Develop knowledge, methods, and life-cycle decision support for sustainable production of highly specialized and capital-intensive ships in uncertain, fluctuating markets.
About the project:
Sustainable ship production takes a perspective that extends beyond competitive manufacturing and operations and includes minimizing the environmental burden associated with every aspect in the product's lifecycle, from design, to manufacturing and use, right throught recycling.
Innovations in production management, such as modularization, design for X (maintenance, recycling etc.), lean production, advanced production technology and integrated ICT-systems, can support the movement toward sustainability beyond mere pollution control and compliance to environmental regulations. Applying such innovations will contribute to sustainable solutions in terms of material efficiency, cost, emissions and energy consumption seen over the life cycle as a whole.
However, these approaches are developed for predictable, repetitive high-volume production with special-purpose and automated equipment. They are not aligned with the market and product characteristics of one-of-a-kind, engineer-to-order products such as offshore ships. The market situation for Norwegian offshore ships and equipment is characterised by increasingly intense, global competition due to the growing number of companies from low-cost countries such as China and Korea that are offering products in this segment. Furthermore, the market is exposed to extreme fluctuations where on year's boom can be followed by a downfall the year after. This competitive situation requires design and operation of yards and production networks that are both sustainable from a life-cycle perspective and full flexible, i.e. capable of switching production from one product to another, and adjust capacity to the highly fluctuating demand at acceptable cost.
The main challenge this project addresses is therefore to increase sustainability in customer-driven and capital-intensive shipbuilding by achieving innovations that ensure high environmental and economical performance in uncertain, fluctuating markets.