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Cloud-based storage of Ship Construction Files

ClassNK is commencing the provision of cloud-based archive centre services for NYK Lines and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, with the classification society having reached a preliminary agreement with the two shipping companies regarding the use of the As-built Drawings Storage Service (ADSS).

Three vessels from these companies will be the first to use ADSS, which will manage Ship Construction Files (SCF) and store various electronic data for the ship’s finished plan. They are two 95,000dwt bulk carriers built by Imabari Shipbuilding – one of them owned by NYK Lines, the other operated by Mitsui – and a 300,000dwt VLCC (very large crude carrier) built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for Mitsui.

ClassNK’s Archive Centre uses IBM Japan’s cloud computing technology.

Talks are still underway on requirements regarding the storage of SCFs in line with the IMO’s Goal-Based Standards (GBS), applicable to bulkers and tankers contracted from 1 July 2016, ClassNK says, adding that its onshore SCF Archive Centre will be ready to store electronic information of ship drawings as soon as requirements are decided.

The classification society says that earlier this year it provided the world’s first storage service for electronic ship drawings that is not limited to specific ship types, ahead of the application of the above standards.

ADSS consolidates and manages SCFs and electronic data for a ship’s finished plan throughout the entirety of a ship's life. Shipowners can access the electronic storage service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year through the internet.

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    Shipbuilding designs are gradually transitioning from 2D drawings to those designed with 3D CAD software. Classification societies, whose plan approvals are currently based mostly on 2D drawings, are also required to develop a scheme for 3D CAD models from their submission to their examination completion.

    This project was conducted to examine the technical development required in each process of plan approval by JMU, NAPA, and ClassNK to realise 3D model-based plan approval. In the feasibility study, ClassNK conducted a trial evaluation for hull structural design on a 3D CAD model of 300,000DWT ore carrier designed and created by JMU, using NAPA Designer, a 3D CAD software application for ship design developed by NAPA, as a 3D model viewer. Plan submission, storage, and notification of examination results were made using the Society's electronic plan examination system NK-PASS.

    The investigation concluded that information required for class approval can be confirmed through a 3D CAD model, and that "NK-PASS" is also compatible with 3D CAD models. The results of this survey will serve as a basis for future technical studies, and the Society will continue to work with the industry to realise 3D model-based plan approval.

    Mr. Hayato Suga, corporate officer and director of plan approval and technical solution division said “This study has proven the future potential of 3D model-based approvals. 3D based design can be the key to improving digital solutions in the ship industry, including the ship design process, approval process and later fleet maintenance. I hope that the entire industry will also quickly realise the many opportunities and increased efficiency that can be achieved as a result of this initiative. The vessels of the future will be able to accommodate much better and safer designs in shorter amounts of time.” 

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