Historic first in the United States as ABS, Robert Allan, Signet and USCG use a pure 3D process to deliver a commercial vessel



Paperless process saves time and money without compromising security

HOUSTON, Texas, June 30, 2021– (BUSINESS WIRE) – America’s first commercial vessel designed, built and verified using an end-to-end 3D design process is currently under construction as part of a pioneering ABS project Robert Allan Ltd. (RAL), Signet Maritime Corporation (Signet) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

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History of the United States First as ABS, Robert Allan, Signet and USCG use a pure 3D process to deliver a commercial vessel. Photo courtesy of Robert Allan Ltd.

Designed by RAL, the Advanced Rotortug® (ART), which is designed to escort vessels and offshore assets to the port of Corpus Christi, will receive its inspection certificate from the USCG and will now be built and operated by Signet at the ABS class, making it the first commercial vessel in US history to be produced using only 3D models in the design and construction of all structures.

A pure 3D process reduces costs and time investment, while streamlining the interaction between all stakeholders throughout the design, verification and construction phases, without compromising safety.

“This historic achievement sets the bar for future projects in the United States and internationally. Together with our forward-looking partners, we have fulfilled a long-standing industry dream of leaving paper blueprints behind us. 2D and Moving to the Next Generation of Vessels ABS is proud to help unlock this capability and to truly be the industry leader in this field, once again delivering the benefits of digital classification today. The benefits are significant, and we are confident that once the industry develops the infrastructure to handle 3D models in shipyards, a pure 3D process will become the default approach, ”said Christopher J. Wiernicki, CEO of ABS.

“As naval architects, more than ever we find ourselves developing the structure of ships in 3D, even at the basic design stage for new ships. We believe that providing 3D models instead of traditional 2D drawings benefits all stakeholders – us as a designer, class companies, customers, shipyards and equipment suppliers. The ‘direct design’ of the 3D structure not only streamlines the transition to production design modeling for the shipyard, but also gives us as ship architects previous estimates of weights and centers, quantities of steel as well as means to check for structural interference.

“We are very pleased that ABS has taken the initiative to work with us on a process for reviewing and approving the 3D structural models of our project with Signet Maritime Corp. the time between the basic design stage and the production design stage is shortened, allowing the shipyard to start cutting steel sooner, ”said Mike Fitzpatrick, CEO of Robert Allan Ltd.

“The understanding and fidelity of this construction model represents a major milestone in the history of the US marine industry. The 3D design review ensures that the designer, engineer, production manager, installer, welder and surveyor all work from the same complete model. Each individual has access to both the micro (component) and the macro (complete assembly) they work with to better understand the support, frame or bulkhead in terms of concerns the module, the section and the vessel. Provide this level of awareness to all participants This process will give ABS, Robert Allan and Signet a higher quality finished product and contribute to an overall safer waterway through technological advancements ”, said Timothy S. McCallum, vice president, Engineering and Dynamics at Signet.

This milestone is just the latest in a succession of first in-class ABSs based on 3D models. ABS was the first to develop a process for integrating 3D models into classroom software to enable exams based on 3D models in 2018. ABS then became the first classification organization to accept 3D models for surveys of class in April 2020.

More information on classroom services based on an ABS 3D model can be found here.

About ABS

ABS, one of the world’s leading providers of classification and technical advisory services to the marine and offshore industries, is committed to setting standards of safety and excellence in design and construction. Focused on the safe and convenient application of advanced technologies and digital solutions, ABS works with industry and its customers to develop precise and cost-effective compliance, optimized performance and operational efficiency for marine and offshore assets.

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for more information, contact
ABS Media Relations
Gareth Lewis
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