We research: Digital laboratory for pre-testing of ship building processes

31.1.2022Petteri HyvärinenWe research

Nowadays the deck and engine departments of ships have a vast amount of different digital systems which need to function seamlessly together. The gadgets and components used in the systems come from several different manufacturers and need frequent updates. These systems form separately defined entities which make operating a ship safe and possible at all. The handling and passage of a ship cannot cause any safety threats for anyone or anything even in surprising circumstances.

The control circuit of technical systems of a ship for subsystems, sensors etc.
The technical systems of ships often consist of several different subsystems, sensors and control circuits.

When the systems are installed into the ship, the stage with testing is often at the end of the shipbuilding process. If the gadgets do not work together as assumed, problems may occur as testing takes time. At this stage of shipbuilding time is rarely sufficient, which may lead to delays and uncontrolled rise of costs.

To make sure the systems and gadgets work more reliably at the installation stage, it would be beneficial to test them at an earlier stage.  However, this rarely happens because the physical environment does not enable it.

SAMK is searching for a solution for pre-testing through cooperation and a new network of experts

The research in the LaivaDigiLab project at SAMK concentrates on the pre-testing of digital systems installed in ships. The aim is to test the systems and investigate possible compatibility problems before the actual installation of the systems into the ship.

The research 1) explores in detail the existing state of the digital systems in the shipbuilding process, 2) defines the themes and technical objects of pre-testing, after which digital pre-testing is piloted in genuine shipbuilding sites, 3) creates and develops a network of experts for pre-testing of shipbuilding in the Satakunta region, and creates a wider network for the field in Satakunta and nationally, 4) creates and develops an independent digital lab for advance testing, the “LaivaDigiLab”.

The Satakunta region has diverse expertise in the shipbuilding industry, in which Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) works as a leading company and the maritime cluster has a broad business field. The centralized expertise formed during the research project enables wide cooperation among the companies of the field, SAMK and other RDI operators in the future, also on international level. LaivaDigiLab also supports the basic principle of seafaring, Safety First.

The utilization of the research is supported by the hypothesis that in the future ships will be built in Rauma which have a plenty of new environmentally friendly technology and which have to respond to the changing international regulations (such as IMO EEDI & SEEMP). Thus, a rapid technological development like this requires reconsidering matters, in order to achieve the timetables set for deployment of the systems in a most economical way, too.

Did you know?

  • The research is first of a kind. Even internationally, there is no comparable entity and network of business supporting research and innovation activities.
  • Faulty integration and risk management of ship systems can endanger the maritime safety of a ship.
  • The deployment stage is often too short in relation to workload. Deployment tasks take place on the ship and may cause extra costs and delays to the delivery. Electricity and automation work does not usually happen until at the end of deployment stage.


We research

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