Maritime assets such as ships and offshore platforms platforms are typically associated with large investments and are not often built in large series. Where air, rail and road transport benefit from the scale effects of series production and considerable lead time of product development, this is mostly not the case for maritime products. Advanced product design needs to reflect constantly extended requirements and assure a flexible use and optimised performance over the entire life-cycle for varying operational conditions. This calls for largely improved design tools including multi-objective and multi-disciplinary optimisation and, finally, virtual testing of the overall design and its components.

Delivering a platform for all design stages

Today’s need for one-of-a-kind designs often results in an insufficient knowledgebase, inadequate lead time for complete optimisation cycles and an incomplete interplay between different design disciplines. Furthermore, there are uncertainties and changes in future operational requirements over an asset’s life-time which need to be taken up in a holistic life-cycle optimisation. HOLISHIP addresses these shortcomings of present design processes (for maritime products) with a systems based approach.

The early design stage of any maritime product offers the widest range of solutions to be explored. It is at this design stage that the multi-disciplinary design approach has the highest flexibility and impact. ‘Higher design freedom’ and life cycle cost control at this preliminary design step allow optimising product design, taking into account all requirements. Being faced with the need to reduce operational costs and environmental impact while at the same time increasing safety, the maritime industry urgently needs to take up new life-cycle based design concepts including means for virtual testing of products. It adds to the complexity of the problem that ship design is typically shared between design offices and yards in close cooperation with system / equipment suppliers, all requested to work on a design for optimal operational performance which increasingly becomes a prime selling point for a vessel.

HOLISHIP (HOLIstic optimisation of SHIP design and operation for life-cycle) addresses these urgent industry needs by the development of innovative design methodologies, integrating design requirements (technical constraints, performance indicators, life-cycle cost, environmental impact) at an early design stage and for the entire life-cycle in an integrated design environment. Design integration will be implemented in practice by the development of integrated design s/w platforms and demonstrated by digital mock-ups and industry led application studies on the design and performance of ships, marine equipment and maritime assets in general. For achieving its goals, HOLISHIP formed a team of complementary partners contributing “cutting edge” expertise in all relevant areas affecting the design and particularly life-cycle aspects of maritime products.