SSA has announced the approval of two major research projects through SSA LINK. Both were submitted by the Department of Marine Technology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and will look at Ship Plate Deformation and Production Scheduling. The Ship Plate Deformation research will develop, prove and pilot a method for predicting the deformation of ship plates during assembly with the overall goal of reducing the man-hours required for construction. Addressing the causes of ship plate deformation, thereby avoiding re-work will make planning more reliable, saving some 360,000 man-hours every year with a value of over £3.5m.
Production Scheduling research will initiate changes to production management allowing the optimal use of resources in order to improve overall performance.
This research is of particular importance to the UK shipbuilding industry and will involve the use of fundamental, analytical approaches to aid decision making in this complex area of manufacturing. Past research into the subject has usually put too little emphasis on the availability of resources. The research will develop an integrated decision support tool, which will enable yards to allocate resources efficiently over more than one project. It will also highlight those operating conditions that could make a production schedule inflexible or inefficient. Industry partners include BAE SYSTEMS Marine, Vosper Thornycroft and CORUS.