March 31, 2008
HHI patents new shipbuilding method
Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has developed and obtained an international patent for what it describes as a "new inundation method used in the tandem shipbuilding process."
The tandem shipbuilding process involves building more than one ship in a dry dock simultaneously.
With traditional methods, a vessel under construction would float on the water whenever the dry dock was flooded to launch a completed ship. The new method retains the incomplete ship in place, allowing the company to continue work on the ship whether the dry dock is flooded or dry, reducing construction time.
Hyundai Heavy Industries says tha the method does not require any additional investments to facilities and has eliminated additional work. HHI says that it "assembles the main engine and propeller shaft, attaches the hatch cover, and lashes down the bridge to make the ship heavier before the dry dock is filled with water."
HHI has successfully launched seven vessels that have been constructed using this method, including a 10,000 TEU containership. The company plans to expand use of the inundation method to all dry docks.
"With this new method, HHI has reduced shipbuilding time and has created a new innovation for the global shipbuilding community," said an HHI spokesman.
HHI was granted a domestic patent in January of this year, and applied for an international patent application, under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, in November of last year. The company will also register its patent separately in other countries including Japan, China and India.