Using product lifecycle management tools, French shipyard is Europe's first to deliver fully digitally designed frigate

Needham, MA  September 20, 2002  DCN, Europe's largest military shipyard and naval systems manufacturer, has used a product lifecycle management (PLM) solution from software company PTC in support of its product development environment to become the first shipyard in Europe to deliver a fully digitally designed frigate.

DCN, with about 14,700 employees at eight industrial sites and its headquarters, serves the French Navy, its primary customer, as well as allied or friendly foreign navies, and runs one of the most advanced shipyards in the world.

The shipyard has invested more than $12 million in PTC's PLM software and services over the past six years, standardizing on PTC's solutions for the design and production of its surface and submarine vessels, as well as for its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) activities.

At DCN, the PLM solution provides a unified source of information for vessels in design and under construction. It gathers all the teams working concurrently on engineering studies and production across the extended enterprise and in geographically dispersed sites around a three-dimensional intelligent digital mock-up of the ship or submarine. It also provides for strict configuration and change management administered by automated workflows.

The integrated visualization capabilities allow a variety of DCN users to leverage the computer-aided design (CAD) models and drawings managed by the PLM solution, helping, PTC says, to reduce the product design cycle while improving product quality and lowering costs.

"At DCN, we are committed to our strategic initiative of becoming Europe's leading yard for conventional and nuclear surface ships and submarines," said Pierre Quinchon, DCN director of new vessels constructions. "PTC's PLM solutions have delivered cost reductions which meet or exceed our targets, even for programs which were already started when our PLM project was deployed."

Quinchon said that the PLM solutions have helped reduce the cost of hull and structure production by 17 percent, cut piping re-works by 70 percent and trimmed cabling lead-time by 30 percent.