English summary

Welcome to SUSPRO!

SUSPRO is a four-year competence-building research project which started in the fall of 2013.The objective is to achieve sustainable and life-cycle-oriented ship production in an uncertain, fluctuating market. Knowledge, methods, best practice processes and decision support tools will be developed to:

  • Monitor and analyze market trends and fluctuations and their impact on design, manufacturing, the supply chain and networks.
  • Realize next generation, sustainable ship production that ensure both high environmental and economical performance.
  • Analyze and guide the route to sustainable shipbuilding by applying analytical tools and life-cycle management practices.

NTNU is project manager and owner and the research activities are carried out in collaboration with SINTEF and the industrial partners Ulstein International AS, Fiskerstrand Holding AS and PON POWER AS. The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway's MAROFF program, with financial support from the industrial partners..

About the project

Sustainable ship production takes a perspective that extends beyond competitive manufacturing and operations and includes minimizing the environmental burden associated with every aspect in the product's lifecycle, from design, to manufacturing and use, right through recycling.

Innovations in production management, such as modularization, design for X (maintenance, recycling etc.), lean production, advanced production technology and integrated ICT-systems, can support the movement toward sustainability beyond mere pollution control and compliance to environmental regulations. Applying such innovations will contribute to sustainable solutions in terms of material efficiency, cost, emissions and energy consumption seen over the life cycle as a whole.

However, these approaches are developed for predictable, repetitive high-volume production with special-purpose and automated equipment. They are not aligned with the market and product characteristics of one-of-a-kind, engineer-to-order products such as offshore ships. The market situation for Norwegian offshore ships and equipment is characterised by increasingly intense, global competition due to the growing number of companies from low-cost countries such as China and Korea that are offering products in this segment. Furthermore, the market is exposed to extreme fluctuations where one year's boom can be followed by a downfall the year after. This competitive situation requires design and operation of yards and production networks that are both sustainable from a life-cycle perspective and fully flexible, i.e. capable of switching production from one product to another, and adjust capacity to the highly fluctuating demand at acceptable cost.

The main challenge this project addresses is therefore to increase sustainability in customer-driven and capital-intensive offshore shipbuilding by achieving innovations that ensure high environmental and economical performance in uncertain, fluctuating markets.

Expected project outcomes

For the project to achieve its main objective, some secondary goals and deliverables have been defined:

  • Develop understanding of how companies may use analyses of market trends and customer behavior in decision making related to sustainable manufacturing processes.
  • Develop strategies and best practices for how to perform eco-friendly business processes as offshore ships become increasingly modularized and standardized.
  • Develop solutions for optimal design of, and interaction in, sustainable global shipbuilding networks.
  • Develop methods and tools for organizing and controlling logistics flows in yards and factories in the offshore ship segment.
  • Explore models for holistic multi-criteria decision and develop decision support for sustainable life cycle management for the maritime sector.

This is expected to result in:

  • The ability among partners to produce their products in a sustainable manner
  • Increased sales through better market awareness and world-leading sustainable solutions
  • Reduced operational costs through more effective production, reduced lead-times and better coordination in the supply chain

Publisert 16. desember 2013

SUSPRO - Decision support for sustainable ship production in global fluctuating markets