Digital Shipbuilding – Needs, challenges, and opportunities




Digital, digitalization, shipbuilding, ship design, opportunity search


Ship design firms, shipyards, and ship equipment manufacturers – the shipbuilding industry or just shipbuilding, must adapt their products and services' deliverables to the steadily evolving expectations of the stakeholders in the market.

Digitalization and the use of computational tools have been suggested as the effective means to meet such challenges. However, many anecdotal statements and industry recognitions have expressed concern that such efforts have proven less effective than should be expected and promised, and opposite to what many application suppliers advertise. It is argued by this paper that such a situation is experienced because of, among other explanatory factors, incompatibility, lack of proper protocols for information sharing and isolated implementation efforts in single departments rather than a holistic organizational approach. The lack of full understanding of the ship designer's role and responsibility as the main facilitator of such a change process is also recognized as a clear weakness in the effort of successful digitalization of shipbuilding. It is argued that such a vital transformation process cannot be left alone to the software application providers, despite their size and dominance.

This paper explains and discusses why this situation is experienced and indicates what improvement measures could be introduced to counteract the opportunity loss. The article addresses five potential digital service deliverables that could complement the existing service delivery of shipbuilding operations and thereby increase competitiveness and market attractiveness. These services include a) vessel support and control centres, b) performance monitoring, c) maintenance management, d) spare part handling, and e) life cycle assessment (LCA). The article also reflects on what implications and consequences this development has on the ship designers' work and their firm's adaptation to new services' demand in the shipbuilding market. The paper concludes with some reflections on the actual implementation of these services, highlighting challenges and further opportunities.




How to Cite

Agis, J. J. G., & Brett, P. O. (2024). Digital Shipbuilding – Needs, challenges, and opportunities. International Marine Design Conference.

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