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Samsung Heavy Industries Plans “Smart Yard” to Accelerate Production

Samsung Heavy Industries to use smart yard technology
Samsung is increasing tis use of new technologies to enhance production at its shipyard (file photo)

Published Nov 30, 2022 12:18 PM by The Maritime Executive

South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) intends to accelerate the production of newbuilds with the adoption of a “smart yard” technology designed to optimize operations. The Korean government has been advocating for the shipyard to improve efficiency through the use of technology as the yards seek to manage their huge backlog and compete for new orders.

The world’s third-largest shipbuilder by order backlog has signed a memorandum of understanding with France-based firm Dassault Systèmes to create a smart yard based on new digital transformation technology with the aim to establish a fully digital shipyard.

The smart yard is designed to optimize the shipyard operations’ scheduling and execution as well as streamline and automate the flow of information required for construction in order to accelerate production and assembly operations. This will enable the company better meet the strong demand for liquefied natural gas carriers by improving its capacity to produce them and shortening its delivery time.

The efforts to increase efficiency come as SHI continues to record a growing orderbook with new orders hitting $9.4 billion for the first 11 months of this year. LNGCs accounted for over 50 percent of the new orders at $7.8 billion followed by containerships at $1.1 billion and very large gas carriers at $200 million, according to the company’s third quarter financial information.

The company, which is grappling with a massive order backlog amounting to $28.6 billion, expects to achieve 35 new orders annually by 2030. The demand will be driven by ongoing replacement demand for old LNGCs due to International Maritime Organization regulations on emissions with at least 118 LNGCs over 25 years old set for replacement by 2030.

By introducing the model-based smart yard system engineering, SHI says it can design more sophisticated and sustainable vessels requiring more automation, new systems and propulsions, and higher safety and control. The system, which is already a standard product development method in the transportation and mobility, aerospace, and high-tech industries, will enable the company to strengthen its competitiveness in the ship development process and accelerate the process with full traceability from concept to production.

“Automation systems are proven to greatly affect business efficiency across all industries. A smart yard in the shipbuilding industry will also help reduce construction costs and improve the quality of ships,” said Jung Nam Lee, SHI DT Director.

Under the cooperation, Dassault Systèmes will organize a consultative group for digital transformation to define and validate new processes and tools required to achieve the smart yard. The firm’s 3DEXPERIENCE platform-based smart yard will support a unique digital thread integrating various data sources and real-time operations information. Connecting the virtual twins of ships and the virtual twin of the shipyard, automating and standardizing business processes with artificial intelligence, and optimizing planning and operations within the shipyard and with the supply chain will enable smart innovations for both production methods and production execution. 

“It is essential for Korea’s shipbuilding to accelerate its transformation with new and advanced technologies that allow it to keep its leadership in productivity and quality for complex vessels, and we are proud to support SHI in this journey,” said François-Xavier Dumez, Dassault Systèmes Vice President, Marine & Offshore Industry

He added that through the cooperation, the firm has been given an opportunity to introduce and implement its outstanding marine industry solution experiences and achieve a new paradigm in the shipbuilding industry in Korea.