1 ADVANCED CAD PLM INTEGRATION IN A NAVAL SHIPBUILDING ENVIRONMENT F. Alonso, SENER Ingeniería y Sistemas S.A., Spain C. Gonzalez, SENER Ingeniería y Sistemas S.A., Spain R. Perez, SENER Ingeniería y Sistemas S.A., Spain SUMMARY Military shipyards building surface ships and submarines are implementing PLM Systems as a global solution to the management of information through the life cycle of naval vessels, with the objectives of increasing productivity, reducing vessel design and production times, saving costs and improving the quality of the whole process. A key factor in the success of the implementation is the integration between the shipbuilding CAD System and the PLM tool, as CAD provides advanced functionalities for vessels design and fabrication and CAD related data must be shared by all the shipyard departments from the early design stages through the vessels whole service until its decommissioning. This paper presents an advanced architecture for CAD PLM integration in a naval shipbuilding environment. The architecture of the solution contemplates a bi-directional flow of information between both Systems, in such a way that the most relevant vessel items can be defined in CAD or in PLM depending on the design stage and on the maturity of the available information. The solution meets the demanding requirements of military shipyards for CAD PLM integration such as the handling of unique identifications generated by the PLM, or the controlled access to CAD information based on the maturity data managed by PLM. The paper describes in detail the architecture of the solution, the requirements met by the solution and the benefits and advantages of this approach which is based in FORAN System as the CAD tool, and it will be implemented in a key military European shipyard. NOMENCLATURE CAD FPLM PLM PLMCStr VPTree SyncTab 1. INTRODUCTION Computer Aided Design FORAN PLM Framework Product Lifecycle Management PLM Classification Structure Vessel Product Tree CAD PLM Synchronization Table As a result of the increased pressure to reduce cost and delivery times of modern surface ships and submarines, many military shipyards are revising their processes and tools to manage and share information across all shipyard departments. An important part of this process is in many cases the implementation of PLM Systems or an extended use of the PLM Systems to manage all the information that must be shared by the shipyard departments (engineering, purchasing, planning, operations, production, etc.). On the other hand, a specific shipbuilding CAD is another critical application in a military shipyard, to improve the design quality, to reduce design and production costs (by improving vessel manufacturability, operation and maintenance) and in general to provide relevant information to most of the shipyard departments during the vessel design and production stages. Therefore, the integration of the shipbuilding CAD with the PLM is a key factor in the implementation of the new processes and tools. The solution presented in this paper for an advanced integration between the CAD and the PLM intends to comply with the most demanding requirements of the military shipyards as well as to maintain the efficiency, the scalability and the performance of the shipbuilding CAD tool. This paper presents in detail the architecture of the solution as well as the expected advantages and benefits for the military shipyard. 2. SHIPBUILDING CAD SYSTEMS IN NAVAL ENVIRONMENTS The use of specialized shipbuilding CAD Systems in naval environments is crucial for the efficient design and manufacturing of surface ships and submarines. The heart of a shipbuilding CAD System as FORAN is a relational database (ORACLE) where the vessel CAD product model is stored. The product model includes geometry, topology, specialized technological and manufacturing information for all vessel disciplines and many relationships between the vessel items. Shipbuilding CAD Systems working in naval environments offer significant advantages over other generic CAD applications, some of which can be relevant for the purpose of this paper: Specifically developed for shipbuilding. Availability of shipbuilding smart modelling tools. Incorporation of many years of shipbuilding knowledge. Outputs adapted to shipbuilding manufacturing processes. Proven scalability.
2 Proven performance. Adapted to military shipbuilding requirements . Reduction of design and manufacturing hours over generic CAD applications. The scalability refers to both the number of CAD users and to the number of vessel items to be handled. Military vessels are very complex products that may be composed of millions of items, requiring a large number of designers, accessing concurrently to the vessel product model (see figure 1). The design cycles of these vessels are usually very long and there are many design changes along the whole vessel lifecycle. Figure 1: Vessel Forward auxiliary engines module of S- 80 submarine, courtesy of Navantia Performance is another critical requirement, especially in the detail design and manufacturing stages, when the detail design is almost complete, there are hundreds of users working on the model, model changes are constant and information for the production processes must be provided continuously. 3. SOME KEY REQUIREMENTS FOR THE INTEGRATION Until know, the most common requirements for integration between shipbuilding CAD systems and PLM s were basically two: Management of all documents generated by the CAD in the PLM. Transference of the vessel product structure from the CAD to the PLM, comprising both the geometry of the model items for visualization purposes and items attributes (metadata). The result of these integrations can be considered as a low/medium level of integration. On the other hand, and based on the lessons learned and on the issues identified in the military shipbuilding projects developed in the last years, other important additional requirements for the CAD PLM integration have been raised by many military shipyards. May be the most important requirement is the need for a continuous synchronization of the information managed by the CAD and by the PLM. This requirement leads to the need of a bi-directional integration between the CAD and the PLM and to the availability of publishing and synchronization processes automating the integration. Another requirement derived from the previous one is the possibility of defining the most important standard components and model items of the vessel (e.g. equipment and main fitting items) in both the CAD and the PLM, depending on the project stage. Among all these additional requirements it is also worth to mention some of them, especially relevant for the proposed integration: The integration should cover most of the phases of the vessel life-cycle (conceptual design, basic design, detail design, manufacturing ). Sharing of attributes between the CAD and the PLM Handling of unique item identifications in both systems. Usually these identifications are generated in the PLM. Access and locking control to the CAD items based on the maturity of the information and on security considerations. In many cases this information comes from the PLM but in other cases it is generated in the CAD system. The visualization of the model items based on their maturity and security considerations in both the CAD and the PLM is also a derived requirement. Automatic generation of model (BOM) drawing relationships in the PLM as a result of the publishing of model items and drawings from the CAD. Transference of the vessel builds strategy from the CAD to the PLM and vice versa. Although many of the simulation processes to check the manufacturability of a design are currently done in the CAD in an automated and efficient way (e.g. piping fabrication sketches - spools manufacturability), in some cases it can be necessary to use more general simulation tools for digital manufacturing, closely integrated with PLM, especially to simulate some of the vessel assembly processes. The results of the simulation could produce a different build strategy that would be transferred back from the PLM to the CAD. The integration must also facilitate the collaborative work of different partners in the vessel project, as this is a normal scenario in the current shipbuilding military projects, especially in aspects such as the spatial integration and the cross manufacturing of the zones of the project developed by the different partners.
3 The CAD PLM integration proposed in this paper intends to comply at the maximum extent possible with all these requirements. 4. THE INTEGRATION SCOPE The proposed integration considers all shipbuilding disciplines and areas covered by the FORAN System (Hull forms, Naval Architecture, Hull Structure, Equipment, Piping, HVAC, Electrical, Supports, Outfitting Structures, etc.) as well as all the associated information for manufacturing or for other production processes. The integration also covers all stages of the vessel lifecycle, from the conceptual and basic design to the maintenance of the ship. That means, and as an example, in the basic design stage the information of the intelligent diagrams must be transferred to the PLM, including associated drawings in PDF format, and building automatically in the PLM the relationships between the diagrams and the related BOMS (equipment lists, piping fittings, electrical fittings, cables, etc.). As the projects evolves and the 3D product model of the vessel is built in the CAD database, the 3D information of the routed systems must also be transferred to the PLM, but the product trees in the PLM must also evolve automatically, considering the project progress and building the connections between the diagrams and the 3D model. To give an idea of the integration scope, next is included a list of the most relevant components and model items considered in the integration. Equipment. Equipment components. Piping fittings. Piping components. P&I Diagrams. Piping lines. Duct lines. HVAC components. Cable tray lines. Hull structure items. Outfitting structures. Supports. Cables. Cable types. Electrical fittings and instruments. Components of electrical fittings. Electrical diagrams. Cable transits. Types of cable transits. Build strategy trees. 5. THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE SOLUTION 5.1 GENERAL The architecture of the solution for the CAD PLM integration is based on the following components (see figure 2): A vessel product structure in the PLM, referred as the Vessel Product Tree (VPTree), reflecting the CAD Product Structure at any time during the vessel project development. The current PLM Classification Structure, referred as PLMCStr, which will support the management of standard parts between the CAD and the PLM. A mechanism to transfer data from the CAD to the PLM. It will be referred as the Publishing Mechanism. A mechanism to transfer data from the PLM to the CAD. It will be referred as the Synchronization Mechanism. A set of relational tables in the CAD database, that will support the Publishing and Synchronization processes between the CAD and the PLM and vice versa. It will be referred as the CAD PLM Synchronization Table. A neutral framework for the integration of the CAD (FORAN) with different PLM systems, referred as FPLM. Figure 2: Integration Components 5.2 THE VESSEL PRODUCT TREE The Vessel Product Tree (VPTree) is a product tree created within the PLM where the CAD model items will be published. The VPTree is automatically built and modified during the Publishing processes, so providing to the PLM users with an up to date view of the CAD product model during the project development. The VPTree has a structure very similar to that of the CAD (FORAN) Product Model, so the position of the model items in the FPTree depends basically on the item type (see figure 3).
4 Publishing is the process of sending the following information from the CAD to the PLM: Model items created or modified in the CAD. Standard parts created or modified in the CAD. Intelligent diagrams. Plate and profile cutting information (nesting). Build strategy trees created or modified in the CAD. Drawings or other files handled by the CAD. Deleted items are also handled by the Publishing Mechanism. Figure 3: VPTree (equipment data) The VPTree is another view of the vessel model in the PLM that will be permanently synchronized with the CAD 3D model. These VPTree data will allow the PLM to control the CAD product model, through the model locks, as well as to add or modify all the necessary information required by the management of the vessel along the whole life-cycle. 5.3 STANDARD PARTS INTEGRATION Some production assemblies defined in the CAD (e.g. spools) are also transferred to the VPTree in the PLM, creating, during the publishing process all the necessary relationships with the model items, so reorganizing the VPTree, so reflecting a more mature status of the model. A CAD entity can only be published if it meets some specific conditions (see figure 5): The entity is marked as publishable. The entity has not been deleted in the PLM. The entity is not locked in the PLM. The CAD entity s date is later than the entity s publishing date. The integration of the standard parts (components) between the CAD and the PLM will use the current PLM Classification Structure. Both the Publishing and the Synchronization mechanisms will use this PLM structure. The capacity of defining standard parts in the PLM, to be automatically transferred to the CAD by the Synchronization Mechanism, requires the assignment of some fixed attributes to these standard parts that will allow the Synchronization Mechanism to identify them as standard parts to be transferred to the CAD. These attributes will depend on the type of standard part. See figure 4 for equipment components. Figure 5: Publishing Conditions 5.4 (b) Publishing Modes Figure 4: PLM Classification Structure (PLMCStr) 5.4 THE PUBLISHING MECHANISM 5.4 (a) Publishing A specific Publishing process has been devised to facilitate all the publishing tasks. The Publishing process will provide tools to facilitate the selection of massive information to be published. Another relevant feature of this process will be the capability of being launched in a scheduled way. The Publishing process will connect with the PLM through the FPLM (see chapter 5.9 below The FPLM Neutral Framework), by means of some specific PLM web services.
5 The aim of this Publishing process is to facilitate and automate the publishing tasks, reducing the impact of these tasks in the normal operation of both the CAD and the PLM. See figure 6 below. The Synchronization process will connect with the PLM through the FPLM (see chapter 5.9 The FPLM Neutral Framework), by means of some specific PLM web services. 5.5 (c) Synchronization Modes The Synchronization process will be running permanently and will perform two types of synchronization: Urgent synchronization, asking continually to the PLM for entities requiring urgent synchronization, usually entities requiring locking. Scheduled synchronization, asking every certain time to the PLM for entities requiring synchronization. Figure 6: Publishing Data Flow In addition to this standard Publishing process, it will also be possible to publish CAD information on demand. That means a designer with sufficient rights will be able of publishing items created or modified by him. 5.4 (c) Information Published The Publishing process will transfer attributes of the published items as well as the geometry of the items, if available. Only a restricted number of attributes will be transferred from the CAD to the PLM, those shared by the CAD and the PLM and those CAD attributes selected for publishing but not editable in the PLM. Concerning geometry, the Publishing process will automatically export to the PLM the geometry of the items, in the format more adequate for each PLM. Usually the geometry will be transferred at the level of elementary items (e.g. one part), but in some cases, it will also be possible to publish the geometry at a higher level (e.g. one spool). 5.5 THE SYNCHRONIZATION MECHANISM 5.5 (a) Synchronization Synchronization is the process of getting from the PLM information of the CAD items or standard parts created, modified or deleted in the PLM and still pending of transference from the PLM to the CAD, through the Synchronization Table described in chapter (b) The Synchronization process A specific Synchronization process has been devised to facilitate all the synchronization tasks (see figure 7). Figure 7: The Synchronization Process Entities requiring synchronization of any type will be managed in the PLM trough a Modification Register, permanently updated by the PLM with the entities requiring synchronization (model items, standard parts...). See figure 7 above. The Synchronization process will also inform to the PLM of the entities successfully synchronized to allow removal of the entities from the Modification Register. Model items can be locked by the PLM. The locking avoids the modification of the item in the CAD. Item locking can be temporal, due to updating needs, or can be permanent due to having reached a more mature status. 5.6 THE CAD PLM SYNCHRONIZATION TABLE The CAD PLM Synchronization Table (SyncTab) is a set of relational tables in the FORAN/Oracle database that contain all the necessary information to manage the whole CAD PLM Integration process. The Synchronization Table contains information related to the entities participating in the CAD PLM integration process, such as: Identification of the entity in the CAD and in the PLM. Unique identification of each entity (provided by the PLM).
6 Publishing process related information. Synchronization process related information. Entity maturity information. Entity locking status. Entity shared attributes. 5.7 DEFINITION OF MODEL ITEMS IN THE PLM The automatic management of the VPTree by the Publishing Mechanism makes possible the definition of new model items in the PLM, out of the VPTree, to be transferred automatically from the PLM to the CAD. The process is as follows: Model items are created in the PLM. These model items must have the necessary attributes to uniquely identify the model item in the CAD (e.g. those indicated in figure 3 for equipment items). The Synchronization Mechanism will use these special attributes to identify the items to be transferred to the CAD and to transfer the model items to the set of relational tables in the CAD database supporting the integration. The CAD reconciliation tools will allow to use these items in the CAD side, completing the item information (geometry, additional attributes, layout information ). The Publishing Mechanism, when required, will publish these model items in the VPTree. 5.8 DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT 5.8 (a) Main Functionalities The CAD PLM Integration includes a complete set of document management functionalities inside the CAD. Some relevant aspects of these Document Management functionalities are the following: Functionalities available in all FORAN modules (Document Manager). The most relevant document management functionalities are available: Download file content. Check-out of a document. Undo a previous check-out. Check-in of a document. Upload a new document. Create a new document version. Remove local file.. Search documents in the PLM vault. Editable XML template to configure document contents. Dynamic documents attribute mapping between the CAD and the PLM. See figure 8 with a capture of the Document Manager. Figure 8: The Document Manager 5.8 (b) Links CAD Drawings PLM BOM s As indicated in Chapter 3 Some Key Requirements for the Integration, an important requirement for the publishing of drawings from the CAD side is the capability of creating and maintaining automatically in the PLM the relationships between CAD drawings and the items themselves (BOM lists), with the entities included in each drawing. These links must be maintained for the most relevant types of drawings in all design stages (e.g. diagrams, layout drawings, manufacturing drawings, etc.). The publishing of drawings has been designed in such a way that the process maintains automatically this connection, allowing the PLM users to get the items existent on a drawing or the drawings affected by the modification of an item. The publishing process maintains these links using the items information contained in the FORAN/Oracle database, for the diagrams, and the items information contained in the FORAN drawing files for other types of drawings. Figure 9: Equipments in a Diagram
7 See in figure 9 above a capture of the FPLM schema manager showing the equipment units used in a diagram. 5.9 THE FPLM NEUTRAL FRAMEWORK The FPLM (FORAN PLM Neutral Framework) is a neutral framework developed by SENER   with two main objectives: To facilitate and to simplify the integration of FORAN with different PLM systems. To make the FORAN PLM integration as independent as possible from the specific characteristics of each PLM system. The architecture of the FPLM can be seen in figure 10 below. Figure 10: The FPLM Diagram The FPLM is composed of several processes: FPLM Client: A set of utilities integrated in the FORAN modules to interact with the PLM Server, common to all PLM integrated systems. FPLM Server: A Java process to manage FORAN business objects and their mapping to the PLM objects. FPLM Plug-In: A set of PLM dependant libraries and tools, which map the FPLM objects and perform the communication with the PLM server. It consists of two parts: A set of Java classes and methods embedded into the FPLM Server. They provide a specific PLM context and data model to the neutral FPLM object and data types. The PLM Adapter. It is a set of Web Services and PLM templates that are embedded and run into the PLM server. It provides the appropriate FORAN data environment for the PLM. The FPLM Plug-in usually relies on existing or to be developed PLM Web Services to allow the communication between the FPLM Server and the PLM (see chapter 5.10 The PLM Integration Tools below) THE PLM INTEGRATION TOOLS 5.10 (a) PLM Web Services The bidirectional communication FPLM PLM is done through the use of specific PLM Web Services. Many of these Web Services are standard PLM Web Services existing in most of the current advanced PLM systems. Generally speaking, the rest of required Web Services could be developed by using or specializing existing Web Services. A non exhaustive list of required Web Services is included below: User Authentication. Get User Attributes. Check-Out Object. Check-In Object. Create New Object. Create New Object Version. Upload Content File. Download Content File. Get FORAN Data Types. Get Attributes for Type. Query Objects in the PLM. Query Links in the PLM. Synchronization Query. Synchronization Acknowledgement. Immediate Sync Required. Publish Data. Update BOM Links. Transfer geometry Files. Tree Synchronization. Tree Publish. Check VPTree Status (b) Other PLM Tools In addition to the previously indicated PLM Web Services, the integration will require the creation of specific configuration tools and data templates to facilitate the integration and to map items and attributes between the CAD and the PLM. 6. CONFIGURATION MANAGEMENT 6.1. BASIC CONCEPTS: VERSION, BASELINE AND EFFECTIVITY Prior to describe how the integration deals with configuration management, some basic concepts are explained. The need for a new version of an item is related to the existence of workflows, like the following example. Figure 11: Example of PLM workflow
8 When an item becomes mature (released state), then modifications are not allowed, unless a new version or revision of the item is created by means of an explicit operation. CAD-PLM integration must also consider the relations between items and documents when creating a new version. Although it may not correspond to a temporary concept, a baseline is basically an established configuration definition and associated items (items, documents, drawings, etc.) that becomes a point from which configuration changes will be tracked and documented and therefore a kind of snapshot of a set of items. Modifications on an item will be only allowed in the project where the item occurrence is considered master. This also includes deletions The occurrences of an item in the projects where the item is slave will be updated by FORAN internal synchronization mechanisms after changes in the master occurrence of the item The use of effectivity on an item within a sister ship series might be: To all vessels (e.g.1-up) To all vessels newer than a specific one (e.g. 3- UP) To some vessels specifically (e.g. 1,2) A combination of the above (e.g. 1, 3-UP) If no effectivity is set, it means effective for all vessels (1-UP) 6.2 (a) Effectivity Management in FORAN modules Figure 12: Baseline concept example Baselines in FORAN can be managed by means of complete project backups (baseline of whole Product Structure) or when the baseline applies to selected items of the Product Structure then it would be managed through the selective import of FORAN entities. Finally, effectivity (also known as applicability) can be defined as an indicator in the product structure that specifies when a specific item is used. These indicators generally specify a range of either dates or ship construction numbers SISTER VESSELS MANAGEMENTS This point mainly focuses in how to manage in the CAD- PLM integration the effectivity of the items in a multivessel (sister ships) project context. FORAN System already has functionality related to sister vessels management and therefore for the PLM integration some assumptions have been considered: In a sister ships environment, each vessel or unit will be a FORAN project The existence of an item in a FORAN project is considered as an item occurrence in that project Items in PLM will be configured by effective unit. This means that for a particular item a valid range of unit numbers can be specified When an item is used in several units, the masterslave concept will be used, indicating that only one item occurrence will be master in one project, and the rest of the occurrences of the item will be slave in the other projects where they exist Every project created belonging to a series of vessels will be uniquely identified with a specific vessel number (or unit number) allowing thus the mapping with the corresponding concepts in the PLM. When an user performs any change on an item (modifications or deletions), besides other permission controls, the system will check if the action is allowed considering the effectivity context of the entity, and the modification will be allowed only if the item is master in the working project. Once the changes on the items (including creations, modifications and deletions) have been successfully performed in their respective master project, the changes will be propagated to the other projects where the item occurrences are considered as slaves by means of FORAN synchronization mechanisms. The default behaviour will be that the last project created in the series will be considered the master project. When the series starts, there will be only one project, which will be obviously the master. Later on when needed, a new project will be created as an exact copy of the master project, and it will become the master project itself. 6.2 (b) Effectivity Management in CAD-PLM integration The necessary tasks required to gather information of the changes performed in Teamcenter and to update the items in FORAN, through the CAD_PLM synchronization table, will be driven by one sychronisation process running for each FORAN project. As the CAD-PLM Synchronization table includes the effectivity context information for each item, then every synchronization process will be able to determine and
9 process only the items that can be identified as Master in the associated FORAN project. Once determined the master-slaves info for an item entry, the data will be directly updated by the corresponding synchronization process into the CAD-PLM synchronization table of the project identified as Master for that item. After that, the information of the item in the rest of the project where the item is considered slave will be updated by the FORAN internal mechanism. If an effectivity change is performed on an item in Teamcenter, indicating a change in the range of units where the item is valid, that modification will be also updated in the FORAN projects accordingly, through the information stored in the CAD-PLM table as shown in the below figure: The proposed integration is now under implementation for an important European Naval Shipbuilder. 8. REFERENCES 1. B Dunseath, C Sear, D Murray and J McLauchlan, Choosing CAD Tools for the 21st Century, ICCAS 2007, Portsmouth, September R Penas, A Gomez, L Pastor and L Sanchez, A neutral Framework for the Integration of CAD in Product Model Lifecycle Systems, ICCAS 2009, Shanghai, 1-3 September R Penas, C Gonzalez, Integration of DB Oriented CAD Systems with Product Lifecycle Management, COMPIT 2011, Berlin, 2-4 Mayo AUTHORS BIOGRAPHIES Fernando Alonso holds the current position of Project Manager at SENER. He is responsible for all the FORAN projects in the UK military shipyards. Figure 13. Effectivity management 7. CONCLUSIONS This paper presents a solution for the integration of a shipbuilding specific CAD System (FORAN) with an advanced PLM System in a Naval Shipbuilding environment. Carlos Gonzalez holds the current position of Area Sales Manager at SENER. He is responsible for FORAN commercial activities in Western Europe. Rodrigo Perez holds the current position of FORAN & PLM Consultant at SENER. The proposed integration presents several important advantages: Takes profit of the experience and results of previous integration of FORAN with different PLM Systems. Incorporates the most outstanding requirements for the CAD PLM integration coming from some relevant European shipbuilding companies, designing and manufacturing surface ships and submarines. Improves predictability by providing a single point of truth for the whole organization. The design of the integration has been done with the objective of limiting the degree of coupling between the CAD and the PLM, with several important aims in mind: To reduce to a minimum the impact of the integration on the performance of both systems (the CAD and the PLM). To produce a scalable solution able to work with hundred of designers in the CAD Engineering side and with thousand of PLM users in the whole shipbuilding organization. It would allow the PLM to take benefit of all the vessel information handled by the CAD from the early stages of the design.
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