Data-driven shipbuilding is a key driver behind maritime digital transformation

« All Blogs

Written by Geert Tepper

Posted on May 07, 2019

The digital transformation in the maritime industry is a hot topic these days. The design of large and complex vessels is a challenging organizational task. At the same time, the industry has to accelerate the time-to-market, drive down costs, shorten lead-time, and reduce quality issues in design, manufacturing and supply chain. It is clear that digital transformation is inevitable and a necessity.

Digital transformation may sound like a subject that is only reserved for high profile organizations implementing costly and complex PDM or PLM solutions. With this article, I aim to point out the existence of dedicated, user friendly and easy to implement applications that enable any shipbuilding organization to take the first steps towards data-driven shipbuilding.

In CADMATIC, we already started 20 years ago with digitalization by introducing the first 3D viewer, the eBrowser. It provided a powerful push to reduce a large number of drawings throughout the design and production phases. This was the first enabler to switch from a document-driven to a data-driven approach.

Data-driven technology

Data-driven technology enables close collaboration between all disciplines, integrates processes and assures end-to-end continuity by sharing the same source of real-time information. A single source of truth unlocks efficiencies, increases productivity and secures profitability via data-driven processes and decision-making.

Due to the success of eBrowser, CADMATIC continued the development of data-driven technologies to unlock and manage the vast amount of digital information that is available in shipbuilding projects for all involved stakeholders. CADMATIC’s distinctive approach is that all users have access to the same data and that it feels like the data is in one database, although the actual data may be in different databases.

Existing data-driven applications

Today, CADMATIC offers a variety of data-driven solutions that provide a basis for the key technologies of the inevitable digital transformation. CADMATIC’s Information Management products eShare, mobility with eGo and Augmented Reality with eShare for Hololens are three of the applications that unleash the power of data-driven shipbuilding.

eShare provides an innovative and easy way to utilize digital twins and optimize business processes. It allows organizations to combine, find, visualize and share project and asset information in a single and easily accessible web portal. eShare is a “single 3D window” to all project-related information: the 3D model including linking with 2D drawings, various object attributes, additionally defined data and external data stored in production, procurement and asset management databases. In addition, eShare visualizes, for example, status information of objects to follow assembly and construction progress. It allows users to update objects’ status information, find fitting pipes and categorize objects to detect errors.


eGo, for Windows tablets, allows users to utilize project data more extensively on-site by providing offline access to the complete 3D model and 2D documentation from the eShare server. With eGo you benefit from eBrowser on the go including all required review functionalities like touch-screen navigation, sharing notes, on-site photos and ideas via mark-ups, searching, measuring, scanning QR codes, accessing project documents for offline use, and visualization of welds. One can use eGo to assign object status during installation or inspection on site and synchronize the data back to the eShare server.

Sync documents infographic

eShare for HoloLens is an app that allows the user to interface Microsoft HoloLens with CADMATIC eShare. It offers an entirely new interactive design and engineering experience in Augmented Reality where digital 3D models reside in the real-world environment. It includes tools for loading the 3D model from the server and using it offline, scaling, moving and aligning the model with real objects, showing attribute data and taking measurements. eShare for HoloLens aims to facilitate project and design reviews, assist building status supervision and comparison with design projects. It also helps users to envision future project designs for discussion with owners and operators and provides the possibility to ensure good ergonomics as well as the training of maintenance and operational staff during the design project.

Man wearing VR headset in the engine room

These applications have already proven their practical use in several organizations in various use cases where users immediately experience the benefits on a daily basis. I encourage everyone to join the journey towards digital transformation in a step-by-step manner. Start by implementing practical and relatively inexpensive solutions in those parts of the design and production processes that brings direct and measurable benefits.

For more information: CADMATIC Information Management Solutions for Marine Industries