Also Published As: Journal of Ship Production, Volume 22, Number 2, May 2006
Shipowners, shipbuilders, the US Navy, and others have a need to evaluate (1) current shipbuilding performance, and (2) projected future performance under a variety of possible technical and managerial scenarios, for the purpose of supporting acquisition and policy decisions, shipyard planning, improvement in shipbuilding processes, new technology insertion and/or development, and capital investment. This need is not restricted to the US shipbuilding environment; it is an important concern even in large, commercially competitive overseas shipyards. In recent years, in various attempts to address the problem, different types of simulation modeling approaches have been investigated by a number of research teams. However, due to the nature of the shipbuilding process, the goal of performing realistic, credible analyses remains elusive. This paper reports on the results of an ongoing international project being conducted by the University of Michigan and Seoul National University. In this project, there are two key emphases: (1) researching and developing improved modeling and/or decision analysis approaches, and (2) rigorous validation of theoretical approaches and models through the use of actual, internationally competitive shipyard production data. Key accomplishments toward these objectives have been made and are reviewed and discussed in this paper.