Far East-Levingston Upgrades Facilities
In line with the government's emphasis to upgrade the skill and technology level of local industries, Far East-Levingston Shipbuilding Limited (FELS) has taken a significant step forward to enhance its operations.
The company has acquired license from Shipping Research Services in Norway to operate the AUTOKON software system for ship design and production. This software will run on a PRIME computer that was recently installed in the shipyard.
The investment of both the software and hardware system is over two million Singapore dollars. In addition, FELS has ordered a numerically controlled flame cutting machine from Messer Greisheim in Germany to automate its plate cutting processes. This machine will take the numerical outputs produced by the AUTOKON system.
The AUTOKON software is a computer-aided-design (CAD) and computer-aided-manufacturing (CAM) system that performs engineering designs, computerized drafting and generates information to facilitate numerically controlled plate cutting. The system is accessed via graphical terminals where the user builds up a product model in the computer data base from which engineering and production information can be generated. The system is c o m p l e t e l y integrated, so that there is always a consistency of information from the beginning of the design process where a ship's hull form is faired to the actual plate cutting in production. Its link to the numerically controlled flame cutting allows for the user to program information directly for the flame cutting machine. Twelve engineers and draftsmen have been sent to Norway for training in computing skills, and the company has applied to the Skills Development Fund for support.
With the introduction of this new technology, FELS hopes to break away from the traditional reliance on labor-intensiveness, and at the same time achieve better quality results and higher productivity. Man-hours for flame cutting as compared with the present manual methods will be reduced substantially. FELS will be the first shipyard in this region to employ CAD/CAM in production of oil rigs and ships.