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Discrete Event Simulation: An Efficient Tool to Assist Shipyard Investment and Production Planning

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Abstract:

The complexity both of the product ship and the shipbuilding process make planning tasks in long, medium, and short terms difficult and lead to serious uncertainties. Discrete event simulation can be used to test and evaluate different scenarios in investment planning, scheduling, and resource planning. Using a virtual shipyard environment, the cost to find optimum solutions and the risk related to wrong decisions in the real world can be drastically reduced. However, due to the special skills and efforts usually needed to develop simulation models, the practical application of production flow simulation in shipyards is still rather limited. Object-oriented simulation tool sets specially developed for shipbuilding needs provide the chance to drastically reduce these efforts. Object libraries containing general and shipbuilding specific components with defined interfaces shorten the time needed for development of models for similar purposes. Furthermore, the integration of discrete event simulation models for certain shipyard facilities into a holistic model of the entire enterprise is made possible by using a tool set. Because of costs, some shipyards shy away from investing in simulation techniques. Networking activities and joint projects on simulation issues help to overcome those obstacles. German Flensburger Schiffbaugesellschaft already uses a simulation tool set successfully and actively cooperates with universities and other shipyards, while Center of Maritime Technologies has gathered experience in this field during participation in several simulation projects with other shipyards, for example, Jos. L. Meyer and Aker Ostsee. The article revues practical applications of simulation, gives an impression of how object-oriented simulation tool libraries can be structured, and outlines collaboration possibilities for making simulation applications affordable.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-08-01

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Ship Production publishes original and timely technical papers addressing problems of shipyard techniques and production of merchant and naval ships appear in this quarterly publication. Since its inception, the Journal has been a forum for peer-reviewed, professionally edited papers from academic and industry sources. As such, it has influenced the worldwide development of ship production engineering as a fully qualified professional discipline. Each issue contains a well-rounded selection of technical papers relevant to ship professionals, including written discussions and author's closures.

    From Volume 26 onwards this journal is published as Journal of Ship Production and Design
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