3D printing as part of the revolutionary concept Shipyard 4.0

    Shipbuilding is one of many industries in which three-dimensional printing technologies are used more and more: we have already seen a wide variety of solutions, from a certified propeller that is printed on a 3D printer to regulating the use of high technology and intellectual property in maritime shipping. The Spanish state-owned company Navantia is a leading technology company specializing in the design and manufacture of high-tech civilian and military ships, control systems and combat systems, as well as diesel engines and turbines.

    The company seeks to use innovation to improve productivity in the so-called fourth industrial revolution. This collective concept implies a digital revolution, which is accomplished through the development of automation, information exchange and production technologies, including 3D printing. According to Forbes magazine, "the boundaries between the real world and the world of technology are blurring."

    To reduce production costs and increase productivity in accordance with the concept of Industry 4.0Navantia has introduced the Shipyard 4.0 model, which involves the use and optimization of these technologies in shipbuilding. The model was used at the company's shipyard in the Spanish city of Ferrol during the construction of a new generation of frigates F110 commissioned by the Spanish Navy. Shipyard 4.0 will also be introduced by Navantia Australia after adapting to the special conditions of the Australian continent.

    According to Pablo Lopez, Director of the Ferrol Shipyard, “Navantia’s main objective is sustainable development in the naval and strategic sectors, on a global scale, through the development of competitive shipbuilding programs. This task is served by our strategy called Shipyard 4.0, which consists in introducing advanced technologies of the fourth industrial revolution in which we are involved in our production processes. Shipyard 4.0 has clear objectives to reduce costs and lead time, improve the quality of our products and technologies to achieve sustainable competitiveness. ”

    The new model will improve the results of the Navantia Australia SEA 5000 program and the Continuous Build Program. Shipyard 4.0 will help develop competitive shipbuilding for the Navy, create a new skilled workforce and create modern equipment - both for the shipyard and for the supplier network. Also, this concept will contribute to the development of a modern infrastructure of information and communication technologies to support the digital double (ship zero) at the shipyard and on the ship. The concept of a digital double allows us to model and develop new products and processes on virtual workstations.

    Navantia operates in a very competitive environment, using 12 key advanced technologies that are used in conjunction with shipbuilding technologies in the Shipbuilding 4.0 model to implement its solutions:

    • 3D-press ,
    • artificial Intelligence,
    • autonomous vehicles
    • large amounts of data and their analysis,
    • cybersecurity
    • health, safety and environmental protection,
    • new materials ,
    • robotic process automation,
    • secure cloud services
    • ubiquitous communications and the Internet of things,
    • virtual and augmented reality,
    • virtual modeling (including simulation).

    The R & D + i project, conducted by Navantia with the support of the INNANOMAT research group of the University of Cadiz, uses 3D printing technology. In January 2018, the company presented one of its projects for the transition to the Shipbuilding 4.0 model.

    “At the end of last year, we got the first practical results when the first Navantia R&D project for additive manufacturing called 3DCABINS was completed. It consisted of integrated 3D printing of a modular toilet and installation of ventilation grilles, also grown on a 3D printer, on board, ”Lopez explained.

    The 3DCABINS project is an absolute success, because its implementation allowed the company to manufacture two prototype toilets for a naval vessel at a much lower price, while the weight of the products was reduced by almost 50%. Such a result would not have been possible without the use of 3D printing.

    “This year we launched the second draft of the R&D + i program called ADIBUQUE, with which we strive to unify the practice of using this technology on our ships,” says Lopez.

    In this project, parts that can be manufactured in an additive way will be analyzed after being installed on ships. In addition, large-scale three-dimensional printing will be used to manufacture the ship's elements. The 3DCABINS and ADIBUQUE projects enable Navantia to keep a clear track on the introduction of additive manufacturing and reaffirm its commitment to Shipbuilding 4.0 and the fourth industrial revolution.

    Posted by Sarah Saunders. Translation from English. The original of this material is on 3dprint.com .

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