Logo PrpProS
Logo PrpProS

ProProS - Proactive production control for the production of maritime systems: new methodology should enable shipyards to plan and control their production processes early and efficiently.

Specialized shipbuilding: challenges for production planning and control

Maritime systems, especially in the field of special shipbuilding or offshore structures exceed the dimension of conventional products. Not only physically, but also by the number of parts, systems to integrate or assembly steps to perform. That is why the complexity of these large-scale products poses special challenges for shipyards — from the manufacture of parts to assembly and equipment. In addition to the technological complexity of the product itself, work planning is a challenge by itself. On the one hand, there is the sheer number of parts combined with the number of involved suppliers, on the other, hand most products are prototypes and thus do not support a planning effort comparable with those of mass production.

As a result, planning is usually done very roughly in weekly or monthly slices, the detailed planning only by foremen and foremen in the form of shift plans. Therefore the current production status is often not clearly visible to all participants. Acute problems often go undetected to those involved in project planning and control. Operational failures - caused by material delays or capacity bottlenecks - lead to production downtimes and extended lead times. Adding late time changes demanded by ship owners to this mix makes managing even more difficult.

What is it about?


Prototype shipbuilding requires efficient production planning and tracking processes.

As part of the ProProS project, the project partners are developing an innovative methodology that takes into account the special features of highly complex maritime systems. The aim is to enable efficient management of resources that are usually flexibly usable - if necessary, centrally controlled for several locations. The methodology should also be able to proactively optimize production control to correct potential faults in advance. Accordingly, the project aims to develop a methodology for shipyards based on up-to-date real-time data that enables failure-free operation and minimal downtimes.

The goals in detail:

  • Significant reduction in throughput time for ship equipment and manufacturing
  • Increasing the degree of digitization and the associated transparency in production
  • Quantitative reduction of so-called missing parts in the assembly
  • Efficient use of employees by eliminating waiting times and alternative work
  • Identification of cause-effect relationships of faults in the assembly of large-scale products

With the help of the new methodology, the later users have an instrument to increase the efficiency in the production process and to shorten the throughput times. Further, research and development needs in the area of organization and networking production processes were identified. To address them, an improvement of organizational processes in production as well as an interconnected, highly efficient production control is enabled.

Who is involved?

Logo Lürssen

The Fr. Lürssen shipyard was founded by Friedrich Lürßen in 1875 and is owner-managed till this day. The Bremen-based family company with six shipyard locations, one in all German coastal countries, specializes in the design and construction of yachts, naval ships and coast guard boats.

DThe Lürssen shipyard works continuously on the further development of design and production processes as well as on the development of innovative products. These developments are part of internal and publicly funded projects.

In recent years, Lürssen has been involved in numerous collaborative projects as part of the maritime research program. In the area of production technology, Lürssen was involved in the projects PORSPER and ShipLight.

Bernhard Urban

Logo RWTH Aachen

At the academic chair for Production Systematics at the “Werkzeugmaschinenlabor“ WZL of the RWTH Aachen University, the scientists have a focus on the design and dimensioning of structures and processes in production.

Based on the experience gained from numerous consulting and research projects, the WZL of the RWTH Aachen also supports industrial companies in the consistent implementation of a sustainable production strategy and an efficient value-added structure.

The WZL has already and is currently carrying out research projects in the field of fault management and real-time production planning. These are part of the “Internet of Production” research cluster, which the project described here can be based on.

Niklas Schäfer
Tim Janke

Logo Prostep

PROSTEP AG is a vendor-neutral consulting and software house for topics related to product lifecycle management (PLM). We support customers in the digital transformation and make them fit for Industry 4.0.

Depending on requirements, customers are advised and supported from the first concept to implementation and commissioning of an IT solution. The spectrum ranges from strategy advice to the implementation of special tools.

In the area of construction and manufacturing connections in shipbuilding, we have implemented productive solutions for customers from Europe to Asia. In the ProProS research project, we are responsible for defining the data models and for implementing a demonstrator.

Carsten Zerbst