Digital Assistance Systems to Increase Efficiency in Ship Commissioning

A joint project involving the Institute of Production Management and Technology (IPMT) at Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) is currently investigating how the digitalization of commissioning can be achieved in the maritime industry. The researchers are hoping for potential in the areas of productivity, quality and adherence to deadlines in complex shipbuilding projects.

Shipbuilding projects are characterized by their size, duration, complexity and individuality. Commissioning links the lifecycle phases of manufacturing and ship operation and is thus a key process. During this process, inspections and tests verify that every component is installed correctly, fully functional and fulfills the requirements set by the client and classification society. It forms the basis for successful quality management, harmonizes manufacturer and customer expectations, and ultimately secures cash flow.

Today's commissioning process is characterized by a multitude of manual steps as well as heterogeneous information and a lack of data consistency. To improve this situation, the researchers are developing a digital assistance system for the commissioning process. The digital assistance system addresses both the creation and scheduling of commissioning tests and the actual execution.

Figure 1 – Tablet-based Digital Assistance System for the Execution of Commissioning Activities

A template-based approach is used to create commissioning tests. Components with similar test specifications are clustered according to their necessary commissioning steps and templates are defined for them. This enables the simultaneous creation of a large number of component-specific commissioning activities as well as reuse in subsequent projects.

Furthermore, component information, installation status from production, availability of resources, dependencies between commissioning tasks as well as scheduling constraints are taken into account to perform automated sequencing.

Finally, a mobile digital assistance system (see Figure 1) provides the commissioning engineer with all relevant information about a task, such as the location, the required tools and documents, and the steps to be performed. All steps are documented automatically, drastically reducing the documentation effort and increasing quality.



Ahmed Elzalabany
Tel.: +49 (0)40 42878 3251
Mail: ahmed.elzalabany(at)tuhh(dot)de

Tim Jansen
Tel.: +49 (0)40 42878 3655
Mail: tim.jansen(at)tuhh(dot)de

Nina Köster
Tel.: +49 (0)40 42878 2506
Mail: nina.koester(at)tuhh(dot)de

Institut für Produktionsmanagement und -technik
Denickestraße 17 (Gebäude L)