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Maritime Digitalisation & Communications

Accelerated concept design comes to shipping

Thu 07 Dec 2017 by Martyn Wingrove

Accelerated concept design comes to shipping
C-Job used advanced concept design on a dredger

Naval architects at C-Job have started using Napa software to accelerate vessel concept design and for 3D modelling. C-Job designs offshore support vessels, ferries, offshore windfarm support vessels, workboats, mega-yachts and special cargo ships.

It has begun using Napa software to automate and optimise the concept stage of the ship design process using genetic algorithms. These use Darwinian processes to improve successive generations of a vessel design, so that the next generation inherits the most successful characteristics of its predecessors.

Napa said this removes uncertainty within the whole ship design process, speeds up the design process and gives shipowners more confidence in the final design. This is enabled by advances in 3D modelling capabilities and increases in computing power.

Accelerated concept design has been used in other sectors, such as in aerospace, but not in shipping until this application. Napa said it was important for shipping as increasing market and regulatory pressures require hull designs to become more efficient, while maintaining the highest safety standards and compliance with regulations.

Napa and C-Job are collaborating on the development of this methodology to generate concept designs within shorter time spans and to deliver more accurate estimations of construction weight, building costs and performance.

C-Job lead naval architect Thijs Muller said automating parts of the design process represents a huge step forward for vessel designers. “Instead of manually optimising parts of the design process, virtual evolution finds the fittest designs automatically,” he explained. “This means designers can be more confident their designs will deliver the results they need.”

Napa director of design solutions Jan Furustam said this should help naval architects keep up with the pressures of ever-changing requirements from owners, shipyards and regulators.

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