Geert Schouten, Director of Shipbuilder, discusses the challenges and solutions of marine PDM and PLM software for large marine projects.
Maritime PDM and PLM software are often used for large maritime projects although they are less suited to them. And why would you still use this software when there are much simpler, sea-specific tools that avoid costly mistakes at a much lower price? Geert Schouten, Director of Shipbuilder: âI have a lot of experience using marine PLM and PDM systems. I discovered why these systems can turn big projects into challenges rather than successes. ‘ An explanation is in order here.
PLM Maritime and PDM Maritime of yesteryear
Geert explains, âPDM stands for Product Data Management and PLM stands for Product Lifecycle Management. Both have been around for a few decades. In the 1990s, the need to deal with the growing number of components of a ship in the marine industry arose, and so PDM was introduced. Since many changes were made during engineering and PDM systems did not take into account these changes in the state of a ship’s construction, PLM was created because this system could be better connected throughout the life cycle. ‘ But what is the situation now?
PDM Maritime and PLM Maritime today: error prone
“Very little has changed since then,” Schouten continues. âOf course, the software packages have been updated, are better organized and easier to use, and offer more options. But the data architecture still dates from that time, with disastrous consequences. Let’s face it. In the maritime sector, millions often evaporate unnecessarily due to errors in projects. In PDM and PLM systems, you cannot log all the necessary data. ‘ So what is wrong?
Everything is still a question of documents. Till today.
âFirst of all, in these systems, the document remains at the center of everything. Not the product and certainly not the ship. I will come back to this. This means that when a technical engineer in a maritime company searches for information, it often ends up with a document. He will still have to analyze this document for the information he needs. It takes a long time and one wonders if the information is still correct, which brings us to the second point. After all, it is highly doubtful that all the information in the documents was properly adjusted when changes were made to a project. This is because information from PDM and PLM systems is often hidden in documents and they are not updated automatically. ‘
Link the data! What link? Everything in 1 dimension
âOkay, I have to admit it sounds a bit complex, but current marine PLM and PDM systems are one-dimensional. However, in daily practice it does not take higher mathematics to be able to discover opportunities for improvement. Let me give you an example: John is an engineer in a shipyard. He wants to add a radar screen in his PLM system. It does this with the device code âNavigation systemsâ. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Marie is a colleague of John. She is an electrical engineer and wants to calculate the power consumed by the ship to be built. She looks for the code “Electricity consumption system”. And Peter, the buyer, wants to order all the equipment needed for the bridge, and searches for the locator code ‘bridge’. Peter and Marie will not automatically find the navigation system in the system, as this data is not related to each other. This is what I mean by one-dimensional. Now, of course, Peter and Marie are smart colleagues at John’s, and they know that, so they’ll search with other codes as well. This usually works for small projects. But the likelihood of errors increases as projects scale. Especially if there are changes. You can easily forget to edit a document or skip a code. And the point of buying such a software package is precisely to avoid these risks, right? ‘
Focus on digitization today with PLM Pro
âExactly, a software package has to support the business process. And it can now be done much better than with PLM and PDM systems.
True maritime digitization begins with 100% data-driven operational management, which means you manage all maritime project data in one data management system. All information can be found in the system, down to the smallest detail. For example, you can see which components and activities are applicable by part, by activity, or by system. The content of documents in PLM and PDM systems is therefore digitized. Such a PLM Pro system contains all the data. And, most importantly: a PLM Pro system automatically links all associated data. And for this, a maritime knowledge base is used. This offers great opportunities to create new and much better processes. When searching for information, you no longer have to struggle through a pile of documents. You will immediately find what you are looking for, and Peter and Marie will also immediately find the right information. The system includes that a navigation screen also has a location and power consumption.
Our Shipbuilder software is an excellent PLM Pro system. In such a system, the multidimensional structure of a ship is predominant. You can easily navigate the projects as the menus are based on the vessel configuration. For example, think of a digital twin.
In addition, with the launch of PLM and PDM systems, working methods had to be shaken up to start working smarter. In the end, they helped the maritime sector to improve the projects. However, the time has come for smart, truly data-driven work.
A new innovative step with PLM Pro, like Shipbuilder Software: www.shipbuilder.nl