In the business of Ship Design and Ship Production since 1988, Intersection Design of Antibes, France has actively researched and experimented PC-based CAD-CAM technology using a unique and bold approach.

Essentially, in partnership with a number of software development partners, early testing of CAD-CAM programs is carried out within the real-world context of commercial jobs. Although not without risk, this approach has so far paid off, leading to Rodriquez Cantieri Navali of Messina, Italy awarding the full production package of the record-breaking TMV115 fast ferry to Intersection Design. The TMV115 is an evolution of the TMV114, which already in 1999 sported remarkably advanced scantlings (high-tensile steel hull and 2-3mm riveted superstructure), 6 diesel engines driving 4 large jets for a cruising speed in the 42kt+ range, 4 car decks for a substantial pay load, and approved for operation in Force5 seas (it serves the Canary Islands).

By no means less revolutionary in concept and building, the TMV115 is the largest ever built all-aluminium RoPax ferry in the world, propelled by 4 diesels driving 4 large jets, to carrying full size lorries, cars and passengers (3 RoRo plus 2 passenger decks) at 40kts+ and approved for severe weather navigation.
Intersection Design realised a true performance by completing the full complement of production documentation for the TMV115 in just over 4000 man hours. To ensure a hull construction time of 7 months from start of design, design engineering could only take place concurrently with the preparation of production documents.

ShipConstructor, by Albacore Research in Canada, was the CAD-CAM software suite selected for the task, although not yet available as a commercial-grade product. ShipConstructor comprised the ShipCAM, CAD-Link, Nesting and NC-Pyros modules. Outfitting and piping modules have been added since. The power and flexibility of ShipConstructor allowed Intersection Design and Rodriquez to develop a dynamic quality control system, to account for the fact that the ship was built by a number of independent teams, some working at other shipyards, each responsible for an entire building unit and to accommodate rather variable environmental conditions. The various building units were then delivered to the Rodriquez yard in Pietra Ligure (Italy), where they were joined in January 2001.

The all aluminium TMV115, the design of which was started in late March 2000, has undergone the final sea trials in early May 2001. Such a challenging project forced Intersection Design and Rodriquez to face a number of very real situations:

· a very short contract to delivery time · the need to build at different sites

· a number of different CAD operators relaying over the course of the project
· variable quality control parameters (such as weld shrinkage compensation)

· NC cutting at no less than 5 sites (using dry or wet plasma, sometimes oxy)

· different welding techniques (ceramic backing and traditional tig)

· management of different plate stock lists, etc. The choice of CAD-CAM software was a fundamental step in protecting the chances of success of the project. After years of close co-operation, Rodriquez supported Intersection's choice of the still beta release ShipConstructor. The software analysis by Stéphane Dardel, Intersection's chief Naval Architect, was based on "sticking to the facts". Running inside AutoCAD, ShipConstructor offered an ideal CAD platform used from the very start to exchange whole files with the designer's office (who used a different PC-based CAD software), allowing draftsmen with very limited experience to be productive in a matter of only hours without specific software training, easy implementation of changes and updates by thedesigners, joint production of classification drawings, exchange of files with the shipyards (also using PC CAD software), a very solid and comprehensive database on-line and real-time synchronised with the AutoCAD drawings, and finally a disarmingly simple and user-friendly user interface and program philosophy over a remarkably powerful and versatile set of functions. Following the TMV115 success, Intersection has moved to implement the advanced production CAD-CAM technology of ShipConstructor at the other end of the spectrum:
the all aluminium, traditionally hand-labour intensive and un-computerised, smaller pleasure and service vessel market. Projects completed by the two designated research operators in the months of January-April 2001 include a 23m passenger ferry (hull and superstructure), a rather sophisticated 16m production sailing yacht, 7m and 9m fishing boats. The first analyses of the ensuing production runs report time + materials savings of up to 50% for the smaller units, and in the 25% range for the larger ones, with actual cost savings of the same order. Needless to say, the yards that accepted teaming up with Intersection in these advanced research projects have since started implementation of ShipConstructor. Intersection Design is available for the preparation of full production documentation, or to assist yards, design offices and ship production bureaux in the implementation of the PC-based ShipConstructor software suite.

For additional information please contact Flavia Danese or Nick Danese on
+33 4 92 91 01 69

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