Measuring the Heavyweights
 
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Measuring the Heavyweights

      3/15/2001

Competition amongst shipyards is severe on the international market. Time is a crucial factor of cost efficiency. Every day a dock is occupied longer than necessary costs the shipyard immense sums. To combat the potentially staggering costs, many ship sections are pre-assembled either at the shipyard or before arrival. Only when sections are complete - they are assembled. "Still, problems often occur in final assembly," explains Professor Martin-Christoph Wanner, head of the Fraunhofer Applications Center for Macrostructures in Manufacturing. "If components do not fit precisely, sections have to be re-worked or adjusted. And that costs valuable time."

Together with their partners in industry, Fraunhofer researchers in Rostock have developed a new means of measuring the height, length, and breadth of ship sections, which allows for their precise positioning. Necessary corrections of the components can be detected prior to assembly and undertaken outside the dock. "For each section, allowing for predefined tolerances, there is only one position in which the fit is precise, thereby reducing assembly costs to a minimum", explains Wanner. This is now possible with new software integrated in a 3D laser measuring device that enables easy optimum positioning of components and, at the same time, reduces costs to a minimum.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin-Christoph Wanner
 


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