AWARDS 2021 | Best Design Software Supplier – SSI

AWARDS 2021 | Best Design Software Supplier – SSI


Best Design Software – SSI

Ship design software has been around for at least thirty years. It has come a long way in that time and made the job of the naval architect significantly easier, quicker, and more accurate.

Victoria, Canada-based SSI now operates globally with offices on all inhabited continents. Its array of software has become widely appreciated by both naval architects and ship builders, and is used for all type of workboats all over the world.

“Managing information in the very dynamic environment of shipbuilding demands a user experience, workflows, terminology, parametrics, and information designed uniquely for the industry,” SSI “Shipbuilding Solution Evangelist” Greg Goulanian told Baird Maritime. “As a result, SSI introduced engineering software that distinguishes between watertight and non-watertight cutouts in stiffeners, uses green to mean extra material rather than eco-friendly, and explicitly uses starboard and port.

Goulanian explained that this is about more than using the correct jargon, as the concepts are a key part of the design, engineering, and construction of every ship.

Goulanian also said that SSI has consistently recognised that the complexity of shipbuilding makes it difficult for teams to find the right information, detect errors as soon as they would like, and communicate change, and that a major cause of those challenges is not having a trusted single source of truth. To address this issue, SSI introduced ShipbuildingPLM, the only product lifecycle management (PLM) platform that is specifically built for the business of shipbuilding, in 2021.

“With an information agnostic open platform, ShipbuildingPLM gives departments access to actionable information from the source, including its relationships. The result is the elimination of data silos within the shipyard and departments that can take advantage of the digital thread instead of working against it.”

For designers, that means less re-work, less uncertainty surrounding change orders, and easier communication with the rest of the organisation.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continued well into its second year, SSI adapted and continued work along with many others in the global shipbuilding industry.

“We learned to facilitate remote design work and collaboration through our solutions. We actually saw a major spike in demand for some of our products that enable remote access to the projects being worked on.”

In 2021, Goulanian pointed out that a growing number of design firms and shipbuilders benefited from the company’s open, shipbuilding-specific approach.

“Throughout the year, we’ve established ourselves as an overall ‘business of shipbuilding’ solution provider and a go-to resource for solving some of the tougher shipbuilding challenges. As shipbuilding continues to adapt to the changing global landscape, we’re proud and optimistic about the industry’s future as a whole and our role within it.”

Part of that changing global landscape are three key trends that SSI believes will soon be felt throughout the ship design industry.

“The first is that the complexity of modern vessels, when combined with a digital-first design process, means that designers and shipbuilders are increasingly working with more and higher frequency data,” Goulanian told Baird Maritime. “More organisations will need to accurately identify and communicate the maturity and status of information than ever before.

Building on that ability to manage information, more organisations will embrace systems that integrate across the design office or shipyard and touch every department. Goulanian believes this will open up the ability to synchronise and standardise rules and requirements, catch errors earlier, and reduce the need for the tedious checking and rework that typically occurs in the weeks and months after a design is submitted.

“The last trend will be bringing customers into the design even earlier. Many of our clients are already using or exploring ways to do this, and many see virtual reality as the best solution currently available.”

Reviewing a virtual reality model with a client earlier on allows the designer to point out characteristics of the concept in a way that is not possible through drawings. It allows the client to give more accurate feedback that better reflects the requirements they need to satisfy.

“Overall, there is a symbiotic benefit to both the designer and the client,” added Goulanian.

For a list of the 2021 “Best Of” award winners, please click here.

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