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How Hexagon Powered ATS Shipbuilding's Digital Transformation?

ATS Shipbuilding, an Italian shipbuilding company, specializing in piping design for navy and yacht vessels, faced challenges while establishing integrated work processes.  

Due to the increased competition and complexity in the shipbuilding market, ATS was searching for a software solution that would enable them to establish an integrated way of working between different departments, allowing intelligent deliverable creation through engineering to design and in support of manufacture and installation.  

Overcoming Challenges 

Italy's yacht industry has historically struggled to form integrated work processes. Separate companies or independent teams typically do the design, engineering, and installation processes. It leads to a siloed environment where documentation exists in various file formats in different systems, often resulting in lost information during handovers between departments or teams. This siloed work creates inefficiencies, as designs often miss crucial information needed for manufacturing and installation. 

Previously, ATS used an entirely manual process that required engineering and manufacturing to use separate systems. Documents were delivered to fabricators using mechanical drawings on paper, sometimes electronically, but in different file formats. Because information was never exchanged or integrated, revisions and design checks were challenging to perform. As a result, there was a loss of information during the exchange of documents. 

Achieving Results With Hexagon Solutions 

To solve the challenges related to the siloed way of working, ATS decided to create its own technical office. The office focused on integrating engineering and design departments, initially focusing on piping design and installation. 

For this, ATS needed a modern CAD solution that:

  • Easily integrates with existing in-house software

  • Enables the use of laser-scanning technology to connect point clouds and existing 3D models

  • It is user-friendly and fast to implement 

After careful consideration, ATS chose Hexagon's CADWorx Plant Professional and BricsCAD. This enabled them to show and share 3D models between the design department and fabricators without losing information or metadata. The solution helped all parties involved work more cohesively, avoid rework, and enabled ATS to create designs that included all the necessary information needed for fabrication and installation.  

In combination with CADWorx Plant Professional, ATS used Cloudworx for BricsCAD to verify any changes and the measurements of the designs using point cloud data. This ability to scan the complex vessel structures to gain the as-built status and compare it with the 3D design model helped ATS fix any geometrical or routing issues before the final fabrication and installation of the piping. Saving time and resources. They also used the point cloud data to check CADWorx models and drawings received from other involved third parties to ensure efficiency. 

The company chose Hexagon solutions over the competition due to the following traits:

  • Easy customization and affordable pricing model

  • High-quality technical local support 

  • DWG file format allows for easy design file sharing 

Driving a Better Way of Working 

The transition to this new way of working has been a significant step for ATS to increase their capabilities, onboard 3D design, and improve the way designs are created. By partnering with Hexagon, they have found the best solution for all the required functionalities and in-depth knowledge from the same supplier. Reusing designs from previous projects saves considerable time by avoiding having to start from scratch completely, leading to a growing collection of integrated projects where all essential information is available for every process.  

"CADWorx Plant Professional together with Cloudworx enables us to work with point cloud data easier than ever before – comparing the as-built status with the designs is fast and helps us to avoid rework during installation and fabrication," said Cuono Esposito, Chief Technical, Innovation & Methods Officer at ATS. 

You can read the complete case study here to learn more about what ATS achieved with Hexagon solutions. 

About the Author

Prerna Kaul is the Marketing Communications Specialist for Hexagon PPM's EMIA region. She has 6+ years of experience in writing content for diverse industry verticals. Prerna loves researching, strategizing, and writing engaging content with a knack of storytelling. When not working, you will find her cooking delicious meals and tapping feet on her favorite music.

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