Autoship Systems Makes Waves Around the World…

Many companies can claim to be global, but Autoship Systems Corporation (ASC) of Vancouver, Canada talks the talk and walks the walk. A core tenant of ASC has been to establish itself as leader in innovation, helping to ensure that as shipbuilding techniques evolved, the industry could rely on its CAD/CAM software to meet new design and construction needs. ASC recently assisted two shipyards to this end: Cantiere Navale Ippolito s.r.l. of Santa Maria di Castellabate, Italy; and Circa Marine and Industrial Ltd. of Whangarei, New Zealand. First though, let’s review the company ASC, and its CAD/CAM suite.

The Company
Autoship Systems Corporation (ASC) is a leading marine software supplier to all corners of the globe. ASC is well-known for its high degree of customer service because it sells and services its CAD/CAM software through a network of ‘local’ dealers – specialized agents located in all major marine centres around the world. This article highlights two dealers: Stefano Thermes a.s.a. of Napoli, Italy, and Alan Walker, N. A. of Coastdesign, Bay of Islands, New Zealand.

The CAD/CAM Suite
The ASC CAD/CAM suite includes a number of integrated programs, each of which performs specific functions for vessel design and construction. Interfaces with third party software link the suite to other shipyard systems. The ASC suite includes:

Autoship – surface modeling for hulls, superstructures, appendages, tunnels, etc.
Autopower – powering and resistance for all hull types, stand-alone or can use Autoship model
Autohydro – stability and strength analysis, stand-alone or can use Autoship model
Autoplate – plate expansion for hull plates, uses Autoship model
Autostructure – internal structure modeling, uses Autoship model
Production Manager – material management and nesting, uses Autostructure model

Both Autostructure and Production Manager interface with third party software.

Cantiere Navale Ippolito s.r.l
Cantiere Navale Ippolito s.r.l. is located in the Campania region of Southern Italy. Since its founding in 1800, the shipyard has been run as a family business for over seven generations. For the first 170 years, the yard focused on mainly building wooden fishing boats.

Shipyard Modernization
In 1981, the shipyard started a major modernization in response to market demand for larger fishing boats. First, Giuseppe, Vincenzo e Francesco Paolo Ippolito acquired more land, made a large slipway and private quay. This initial expansion was followed by a new large covered shed and modern office building. Along with the bigger facilities came an increase in the number of employees from 9 in 1982 to 32 in 1994.

The market for wooden fishing boats eventually decreased. In its place was an increase in the demand for steel-hulled vessels. As a result, Cantiere Ippolito rapidly developed steel production capabilities and the yard once again flourished.

Today, Cantiere Ippolito is a major source of economic prosperity in the region, utilizing an area of 16,000 sq. meters, of which 5,000 are covered. Cantiere Ippolito now builds a wide range of working and pleasure boats of up to 50 meters in length of wood, steel and aluminum construction.

Cantiere Navale Ippolito has also upgraded its engineering software design tools. After a rigorous review of software design tools available on the market today, Cantiere Ippolito selected the Autoship Systems CAD/CAM software suite. They purchased the suite in 2003 from Autoship dealer: Mr. Stefano Thermes of Navalia. The software was quickly integrated into the design and construction projects of the shipyard.

The following are photographs of various boats under construction during the last three years at Cantiere Ippolito. All vessels are tuna catch boats, oceanic type. Designs have been done with Autoship software.

Circa Marine and Industrial Ltd.
Circa Marine and Industrial Ltd. is located in Whangarei, New Zealand. This family-operated company was started in 1976 as a manufacturer of home workshop machine tools. In 1982, the company moved into building boats in marine alloy. The workforce now includes 50 people working in their foundry, machining shop, steel fabrication and boat construction departments.

The shipyard now builds commercial vessels, production boats, custom luxury vessels, aluminum products and completes boat refits. Work is done to customer specifications. Vessels are built to various classification organizations such as Lloyds, DNV, M&I and B.V.

Project Background
In 2001, the Northland Regional Council of New Zealand started their search for a replacement workboat and pilot vessel. After 48 years of service, their vessel at the time, the Hatea, was becoming too expensive to maintain. Although the council initially looked at purchasing a second-hand vessel, it was decided that in order to meet the vessel’s stringent requirements, a new custom-built vessel would be required.

Operational requirements for this coastal vessel required that the aft deck area had to be large to accommodate the working of buoys and beacons, and loading of oil pollution boom containers. To facilitate this work a three-tonne crane was to be fitted aft. The vessel was to be able to keep a minimum cruising speed of 15 knots. The vessel would be responsible to carry out work in one of the largest maritime regions in New Zealand – stretching from Mangawhai (just south of Whangarei on the east coast) to Kaipara District (just north of Auckland on the west coast).

Design & Build
Circa Marine and Industrial Ltd. was selected by the Northland Regional Council to build the work and pilot boat. Circa Marine in turn contracted Mr. Alan Walker of Coastdesign, to design the vessel. Alan used Autoship software to generate the vessel structure in 3D and the nested CNC files. He sent the files and working drawings to Circa Marine for cutting, construction and approvals. The 30 tonne (full load) aluminum catamaran took less than a year to build.

This article has provided a look at two shipyards and their experiences with Autoship CAD/CAM software. In the first case study, Cantiere Navale Ippolito of Italy was shown to have incorporated Autoship software into their design and build processes. In the second case, we saw Circa Marine of New Zealand draw on the services of the naval architecture firm, Coastdesign, to design a 16m work boat.

Why not consider Autoship CAD/CAM software for your next vessel design & build contract?