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Energy-efficient through-life smart design, manufacturing and operation of ships in an industry 4.0 environment

Ang, Joo Hock and Goh, Cindy and Saldivar, Alfredo Alan Flores and Li, Yun (2017) Energy-efficient through-life smart design, manufacturing and operation of ships in an industry 4.0 environment. Energies, 10 (5). ISSN 1996-1073

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Abstract

Energy efficiency is an important factor in the marine industry to help reduce manufacturing and operational costs as well as the impact on the environment. In the face of global competition and cost-effectiveness, ship builders and operators today require a major overhaul in the entire ship design, manufacturing and operation process to achieve these goals. This paper highlights smart design, manufacturing and operation as the way forward in an industry 4.0 (i4) era from designing for better energy efficiency to more intelligent ships and smart operation through-life. The paper (i) draws parallels between ship design, manufacturing and operation processes, (ii) identifies key challenges facing such a temporal (lifecycle) as opposed to spatial (mass) products, (iii) proposes a closed-loop ship lifecycle framework and (iv) outlines potential future directions in smart design, manufacturing and operation of ships in an industry 4.0 value chain so as to achieve more energy-efficient vessels. Through computational intelligence and cyber-physical integration, we envision that industry 4.0 can revolutionise ship design, manufacturing and operations in a smart product through-life process in the near future.