Balenciaga – 100 years of shipbuilding excellence

Hull and outfitting design & software customization for CNC machine

Balenciaga shipyard was founded in 1921 on the banks of the Urola River in Zumaia, part of the Basque Country in northern Spain, from where it has launched over 370 vessels into the Bay of Biscay over its 100-year history. In its centenary year, Balenciaga is building its first vessel designed with CADMATIC software, one of two SOVs to be delivered to Østensjø Rederi by 2022. Amid other developments at the shipyard, it is consolidating the use of CADMATIC software for hull and outfitting design.

Balenciaga has invested significantly in recent years to develop the capabilities and capacity of the yard. A new main travelling crane was installed, and space was created to allow newbuilding construction in a new slipway, thereby allowing vessels to be built in parallel. In 2021, CADMATIC software was implemented by Balenciaga to boost hull and outfitting design. Balenciaga also have a site license for the CADMATIC eBrowser design review tool, which allows an unlimited number of users. This shipyard uses it for project review in its engineering department and by foremen on site.

According to Balenciaga’s Alberto Vall, the shipyard is in the process of consolidating CADMATIC as the standard ship design software at the shipyard.

Software customization for CNC machine

As part of the software implementation, the CADMATIC software development team delivered a postprocessor for a profile cutting robot and created capacity in CADMATIC to deliver customized information to the robot.

The machine had been in service for many years, and its documentation was no longer available. After an investigation, the team managed to identify the required input for the CNC machine and to create the customized CADMATIC output accordingly.

“The CADMATIC team’s cooperation in developing the software was very good and they developed it fast,” says Alberto.

Verónica Alonso de los Rios, Senior Sales Manager at CADMATIC, says that CADMATIC’s ability to customize software according to customers’ needs is highly appreciated.

“We have a long history of cooperating with clients to develop our software and where necessary to create special interfaces and customizations. They appreciate the fact that we are flexible and can adapt our implementations, but also the fact that we have in-depth knowledge of shipbuilding in general,” says Verónica.

As the software implementation was done during the Corona pandemic, most of the training and services were provided remotely.

Members of the Balenciaga production team (left) with the CADMATIC software implementation team, Verónica Alonso de los Rios (middle), Juan Prieto, and Chinmay Ambegaonkar.

84 m service operation vessel designed with CADMATIC

Balenciaga is currently constructing the first vessel that was designed with CADMATIC, a Service Operation Vessel that will house and support wind turbine technicians as they perform commissions and do maintenance work on offshore wind turbines.

The basic 3D model of the vessel was provided by a subcontractor, after which Balenciaga used CADMATIC Hull to add production information, generate the build strategy, and produce the outputs required to build the vessel according to the yard’s procedures. Among others, the shipyard also routed piping below 50mm.

Alberto is pleased with the project progress.

“The project is running really well, and we hope to meet the scheduled delivery date in 2022.”

The vessels are equipped with technology that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30%, while their hydrogen propulsion technologies pave the way for zero-emission operation.

CADMATIC 3D model of Service Operation Vessel being constructed at Balenciaga for Østensjø Rederi. 

Vessel particulars

  • LOA: 83.40 m
  • Lpp: 71.65 m
  • Breadth: 18.60 m
  • Depth to Freeboard Deck: 7.20 m
  • Accommodation: 60
  • Speed: 10.00 kn
  • Salt Ship Design: SALT0358