santoso.
end whilst there will be considerable capacity 12.Building ships at Multisites-Implications
glut in the smaller sizes. for the Type 45 programme.-Tom
Indian Government has provided subsidy with
many lined up massive investments for 13.Specifications of G T R Campbell Marine
shipbuilding ventures, but must prove to be Consultants Ltd., Nassau, Bahamas,For 30K
included in Shipbuilding Industry by executing Bulk carrier,built at Cochin Shipyard Ltd.
the delivery as per schedule. 14.Taggart,R,Ship Design and
Construction,SName,New Jersey,USA 1980
Ancillary supports must be modernized and
established with good co-ordination to
Acknowledegements ;
achieve quality and comparable in the World
The Author thanks Mr.Antony Prince,
Président ,G.T.R.Campbell Marine Consultants
,Nassau Bahamas for support and guidance
for this article.
1. Apple, J. M. (1991). Plant layout and
material handling. Malabar, Fla.,
Krieger. .

Narayana Prakash,
Project Manager,
G.T.R.Campbell Marine Consultants, Ltd.
Nassau ,Bahamas.

About author:

Mr.Narayana Prakash is a Marine Engineer

and a Life member of Institute of Marine
Engineers ,India.He has sailed on different
vessels in various ranks upto rank of Chief
Engineer. He has involved with shipbuilding
activities at various projects in Korea ,China
,India and Holland. Presently he is leading a
team of Naval architects and Marine Engineers
along with Coating supervisors for a Project in
India at Bharati Shipyard Ltd,for a 20K Bulk
carrier project.