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The production of Carnival Cruise Lines’ new cruise liner started at the Meyer Turku shipyard on November 15 by cutting the hull’s first steel plate into shape. However, there’s a long way to go from activating a plasma cutter to delivering a finished ship, particularly since planning continues until the very last days, also in Allstars Engineering.

Sivukuva Carnival Cruise Linesin tilaamasta risteilijästä, työnimeltään XL1

When delivered in 2020 “Mardi Gras” will be both the biggest passenger ship of Carnival Corporation and the very first cruise liner in North America that runs on LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas).

In addition to basic hull design Allstars Engineering will be doing detail design in HVAC, electric and interior design for technical and public spaces. Kicking off the production of a new ship means that marine engineers continue basic design started by the shipyard, do detail design and carry on with splitting work into smaller entities and periods.

Planning the Baseline

During the basic design phase engineers make sure that the layout will be appropriate, for instance the amount and locations of passenger and crew cabins are right, and define the necessary operating systems and their backup systems. Safety of passengers and crew is given close consideration already in the planning phase. Miles and miles of different pipelines, canals and transmission lines run behind the decorative linings of a cruise vessel and electric cables alone account for hundreds of kilometres.

Allstars Engineering receives a 3D model from the shipyard and starts working on it based on basic design. In practice, for example in hull design ‘working on the model’ means checking the amount, sizes and positions of holes to be made in the steel bulkheads. This way hull production gets as much information as early as possible and for instance hot work onboard can be minimised in the outfitting phase.

Great Big Building Blocks

Production logistics chain is taken into account already when designing the outfitting. Designers work with a 3D model embedding chosen materials to design areas, periodizing stock materials, prefabricated materials and the actual installation work into different outfitting phases and transferring the information to the materials management system. The 3D model is configured to 2D drawings in order to give the installation group descriptions of the different stages of work.

Assemblers retrieve this information from the system and “call” materials and/or prefabricates from warehouses and prefabrication shops so that they are in the right place at the right time for building purposes. Assembly consists of block, great block and area fitting phases.

Machine, deck, HVAC, electric and interior design are done simultaneously with hull design. All of them are split and periodized into various stages of production according to the ship’s construction method. The current production model indeed aims at a maximum prefabrication degree.

Simultaneousness, finely-tuned production planning, overlapping fitting work and highly skilled workforce makes it possible overall to manufacture “a floating city” in a shorter timeframe than before. Agility is undoubtedly one of the competitive advantages of Finnish shipbuilding in the continuous race against other operators.