Over the past fourteen years the Naval Sea Systems Command, naval shipbuilding, and marine engineering companies have continued to improve their engineering design processes.
The first electronic design tool to gain wide acceptance was 2D, followed by 3D-CAD. Clearly, it is essential to verify that all of the systems (fluid, gas, electrical, HVAC, etc.) fit into the spaces, without conflict, while maintaining weight and balance. However, CAD does not validate that the systems “work” correctly. Therefore, at the same time, simulation based design (SBD) engineering design tools were developed to verify, individually, fluid, gas and electrical process dynamics.
As 3D CAD systems are now commonly understood and used, marine engineers are placing increased focus on the SBD engineering requirement to verify that the systems “work” correctly and are sized properly before releasing drawings for production. The engineering tool of choice for this task has been the Simsmart Inc. product, SIMSMART(TM), now named "Engineering Suite". This is because Engineering Suite is the only SBD tool that integrates multi-disciple design of fluid, gas, HVAC and electrical systems in the same electronic design environment. These flowsheets can be compiled into run-time so that the system performance can be validated within and across multiple disciplines.
The Engineering Suite design tool is currently in use by NAVSEA, the major shipyards and marine engineering firms. It is the only SBD process engineering tool in use in common across these organizations. Engineering Suite has been selected in each case following a competitive evaluation.
Why Engineering Suite?
Engineering Suite is an integrated, multi-disciple, marine engineering design tool . That is, marine engineers use Engineering Suite electronic marine process flowsheets to conceptualize, verify and complete their designs of fluid, gas, HVAC, electrical and engineering control systems. This is accomplished by selecting library object icons (pipe, pump, valve, sensor, duct, motor, wire, circuit breaker, controller …) from drop down menus and placing these objects on to flowsheets as if using a pencil. The difference is that the Engineering Suite object icons are smart Process and Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID) icons. Each icon brings its own completely encoded first principle physics equations on to the flowsheet. The engineer has then to only to size, line up and connect objects that make up the system.
Engineering Suite software verifies that the system components are compatible and then, in just a few minutes, compiles the completed system into a run-time environment on the original flowsheet. The engineer can "turn on" his and run them as if the system(s) were on the ship itself, complete with control panels and consoles if desired. The engineer can stress test the system(s) to verify that they work under all conditions as part of the verification process. All system data reports can be printed out in Excel.
If the first design does not meet the customer requirements then the flowsheet can be reopened quickly, and object icons resized, added or deleted. Then the verification process is repeated.
More importantly, the engineering design (intellectual property) is now captured in a standard electronic format that can be connected to other systems being designed for the ship (at this or any other Engineering Suite equipped facility). These connections can be progressively aggregated until the entire hull, mechanical, electrical and damage control (HME&DC) system has been designed and dynamically verified in the Engineering Suite environment. Through Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE), Engineering Suite flowsheet data can be fed in realtime to Excel (or other DDE compliant software) spreadsheets for tabular and graphical evaluation.
Engineering Suite flowsheets are becoming a standard way of capturing HME&DC designs because Engineering Suite permits verified sub-systems and systems to be exchanged and as appropriate, be aggregated to become complete ship systems.
Ship Design Phases:
Ship Post-delivery Phase (re-use of the validated SBD models):
Benefits of Engineering Suite:
More than twenty classes of naval ships have one or more systems modeled in Engineering Suite. The models include ballast tanks and vital fluid systems for LPD17, the CG47 class electric plant (12,500 object icons), and a CVN firemain (17,000 object icons). Engineering Suite was selected by both DD21 Teams for design and continues with DD(X).
SIMSMART Inc. is currently working with NGSS and the DD(X) program to complete the data integration between Engineering Suite and CATIA(TM) CAD.
Please contact www.ITEinc.US if you have questions, or to arrange to see the Engineering Suite capability at work.