Sumitomo Heavy Industries (SHI) Marine and Engineering Co., founded in 1897, builds ships with a focus on mid-sized tankers. Femap and NX Nastran are used for performing various strength and vibration calculations relating to ship structures.
Testing and experimentation with physical prototypes are not possible when designing a ship so SHI takes advantage of CAE software to achieve virtual prototyping by performing analysis simulations of various hull structure designs. In addition, basic ship structure designs must be fixed before transitioning to the detailed design stage, because any changes during that stage can have a significant cost and timing impact.
Certification and a seal of approval must be obtained from a classification society in order to operate a ship. While there are several such classifications around the world, most use a common standard for strength calculations and hull construction evaluation for bulk carriers and oil tankers. In previous years spreadsheet calculations were sufficient to satisfy the needs of the classification societies. More recently however, model-based calculations that require a finite element analysis approach are becoming more important.
SHI engineers are now participating more frequently in the planning and development stages that precede the design stage, to help determine the specifications of the ship under development. Typically, the development is based on a previous generation proven design with feasibility studies conducted to see if design improvements to make the ship lighter and leaner are practical.
The shipping environment is constantly changing with the times with increasing demands to deal with safety and fuel efficiency improvements, gas emission regulations and environmental issues. New types of designs are needed to cope with these demands, and the use of Femap is increasing.
You can read the full case study and see how for Sumitomo Heavy Industries uses Femap with NX Nastran to speed up design validation for ship designs.