Conference Paper

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) System for Shipbuilding Industry

Abhilash Somayajula, Om Prakash Sha and Rajiv Sharma


PLM (product life-cycle management) has become something like ‘a magic wand’ for various industries because of its capability to integrate different product modules via online network through the product’s complete life-cycle, and hence providing one window access; thereby making the whole processes of product conception, design and manufacturing, delivery, maintenance and disposal integrated with a reduction in product development time and cost. However, heavy industries (i.e. shipbuilding) are different from consumer product industries because of high customisation in design process, and engineering software, widely varying scales of operations and less compatibility between different design and production processes, e.g. ship production is planned in activity driven network scheduling system in general, and is assumed more as a construction process or assembling process rather than a production process.

One of the key elements of PLM is the Product Data Model (PDM), which is also termed as the Bill of Material in many shipyards. Bill of Material is a list of all the materials used to make the product. Different requirements will require different BOMs to be made by different departments. In shipbuilding industry a major problem is developing the manufacturing BOM (M-BOM) from the engineering BOM (E-BOM). This is because the E-BOM is structured in a “systems based” manner to suit the designer, whereas the M-BOM has to follow a “block/zone” based hierarchy as the shipbuilding process is an assembly of intermediate products. At present the conversion of E-BOM to M-BOM is done manually by utilizing the experience of shipyard personnel. Automation of this process will lead to considerable decrease in the design process time and hence in overall delivery time too.

In this paper we present the development and the basic building concepts for a PLM system for shipbuilding industry and a case study in “Automation of Conversion of E-BOM to M-BOM”

Keywords: Engineering BOM (E-BOM); Manufacturing BOM (M-BOM); BOM conversion; PLM Module; E-BOM to M-BOM

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