Back on February 11, 2014, the competition to build the US Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) was narrowed down to three bidders: Bollinger Shipyards, Eastern Shipbuilding, and Bath Iron Works. We’d like to congratulate the three bidders who have reached this stage and say that we look forward to working with the eventual winner. We’ll be working with the winner because one of the requirements of the contract is that at the completion of delivery of the vessel to the USCG, the shipbuilder has to deliver an as-built model compatible with ShipConstructor CAD/CAM software.
The OPC RFP document J-4 Statement of Work for Detail Design, paragraph 085.5.2 says that, “The 3D Product Model shall be provided in either ShipConstructor or an ISO 10303 Step compliant system that is exportable to ShipConstructor.”
The reasoning behind this requirement is that the US Coast Guard acknowledges that it is more expensive to maintain a ship than it is to build it. In the past, most of the focus has been on construction costs but now, greater attention is being paid to lifecycle maintenance.
With that principle in mind, SSI discussed with the Coast Guard the plethora of information regarding all the parts and assemblies stored in the ShipConstructor Marine Information Model of a vessel. The USCG then acknowledged the practical benefit of having this information to drive planning and purchasing and repair work needed for vessel sustainment.
The new RFP requirement is a natural evolution for the US Coast Guard since their National Security Cutters (NSC) and Fast Response Cutters (FRC) are already built in ShipConstructor software. Furthermore, the Coast Guard has used ShipConstructor generated 3D models to review the progress of construction on the NSC and FRC projects.