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MAROFF-2-Maritim virksomhet og offsh-2

Shipbuilding engineering networks for industrialisation through craftmanship

Alternative title: Skipsbyggingsnettverk for industrialisering gjennom håndverkstradisjoner

Awarded: NOK 2.0 mill.

Project Number:


Project Period:

2015 - 2019

VARD delivers high quality customized vessels, and is a leader in quick delivery of changes throughout the construction processes. Successful project execution is driven by long shipbuilding traditions and the individuals' competence and ability to take initiative, to effectively form informal networks where the employees share information and generate new solutions. It's all about collaboration. This especially concerns situations that are not standardized, but are characterized by substantial uncertainty and complexity. In many cases, information exists in various systems in the organization (e.g. the ERP systems). But what we see today is that information which could have been used to e.g. improve the project and procurement plans, does not become available to the decision maker within reasonable time frames, and consequently, is not utilized. The CRAFT project focuses on the technical aspects of the collaboration between key stakeholders across the project delivery timeline, to enable access to-, share-, and interact with information, so to improve efficiency. The main idea is based on the fact that information availability is fundamental for devising good plans and making good decisions, may it be in procurement, project planning or design-engineering phases. The project led to the development of a method and data application tool to assess and select suppliers, based on their ability to deliver the right information at the right time in the project delivery timeline. Theoretically, this is related to integrated project delivery. The project also led to understanding on theoretical challenges connected to the integration of different functions and stakeholders across the project delivery. Interconnectedness exposes organizations to increased vulnerabilities if something changes throughout the project delivery. To reduce this vulnerability and successfully deploy technologies that integrate the key functions design, planning and procurement, a better understanding of the information needed and actually available at a decision point, is required. We anticipate the data application tool to benefit project-based production organizations from the maritime and construction industries, particularly SMEs in need for less costly and flexible custom-made solutions, and the theoretical developments to be relevant for the scientific community on Integrated Project Management.

The main aim of CRAFT ENGINEERING is to build understanding on the inner shipbuilding engineering network mechanisms that facilitate responsiveness to design changes and industrialisation through craftmanship. This understanding will then be used for new policy design for engineering management, standardised work methods and knowledge tranfer across VARD business units in various countries. Responsiveness to change orders is VARD's major competitive advantage; enabled by extensive grade of tacit knowledge and informal, seemingly invisible engineering knowledge networks. Despite this, there is no understanding yet on how the project participants ability to effectively develop into high performance innovation networks is affecting typical engineering tasks across VARD business units in different countries. In an industrialisation process through craftmanship, it is of critical issue to understand and formalise these knowledge networks; hence the motivation of this project. The planned innovation involves the integration of the social networking element in engineering work. The innovation elements are, hence, multidisciplinary in nature, and new in industrial state-of-practice, as well as scientific literature. Concretely, the innovation involves the (i) visualisation of the 'true' informal, seemingly invisible and ad-hoc paths of information flow & knowledge tranfer, and(ii) updated organisation policies & work methods that explicitely integrate knowledge on the informal innovation networks. The innovation activities are expected to improve responsiveness to change orders; leading to upholding levels of competitiveness, by new sales of highly customised vessels delivered within competitive lead times. The VARD challenges apply to the Norwegian shipbuilding cluster as a whole. With its five Norwegain yards, and extensive collaboration with cluster suppliers and customers, VARD is playing a critical role in shaping the cluster future.

Funding scheme:

MAROFF-2-Maritim virksomhet og offsh-2