(a) carry out welding, blasting, heavy lifting and

(a)       High End IT Solutions.     It includes state of the art design
software tools for preparation and sharing of designs, 3D digital virtual
reality technology for simulating walk through of fully populated compartments
and ship, Product Lifecycle Management Solutions (PLMS), Data Base Management
System, ERP packages etc. The availability of IT solutions would improve the
production efficiency many folds1.


(b)       Modular Construction
Technology.      Incorporation
of modular construction technology in shipbuilding reduces build period and
also the overall cost of the project. In modular construction method2, large movable sections
are constructed individually and then welded together. This method requires
greater accuracy in the manufacture of the units, but at the same time, reduces
construction time by a factor of almost 10. This technology has been successfully
used by Royal Danish Navy in Flyvefisken Class, US Navy in Littoral Combat Ship
(LCS), Australian shipbuilding industry, Fincantieri,
Italy; Damen shipyard, Netherlands; MEKO Frigates by Germany etc. Indian
warship building has been severely affected by capacity constraints and the
need of the hour, therefore, is to break the capacity barriers, conventional
methods of ship construction, and adopt the modern techniques like the modular design
and construction technology.

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(c)       Automation
Technology. Automated NC profile cutting machines, robotic profilers and
robotic welding reduces the amount of time and manpower for production. Robotic
systems are a part of modern shipbuilding and can carry out welding, blasting,
heavy lifting and other tasks3.


(d)       Sharing of Construction Load
/ Outsourcing by Shipyards.     Warships can be assembled at one shipyard
from modules built at multiple shipyards at different locations. Assigning
modules to shipyards can lower the costs of an overall program and overcome
existing capacity constraints in the primary yards and ensure timely delivery. Modular
construction technology is often used while sharing of construction load. The
construction of INS Deepak, the fleet tanker was undertaken at two different
locations and assembled at the prime shipyard. Further, large sections of
Virginia class submarines4 are built by Electric Boat
and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Newport, with the two shipyards alternating
final assembly and test in US. The UK’s new aircraft carrier, the Queen
Elizabeth class has been built at multiple shipyards, with final assembly at
Rosyth. France used modular shipbuilding on its Mistral class landing platform
helicopter amphibious ships; the first two ships of the class were built in two
halves at different shipyards and brought together. These countries have used
this strategy to offset constrained defence budgets and share production of a
single ship to sustain multiple shipyards, reducing costs and overcome capacity


Design and Production Technology.   3D
modelling solutions provide comprehensive work sharing capabilities, design
automation tools, and customisable design rules that can create competitive
advantages. It can be used to periodically review and identify necessary
changes during the design phase itself, when modifications are easier to make
and more economical to implement. 3D modelling is used in design activities
related to plates, profiles, piping, equipment, outfitting structures,
Habitability Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) ducting and hangars and
supports among many others. Another technology that is used is the virtual ship
building concept which simulates and optimises the entire shipbuilding life
cycle process in a virtual environment from initial development stage to launch.


Lean Technology.  The product
cycle time, cost competitiveness and quality can be improved by eliminating
waste in the manufacturing process through continuous improvement by the
workforce. This is the purpose of lean manufacturing.







is a nature of life, but challenge is an aim of life.

always challenge the changes, not change the challenges”





Indian shipbuilding Industry has been
surviving on its labour intensive conventional shipbuilding methods and not
adopted the modern shipbuilding techniques. The various problems faced by the Indian
defence shipyards along with methods to overcome these problems have been
brought out in chapter II. To develop the requisite force levels of IN, it is necessary and prudent to
establish a build philosophy which is technologically advanced, economical to
build and easy to maintain and support through its life. The leading shipyards
in the world have improved their efficiency and productivity through
implementation of Modular construction technology.  The Indian Maritime Security Strategy – 2015
also highlights that – “Efforts towards modularity will also be perused, with
encouragement to Indian shipyards to develop and expand their capacities for
modular construction and repairs. These will cater for upgrades, address
technological obsolescence issues, and reduce replacement time, towards operational
and financial benefits”.5 It is therefore essential
to replace the conventional methods of ship construction with Modular
shipbuilding technology.




Shipbuilding Technology


Modular design and construction is an
architecture where functional subsystems are physically localised in a well-defined
area and installed on a dedicated structure. All interfaces of these elements
are very well defined with minimum interdependencies with overall system6. In modular construction,
the design is completely modular. By breaking down complex structures to defined
building blocks, the engineer is able to manage large and complex systems in a
structured way. The combination of individual blocks or modules makes the end
product.  Unlike standard construction,
where most of the design, engineering and construction activities are performed
in sequential order, activities for modular construction involve additional
interdependency, since activities can be performed in parallel in various
fabrication shops and / or at various construction sites. The use of modular construction technology in warship building is
more beneficial due to complexities involved, interface requirements of various
weapons / electronic equipment and long gestation periods of more than 10 years
required for conventional design and construction of warships.


Defence shipyards have been building ships by
constructing the hull and launching in water and thereafter undertaking
installation of machinery and equipment in highly cramped spaces. A very small
percentage of outfitting is carried out before launching and majority of
outfitting works are performed after vessel launching. Pipe spools, ventilation
ducts, foundations, cable traces, etc. are fabricated in shipyard workshops and
sent to the outfitting location on large pallets, followed by their
installation at the appropriate stage, necessitating an extensive paint touch-up.
Modular construction of warships enable mission flexibility and future
upgradability for enhanced service life of the ship; achieve synergies in
procurement, integration, equipment, system testing and parallel ship hull
construction; and finally would enable reductions in life cycle costs and
costly upgrades. Modular construction coupled with fixed price contracts would further
reduce the construction periods and cost overruns7. Comparison studies
between conventional and modular construction has brought out that maximum
savings are in labour efforts required for outfitting  and man hours saving has been noted to be
22.8% in a specific case study of modular construction8,9. The level of
modular construction adopted by Indian defence shipyards presently remains
limited to fabrication of hull portion with very limited outfitting work.



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