Full steam ahead into the digital age

Germany’s largest shipbuilder has signed an eight-figure Euro contract with IBM Germany GmbH and the software company CENIT AG.

Kiel-based Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG (HDW) claims to be the first shipyard in Europe to systematically convert its complete development, construction and product data management activities to IT technology.

To achieve this, Germany’s largest shipbuilder has signed an eight-figure Euro contract with IBM Germany GmbH and the software company CENIT AG, which it has chosen over competitors SDRC and PTC.

The basic contract provides for a package of hardware, software and services. In the initial stage of the contract, approximately 200 workstations will be equipped with the CATIA and ENOVIA Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions.

HDW plans to use the software to help with the design and manufacture of its next generation of submarines. Future prototypes will be developed only on the computer and not physically as in the past, according to Hans-Joachim, a member of the HDW board.

‘When one considers that nowadays a plastic model on a scale of one to five has to be constructed for each type of submarine prior to production, the effects this (software) will have on the cost effectiveness of the project as a whole soon becomes apparent.’