Nikon Metrology

Leading Shipbuilder uses iGPS to inspect and track in 3D space


For two years, Metris has partnered with a leading South-Korean ship manufacturer to gain a deeper understanding of typical shipbuilding processes and to resolve critical problems regarding conventional metrology practices. Both companies joined forces to enhance and fine tune Metris’ Indoor GPS product line, to meet the challenge of both improving quality on a large scale and boosting the productivity of the various build processes.

South Korea leads flourishing shipbuilding market

Last year, South Korea dominated the global shipbuilding market, with a 42 percent market share, or 40 million compensated gross tons (CGT) – according to Clarkson. Japan is ranked second, the European Union third and China fourth. A decade ago Japan led the market, but in recent years, mainly due to high cost of labor, South Korea has taken over market leadership. For shipbuilding markets worldwide, the growing demand of energy drastically increased the demand of high-value-added vessels, such as container vessels, crude and chemical oil carriers as well as liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers. iGPS in LNG vessel construction formed the basis of the joint engineering activity.

A key characteristic of LNG tankers is that their cargo is stored around -260 ° F / -160 ° C. Compared to container ships, for example, the demand for accurate alignment and fitting of the structure is much higher. Establishing higher precision assembly and throughput needs requires an efficient metrology approach to be able to quickly inspect & track in 3Dspace to small tolerance levels over very large volumes. Rough indoor/outdoor conditions limit the choice of metrology instruments that are able to endure paint and metal particles, fumes, gases, heat, intensive welding light. Metris experienced that shipbuilders are very eager to consider alternative metrology technologies. This resulted in the adoption of Metris iGPS products for quite a varied range of large scale metrology tasks.

Metris iGPS speeds up process and reduces rework and scrap

The Metris iGPS system consists of laser transmitters and receivers along with a receiver hub and controller. When an iGPS system in a fixed environment is set up and calibrated, it can simply be switched on before starting a new measurement session. Receiver probes can be attached to objects or held manually against objects, and a single point measurement only takes a few seconds. The vector bar is connected to a receiver hub, from where the acquired metrology data are stored on a rugged handheld controller unit, or sent wirelessly to a workstation for data collection.

Click here to read this full article.