Maritime industry and suppliers to the oil and gas industries have a strong potential to succeed internationally. Together, these two industries are a key part of the Norwegian industrial future. Norwegian equipment manufacturers typically supply capital-intensive, sophisticated and customized products in small volumes to maritime customers. This production situation is called engineer-to-order (ETO), and means that each product is tailored to the client's specific needs. The ETO production situation has many competitive advantages, but is often very challenging and labor intensive. High costs and long delivery times test the competitiveness of Norwegian ship equipment manufacturers, and cause loss of business opportunities to competitors in low-cost countries such as South Korea and China.
Brunvoll AS and Oshaug Metall AS are Norwegian producers who develop and deliver thruster systems and molded propeller components for the maritime industry. Propeller components are essential in propulsion systems; hence, Oshaug Metall is a key component supplier to the thruster system supplier Brunvoll. Thruster units are typical ETO products that are complex, physically large, customized and made in low volumes – requiring labor intensive and advanced manufacturing. Value chains and supplier networks for such products are typically large and complex. Brunvoll and Oshaug Metall are like most Norwegian equipment suppliers faced with a significant challenge; high quality and customization will probably not provide sufficient competitiveness in the long term. They have identified common future needs related to their production, and together with SINTEF, NTNU and Møreforskning Molde they will realize a three-year research project, EFFEKT. This project seeks to achieve more efficient production of advanced maritime equipment by focusing on four major R&D activities:
Utilizing advanced automation technology, data acquisition and planning it is now possible to move from traditional to a more effective ETO production. This is illustrated in the conceptual model below.
Publisert 10. april 2013