ABS Rules Digitised for Automatic Application in CAD Designs


The project will see The project will see “Knowledge Packets” linked into SSI’s ShipConstructor CAD design software for direct use in 3D design model workflows. (Image courtesy of Auros)



ABS rules and guidelines are being digitised and linked to CAD modelling software to automatically verify designs developed for shipbuilding and ship repair.

A project to put the concept into practice got underway in May after being selected by the US government-funded National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP), which is a consortium of 11 US shipyards. The aim is to reduce the cost of building US-flagged vessels by verifying compliance early in the design process and ensuring the latest regulatory requirements and design rules are always followed.

The technology will be piloted by Conrad Shipyard LLC and Fincantieri Marinette Marine.

In an earlier NSRP project, Auros LLC developed a translator to convert ABS rules into digital “Knowledge Packets.” The current project will see them linked into SSI’s ShipConstructor CAD design software for direct use in 3D design model workflows. Initially the focus will be on structures, including hull and decks, and will evaluate parameters such as material thickness. There will be continuous evaluation of relationships between design elements, with a visual red and green colour coding to indicate compliance with the rules to the user.

Auros has already completed three development projects for the NSRP and is in talks with ABS to partner using the translator to digitise many of the classification society’s nearly 200 Rules and Guides for use in the Auros web-based interface.

“We have also worked with Auros to incorporate equations from the ABS Barge Rules,” says Daniel Cronin, VP Standards and Digital Class ABS Technology. He says, in the longer term, ABS would like to convert more structural and mechanical equations for use in the Auros system including Marine Vessel Rules Part 4 for Vessel Systems and Machinery.

Auros Director Greg Burek says the link with ShipConstructor will ensure that the relevant ABS rules are readily available when required. He likens the company’s concept of knowledge provisioning to the transition from paper navigation maps to technologies that give car drivers specific directions at the time they are needed. In shipbuilding, the technology does away with the need to manually select relevant rules and work with them from a PDF or spreadsheet.

“Provisioning knowledge into the ship design and repair processes fundamentally changes the way shipyards capture, store, maintain, update, provision, and apply specifications and regulatory rules,” Burek says. Auros is already using the concept in the automotive industry, and in maritime Burek anticipates wider use of the Knowledge Packets across a full range of vessel types and offshore structures and eventually aligning with other ship design CAD design tools.

The current project “Structural Interface for Automated Compliance Checking” is anticipated to be completed next year.

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