In 2002, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (NGSS) was awarded the role of prime contractor in the design of the US Navy's next generation of surface combatant, the DD(X). NGSS leads the overall system design, engineering, development, and production of the initial DD(X) platform, and testing of many technologies with Raytheon Company, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, United Defense, and more than 30 of the nation's top engineering and maritime industrial companies. Therefore, NGSS needed to standardise on a toolset that would be applicable to all divisions and teammates while inter-operating with legacy systems within the enterprise and allowing reuse of elements of design from one ship class to the other.
NGSS brought its expertise to design and build ships along with their requirements to Dassault Systèmes (DS) in order to develop a best-in-class shipbuilding PLM solution. Moving from CAD to PLM, requires major process changes that affect the way engineers work with designers. IBM implemented a 'Proof of Concept' approach that has proven the value of PLM. Several pilots were conducted to demonstrate the benefits V5 would bring to the teams. The evaluation teams were quickly convinced that the new solution set will allow everyone to work closer together, in a more efficient, innovative and interactive way, thus saving time and money. Catia V5 has been deployed to cover end-to-end design and systems engineering processes including space arrangement, ship structural design, electrical, piping, and heating ventilation/airconditioning (HVAC) system design, waveguide and hanger design.