The horse is a box!  Conventional engineering is limited to simple, inaccurate representations.  We often force the ship into simpler, less optimal, arrangements just to match the math.  (The horse is close enough to a box.)  When using simple math, the outcome is simple ships. 

Advanced analysis breaks through this limitation.  We introduce advanced computer simulations that capture every complicated detail of a ship.  This frees us from the limits of math and allows us to find the truly perfect solution.  DMS offers four major areas of advanced analysis:

  1. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD): steady flow of fluids like wind, gases, and water
  2. Finite Element Analysis (FEA): structural design, and more
  3. Seakeeping analysis: Wave interactions with the ship
  4. Concept design: optimizing the ship to create a good starting point.

With simulations, the biggest question is accuracy. Simulations are capable of delivering extremely accurate information (+/- 2-5%). But this requires experience. The computer happily produces garbage without the watchful eye of an experienced engineer.  DMS remains rigorous in our approach to simulation quality.  We routinely expand our library of validation studies in both FEA and CFD.  And we perform mesh independence studies on every single simulation.  Every simulation report includes a quantification of simulation error.  We tell you exactly how much to trust the simulation and what safety factors to apply.  This delivers ultimate confidence, not in the computer, but in the engineer controlling that computer.

Concept Design with NeoShip

All vessel designs face a fundamental problem when starting from scratch:  every aspect of the vessel design depends on some other aspect.  The classic solution to this problem is to use a series of heuristic formulas to establish basic parameters like required weight and power.  But heuristic formulas only tell you how to copy previous ship designs.

DMS takes an alternative approach.  We developed an extensive design application:  NeoShip, based on MS Excel, which contains simplified physics for every aspect of a ship design.  The entire design process, contained in one application.  NeoShip also contains a custom evolutionary optimizer.  The optimizer automatically explores numerous variations in design parameters to select the best options.  This approach allows DMS unparalleled flexibility with exploring all the options of a new vessel design.

  1. NeoShip goes into far more detail to check all the critical aspects of a vessel design. This greatly reduces the risk of major changes in the next design iteration.
  2. The evolutionary optimizer allows DMS to explore hundreds of variations, optimizing numerous vessel parameters.
  3. The generic nature of NeoShip allows DMS to easily adapt this application, adding new features like wind assisted propulsion or new fuel types.

Our concept design tool, NeoShip, allows us to start with best practices, but then automatically optimize variations from that starting point. 

Engineering Workflow - Phased Structure

DMS typically structures our work into four phases of design.  Each phase requires more effort (and budget) but produces greater detail and extracts greater performance from the design.  This converts into flexibility for you.  You decide how far to take the design.  Only pay for the effort you need.

Phase 1:  Mission Study

The mission study is where we achieve the greatest business benefit.  Many people believe that the key to business success is to produce the highest quality ship.  But the real success derives the correct operating conditions for the ship to prosper in your business model.  In the marathon to develop a ship design, the starting point is crucially important.

During the mission study, DMS interrogates your business goals and adjusts them based on limits of current technology and physics.  We then investigate variations to produce a set of concrete engineering objectives that achieve your goals.  End result:  more efficient engineering due to clear objectives, and a profitable ship because we started from a point of success.

Phase 2:  Concept Design

The concept design is the rough design for a working solution to the mission requirements.  Ship design requires an iterative process:  start with an educated guess and then refine that guess.  The concept design focuses on speed over accuracy.  This allows multiple iterations and refinements.  We focus on the major details and use simplified analysis. 

  • Weight and powering requirements are the main concern
  • Create a basic arrangement for the ship
  • Ensure adequate vessel stability
  • Design aesthetics are a primary focus. Make the ship look good.

The final output from a concept design is not ready for production.  It still requires a contract design (Phase 3) to ensure accurate engineering.  But the concept design greatly reduces project risks.  It ensures a feasible solution exists before we invest extensive engineering to prove that solution.

Phase 3:  Contract Design

The contract design produces the final product in full description.  We have checked all major details and eliminated all major risks.  But the contract design does not provide step by step instructions for how to build the design.  It only shows the finished product.

  • Equipment: we specify the requirements but do not research exact vendors and models to achieve those requirements.
  • Structures: we show the finished structure, but don’t show welding details, assembly steps, fabrication jigs, etc.
  • Naval architecture: we check all major hydrodynamics, but do not correct for final ship weight after construction.
  • Drawings: we show the finished product, but do not include every detailed assembly for that product.
  • Project management: We create a technical specification, but do not interface with shipyards for competing bids, change order management, etc.

A shipyard can take a contract design and use their own in-house design team to create the final construction design (phase 4).

Phase 4:  Construction Design

The construction design provides detailed step by step instructions for how to build the design.  DMS can supply construction drawings directly to fabricators with no additional engineering or design required. 

  • Equipment: we specify the exact make and model of equipment to purchase, with specific quantities.
  • Structures: We show welding details, step-by-step assemblies, exact material orders, etc.
  • Naval architecture: We perform final testing on the ship to calculate exact weight and center of gravity.
  • Drawings: Anticipate dozens of drawings, showing each stage of fabrication.  Final design includes as-built drawings, showing all modifications during construction.
  • Project management: We review shipyard bids, manage production schedules, coordinate with various vendors, regulatory approvals.

After construction design, there is nothing left to do but physically build the ship or perform the modifications.