One of the most dramatic developments in design software this year has come from Aveva, which has combined with Schneider Electric to produce software that assists shipowners well beyond the point of vessel delivery by the shipyard
Aveva Engage was developed following the £650M (US$850M) merger of Aveva and Schneider Electric, which completed at the end of 2017. This resulted in a group 60% owned by Schneider Electric and 40% by Aveva shareholders, who pocketed £550M from Schneider and £100M from a special dividend.
The arrangement led to all Schneider software being transferred to Aveva and the development of Engage. The software creates a digital twin of a ship from design through to delivery and then during its operating life, according to Aveva regional manager Andrew Gordon. He demonstrated this software to Marine Propulsion during the SMM exhibition in Hamburg, Germany, in September.
"The software creates a digital twin of a ship, from design through to delivery and then during its operating life"
Aveva Engage includes 3D design models, machinery and plant engineering plans, complex pipework models, deep insight information and condition analysis of all elements on a vessel or offshore structure. “With this model and digital twin, users have access to live data on the vessel,” said Mr Gordon, who noted that Aveva Engage has a “high-performance graphical engine that enables operators to navigate through the digital prototype” and view documents, photos, manuals and surveys in real time. The software also provides information on system components and data from sensors across the ship once it is in operation, he explained.
The initial ship design information and subsequent changes during engineering, construction and vessel operation is held in a relational database and accessed initially through the work-hub called Aveva Net. This tool can be used for validation, class approvals, collaborative working and the linking of all types of data and documents.
Aveva Engage then uses Aveva Net as the source of the vessel’s information that it graphically displays to the user. “A digital model can be downloaded into the system as a close-cut of the live database,” said Mr Gordon. “It is visualised in 3D, where we can include a marine environment, or used in an X-ray mode.”
Users can view the ship’s full 3D model, create sections and examine the detail of, for example, the pipework. “They can look at the intelligent data, such as the pipe attributes,” said Mr Gordon.
A section of pipe can be viewed in isolation, or in relation to the nearby plant or ship structures. An engineer can display the related documentation and visualise the consequences of any changes.
Mr Gordon demonstrated a split-view mode within the 3D model by extracting a diagram and the position of a specific piece of plant. He said a user could view a dataset from the purchasing system, or a shipyard document showing the engineering status, while additional data can then be linked to the object in the database.
Engineers can also view complete systems in the 3D model, such as a ballast water treatment or fuel system. They can take an image of this display and return to it later for further analysis, he explained.
Aveva Marine also includes software for initial ship design and hull structural design. These are used for preliminary geometry definition and arrangement of the vessel’s structures and the principal structural members. This design can be used for generating classification drawings, steel material elements, weld lengths and weights and centre-of-gravity reports.
A concept design can then be moved into the Aveva Hull detailed design program to create a 3D model and design panels and block assemblies.
Aveva Marine also contains programs for assembly planning, 3D outfitting, steel structure analysis and resource management and planning.