Traditionally ship construction in small shipyards has beenlabour intensive, requiring a high level of skill. Lofting and pattern making is required which is time consuming in addition to the steel preparation needed to match the pattern. Additional equipment and space is needed to carry out the steel preparation task. Each boat is consequently hand crafted by the shipyard which demands high levels of skill and expertise to achieve a high quality product. The aim of this project is to develop, design, build and field test a prototype system that will assist the boatyard in accurately assembling the kits thus enabling the boatyards to produce high quality productsbenefitting from CAD design and plasma cutting technology without the need for the considerable expertise and investment needed to support such equipment and activities. There are two innovative strands to this project. The result of phase one of the project will allow the SME kit designer to integrate the assembly process with the design by allowing on line feedback of assembly information to improve the subsequent design of the product. A real time system will enable assembly errors to be detected as they occur, thus allowing the design to be modified and enabling a much more accurate final product to be produced. The second phase of the project will involve the development of a low cost assembly aid based on a laser pointing system which will be used to locate the position of the boat sub structure during construction. By utilising three or more low cost laser pointers, alignment of the components can be achieved by directing the laser at a target through accurately positioned holes on the structure.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
2740-120 Porto Salvo
LS25 1DX Garforth - Leeds
NP9 5XR Newport