American breakthrough sees 3D process delivering a commercial vessel

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Robert Allan Ltd., Signet Maritime Corporation and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) have teamed up to design, build and verify a commercial vessel using an end-to-end 3D design process, a first for a US ship. Designed by Robert Allan, the Advanced Rotortug (ART) will escort vessels and offshore assets at the Port of Corpus Christi in Texas.

The ART will receive its Certificate of Inspection from the USCG and be built and operated by Signet to ABS Class.
3D models will be used in the design and construction of all structures. This process is expected to streamline interaction among stakeholders throughout the design, verification and construction phases, and reduce costs and time investment.

“Together with our forward-looking partners, we have realized a long-held dream of the industry to leave behind 2D paper plans and move to the next generation of vessel production. The advantages are significant, and we are confident that once the industry develops the infrastructure to handle 3D models in shipyards, a pure 3D process will become the default approach,” said Christopher Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and CEO.

“Not only has it become easier to exchange complex structural design information this way, but the time from the basic design stage to the production design stage is shortened, allowing the shipyard to start cutting steel earlier,” said Mike Fitzpatrick, CEO of Robert Allan.

Kim Biggar

Kim Biggar started writing in the supply chain sector in 2000, when she joined the Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management. In 2004/2005, she was project manager for the Government of Canada-funded Canadian Logistics Skills Committee, which led to her 13-year role as communications manager of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. A longtime freelance writer, Kim has contributed to publications including The Forwarder, 3PL Americas, The Shipper Advocate and Supply Chain Canada.
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