This research project is building knowledge needed to improve the competitiveness of ship design operations in Norway. Such knowledge elements include the further development and enhancement of ship design theory, methodology, tools and ship design business and work procedures. The findings will be implemented in the relevant parts of maritime industry as well as new learning material to educate and train the next generation naval architects and marine engineers.
The Norwegian ship design industry has seen its competitiveness jeopardized by external and internal factors. Export of ship design services declined from 92% in 2014 and 2015 to 54% in 2020. This research initiative makes an effort to improve the way Norwegian ship design firms can strengthen their competitiveness and market attractiveness by re-engineering and automating their business and work processes.
Complex marine systems – that have been the target of most Norwegian ship design firms – require a holistic, integrated and systemic design approach merging commercial, operational and technical aspects. The project team integrates stakeholders providing a holistic view of the marine system design approach.
The project will develop a detailed mapping of current business models and work procedures in ship design firms. Critical activities - those with the highest impact on design performance and competitiveness – will be investigated, and means to improve ship design efficiency, effectiveness and efficacy will be proposed and tested. The project will use the design solutions of next generation vessels as use cases.
It is well documented and understood nationally and internationally that the competitiveness of the Norwegian maritime industry is primarily created by its cluster phenomenon and its completeness of the value chain – nearly all complementary business activities are present in the value chain and they have been very well integrated in the past, to create its overall effectiveness and success through close collaboration. In recent years a selection of dominant value chain elements like ship design and ship production, normally considered to constitute “shipbuilding”, have experienced a substantial decline, almost to the extent of extinction. This is partly due to lower activity levels worldwide, but, more fundamentally, to lost competitiveness. This situation calls for changes in the ship design firms or yards’ ship design organizations. Therefore, this project proposes that several Norwegian ship design firms need to critically review and improve the way they are performing their ship design activities in the future.
This project will focus on building the knowledge and competence to improve the competitiveness of Norwegian ship design firms. This includes analyzing existing design processes to understand both the impact of individual design activities both on the customer´s perceived value of the design process and the requirements of the design documentation, as well as the resource expenditure in term of time, manhours and direct cost. This will provide the basis for a re-engineered design process, including the automation and digitalization of individual design tasks. Improvements should take place in the product, the process and the organization (firm), and shall include conceptual, basic and detailed engineering design activities. The findings will be implemented in the industry as well as integrated into the curriculum of the next-generation naval architects, to ensure an industry-wide dissemination.