Digital transformation is happening, but integration is key

While specialised shipyards are looking for improvement in processes and greater production efficiency, major shipyard groups are looking to broaden their portfolio, and become Smart.

Posted: March 25, 2019

Marine

Digital transformation is happening, but integration is key

We are at an exciting and unprecedented time in history. Over the past few years, we have seen a move towards digital transformation across shipyards worldwide, predominately driven by:

  • Technological improvements
  • Disruptive players in the market
  • Continued drive for efficient business operations
  • Environmental awareness and regulations
  • A generational shift in the workforce

While specialised shipyards are looking for improvement in processes and greater production efficiency, major shipyard groups are looking to broaden their portfolio, and become Smart.

There is no doubt: today, in the Industry 4.0 era, digital transformation is part of every shipyard agenda looking to innovate and excel.

However, not all strategies are created equal. An effective digital transformation requires integration of tools and processes to overcome the current bottlenecks of shipbuilding organisations.

The bottleneck before digital transformation

Previous waves of digital transformation in shipyards saw the introduction of 2D and then 3D CAD/CAM solutions and often, in parallel, the adoption of ERP solutions. These transitions often resulted in a two-pillar IT support system for how shipbuilders work: one focused purely on the needs of the design department, the other focused on management of resources and business processes.

For many shipyards, these systems are not integrated well because they were deployed at different times during a maturing IT strategy. In many cases, these systems may have streamlined siloed processes, but they may have actually reduced the overall business agility of the enterprise due to the baked-in processes and inability of varying systems to talk to each other and share data.

This is a bottleneck that must be resolved before shipyards can realise the true potential of digital transformation.

Integration is the foundation of digital transformation

In order to build a portfolio of digital services, in order to monitor and control effectively, in order to increase accuracy and agility whilst enabling a collaborative, safer workforce, shipyards must move towards a complete and accurate digital twin.

The digital twin provides a trusted reference for the construction, commissioning, and operation of the physical asset. It is a repository of everything that happens, making sure there is no gap between the digital and real world.

But such a powerful digital twin can only be achieved if a shipyard's tools, data, and processes are integrated in the first place. There will simply be no competitive market strategy if an organisation moves forward with systems and processes that were put together over long time periods or were not purpose-designed for the shipbuilder.

This is one of the essential steps in an effective digital transformation journey.

Digital transformation is a journey

Digital transformation is a step-by-step journey, with the key to successful deployment being the ability to take the right steps at the right time. Shipyards must integrate their tools, data, and processes as one of those early steps before a truly effective digital twin can be put in place. Doing this strategically will create an innovative, competitive, and robust shipyard, and a more efficient future for everyone.

Continue your digital journey by taking the essential step towards an integrated, data-driven shipyard.

Download the whitepaper Digital Transformation of the Shipyard to understand why IT integration is an essential step to unlock further improvements.

author
Written By
Aline Bezzera

Aline Bezerra is global industry marketing manager for AVEVA solutions within the marine industry. Passionate about technology, she is supporting organizations on their Digital Transformation journey.

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