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Designing Out Complexity Early: A Path to Affordable Flexible Warships

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The Siemens Global Shipbuilding Executives Summit (GSES), in collaboration with the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME), has been working closely with the Navy’s Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships for a number of years on a Flexible Warships Initiative (FWI). This paper summarizes contributions of Team A, which was formed following GSES VI at ASNE Day 2015. It presents Team A proposals for identifying and/or developing work content analysis tools as well as design methods for addressing distributed systems during Design Space Exploration (DSE) in early stage ship concept design, and for performing DSE with these new design methods to more accurately evaluate design principles of flexible ships. Teaming with a highly experienced shipyard production executive, Team A identifies these principles for design of flexible ships. They emphasize that under-sizing the ship during concept design studies increases ship outfit density and adds unnecessary complexities to the design and construction of the ship. The recent GSES study of foreign naval ships validates that early stage design decisions on properly sizing the ship are a major contributor to reducing complexities of designs leading to work content reductions in Detail Design and Construction (DD&C) and providing more flexible naval ships for future upgrades and modernizations. Team A also teamed with the SNAME Ship Design Committee (SDC) and its SD-8 Naval Ships Panel, which conducted a workshop to identify the need for early stage design measures of complexity and new DSE ship design methods including new ship costing tools that are more sensitive to these measures of complexity. Finally, Team A along with SDC/SD-8 propose solutions that will aid design engineers and decision-makers in designing out complexities early, putting ship designs on a path to becoming flexible warships which are easier/more affordable to build, operate, maintain and modernize throughout their full service-life.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • The Naval Engineers Journal is the peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE). ASNE is the leading professional engineering society for engineers, scientists and allied professionals who conceive, design, develop, test, construct, outfit, operate and maintain complex naval and maritime ships, submarines and aircraft and their associated systems and subsystems.
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