Wärtsilä is a global leader in complete lifecycle power solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising technological innovation and total efficiency, Wärtsilä maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers.
The ability to efficiently distribute design projects to different geographical locations provides organizations with the flexibility to immediately access engineering resources, wherever and whenever they are required, regardless of their physical location. Long gone are the days of franticly assembling a team to be sent to a distant location in order to plug gaps in design resources as deadlines loom large.
The CADMATIC News team caught up with Mr Oddvar Bakke from Wärtsilä Ship Design’s office in Fitjar, Norway, to get an insight into how distributed design is used at WSD.
At Wärtsilä distributed design by CADMATIC software has been used for a long time and is not viewed as a special way of working; it is in fact the standard way of working at the company. New projects are generally set up with a master server, from where replica servers are created in Wärtsilä’s offices around the world and when needed also in subcontractors’ offices. By using CADMATIC´s CoDesigner functionality, the work done at the distributed sites is replicated to the master server and updated every few minutes. In practice this occurs almost in real time in CADMATIC as the delay is not noticeable to the teams.
According to Mr Bakke it is sensible to keep as much design resources used on a project in one place, as this makes communication lines shorter. For some projects it is, however, preferable to distribute the design to access special know-how in another location or when additional resources are required.
“The great thing about CADMATIC’s distributed design system is that it greatly reduces travelling, accommodation, and daily allowance costs. In the past you had to move people from one place to another and this could take days. They first had to check with their families if they could travel, tickets and accommodation had to be arranged, and then there was the travel time on top of that. Sometimes we need to make changes very quickly and this would not be possible without distributed design. Now we can within a few minutes create the opportunity for the same person to connect to CADMATIC and start working on the project immediately.
Time is a big factor here and it is important that the system works smoothly. It is also crucial to have a stable and highly skilled workforce at the sites you are distributing your project to. We are lucky to have extremely competent CADMATIC users in several offices with us that allow us to successfully distribute our projects”, explains Mr Bakke
The ability to maintain resource flexibility becomes even more important in view of the fact that WSD often has many projects, up to 20, ongoing in the CADMATIC system at any given time. As the projects enter different phases, more or less design resources are required in specific projects, and the ability to quickly and seamlessly shift people from one project to another becomes essential.
In addition to the daily distribution of projects to the different Wärtsilä offices and subcontractors, end customers often request to have designers on site during the erection and installation work on board.
“In this case we have a replica site at the building site for a long time where the designers are cooperating with the client and making changes according to their wishes. The system works well despite the fact that we work across so many time zones.
From time to time the system is also used in offline mode, when creating as-built documentation for example. In this case we send somebody out to construction site without replicating. He takes all the measurements and once he has travelled back to the office, connects to the network and updates the changes. This is another feature that is working very well”, Mr Bakke points out.
The CADMATIC eBrowser is another tool that is used a great deal by Wärtsilä. According to Mr Bakke they urge end clients to purchase full license versions of the eBrowser when starting projects, as it facilitates communication.
“The eBrowser is very easy to use and learn. You don’t need to know CADMATIC at all to use it for viewing. When we start a project we issue eBrowsers which we distribute through our Kronodoc document management system. The owners, project management and installation people have access to the latest eBrowser file. They can then comment for e.g. on the location of pumps by using the markup tool. The eBrowser really impresses a lot of our clients and looks very professional. Many of our clients who are familiar with eBrowser prefer to use the eBrowser for reviewing, rather than looking through coordination drawings, as they find it easier to detect and see solutions. The clients also like the eBrowser to be available on the installation site at the foreman’s office”, Mr Bakke concludes.