The company selected Pemamek as the supplier of highly advanced automated production lines to its Rostock and Wismar shipyards to support MVW’s vision of building efficient industrial ecosystem.
Challenge: To optimize production and increase the overall level of automation.
Solution: Comprehensive PEMA Production lines to two MVW shipyards. Rostock: PEMA Panel line. Wismar: PEMA T-beam line, PEMA Profile line
Benefit: Significant increase in output and production efficiency.
Automated PEMA Production Lines for Shipbuilding
Complete PEMA Profile processing line. Cutting unit powered by HGG.
Located in the windy Mecklenburg-Vorpommern´s Baltic Sea coast, MV WERFTEN (MVW) is the pride and joy of Northern Germany. Currently, the maritime company employs over 2,800 professionals in three of its shipyard locations; Wismar, Rostock and Stralsund, and is rapidly becoming one of the most prestigious shipbuilding companies in the world.
“Each of MVW’s shipyards has a strong history in shipbuilding. Our main location, Wismar shipyard, was founded in 1946, so shipbuilding has a long and unique history here. The shipyard is known for its ability to build different types of vessels, such as offshore platforms, multi-purpose vessels, ferries, and cruise ships,” says Martin Miehe, Production Engineer at MVW’s Wismar shipyard.
The company, MV WERFTEN, is relatively young and is currently in a ramp-up phase. It was founded in 2016 when Genting Hong Kong bought Wismar, Rostock and Stralsund shipyards.
In 2016 the company launched a massive investment program, worth of over 250 MEUR, in order to improve the shipyards’ capacity and to be able to build two 342-meter-long mega passenger ships. The vessels, with working names Global Class 1 & 2, are, in terms of passenger capacity, the biggest passenger cruisers ever built in Germany.
“This hall is very central for our overall shipbuilding efficiency”
With a full order book and big projects coming, MVW started to consider ways to optimize the entire production process and significantly boost manufacturing capacity in each of their shipyards. Additionally, the company wanted to find an innovative approach to build an industrial ecosystem and make all production machinery communicate with each other.
“The central philosophy of our halls is optimized operation flow. Therefore, we chose Pemamek because the company was able to provide a complete automation concept. All crucial production phases, such as welding, cutting, plate, and profile infeed, edge preparation, are all within an innovative panel line,“ tells Frank Politz, Investment and Production Manager for Hall 11 of MV WERFTEN.
At Rostock, Hall 11 is the heart of the entire shipyard. Its role is essential in building the Global Class ships, and so efficient production flow is crucial. From the entire 250 MEUR investment package, 100 MEUR was put into the Hall 11. The core of the hall is Pemamek’s 300-meter-long state-of-the-art PEMA Panel line.
“For all incoming ships the section building mainly takes place in this hall, so this hall is very central for our overall shipbuilding efficiency. A hall alone is just a hall. What counts is the equipment that is inside of the hall and how the entire machine infrastructure and communication between the machines are done. Together with Pemamek, we planned what production solutions we will need in order to build new world-class ships,” Politz explains.
Pemamek’s PEMA Thin panel laser-hybrid welding line is a highly innovative and unique solution that is designed exactly according to MV WERFTEN production needs. The panel and outfitting line, being 300 meters long and 16 meters wide, consists of most modern solutions available in the markets, such as integrated one-sided LHAW welding and milling station, integrated profile assembling and LHAW welding station and robotized welding of T-beams to the deck panels.
The thin panel laser-hybrid panel line does not only contain welding processes but the complete production chain from material handling to milling providing high-quality end products ensuring efficient production flow between all essential panel fabrication processes.
“We are now a lot more flexible in our shipbuilding portfolio, which enables us to manufacture panels with thicknesses from 5 mm to 20 mm, which makes us more competitive also in our future projects,” Politz says.
One of the priorities was to minimize after-work and bring the amount deformations close to zero. Politz continues, “The beacons of innovation of the line are stiffener mounting portal and laser-hybrid welding. This is where we are able to stand out and make a big difference in our efficiency and production quality.”
PEMA Thin panel laser-hybrid welding line has its own station also for T-beam welding. Before MVW had 12-14 welders to weld T-beam, whereas now the process is done by eight robots and one operator. The operator controls the entire station with PEMA WeldControl 200 control system, which provides full management over programming and T-beam production flow.
“We increase our output significantly as we build more sections in less time, but with improved quality. The entire panel is done in less than three days, which is extremely fast. In a conventional way, manufacturing a complete panel takes weeks,” explains Politz.
Martin Miehe describing the functions of PEMA T-Beam line to his colleagues.
Automated profile manipulating solution enables fast fabrication process.
To MVW’s Wismar shipyard Pemamek delivered two automated production lines: PEMA T-beam fabrication line and full-scale PEMA Profile processing line. PEMA T-beam fabrication line is equipped with hi-tech PEMA Line Control 900, whereas with PEMA Line Manager 900.
PEMA T-beam fabrication line is designed specifically for thin material T-beam fabrication. The line enables straight T-beams without additional working steps while minimizing re-work. The fully automated line has an integrated web plate and flange processing.
The line uses a double-sided single GMAW fillet welding process and specific pulse mode to obtain low heat input, proper penetration and throat thickness, high welding speed and consistent high quality. In order to minimize T-beam deformations caused by welding, the line has an in-house developed deformation control system.
“The most important features that we were looking for was that deformations and handling times are minimized,” Miehe explains. “We demanded that the quality of the welding would be so good that there is very little, if any, rework needed to be done.”
PEMA Profile processing line is a high-precision profile fabrication solution that is controlled completely digitally. The line combines profile edge milling and primer removal, profile part cutting, marking and sorting sections. The cutting is using high-precision plasma cutting inside an isolated cabin for end cuts and inner cuts of profiles. For the sorting, Pemamek has designed a unique solution to automatically sort profiles after cutting to correct palette.
“Our old automated solution was 20 years old and it started to show some failures. As we started the discussions with Pemamek, we noticed that the production automation technology has developed significantly and there is a lot of space for improvement in our processes.”
In MVW’s Wismar shipyard, the production has been running partially manually. As the sizes of work-pieces got bigger and volume increased, the shipyard needed to invest in production solutions that bring more capacity.
“We already had existing production solutions, but not as much capacity as required for the big ships. The reason for low production capacity was that a lot of the work was done manually,” Miehe continues. “For example, T-beams were previously fabricated manually for which we used the “nest fabrication” method, as we call it. Meaning we have one station for each process with a lot of manual and semi-automated welding and manual assembly, but also manual transportation between the stations via cranes,” describes Miehe.
Currently, MVW is building the biggest cruise ship that is ever built in Germany which has set exact production demands. Compared to other vessels, cruise ships have several decks, but also the material thicknesses are variable. Additionally, the production volume is extremely high.
“As an example, we have a constant need for T-beams and profiles, so the prefabrication process needs to be efficient, yet reliable with high production quality,” says Miehe.
Best in the world
In Germany, there are other shipyards, but what differentiates MVW from the rest is the automated machinery infrastructure and effective implementation of Industry 4.0., but also the powerful strategy to become the world-leading shipbuilder.
“Our target and goal are to be one of the best and most efficient shipbuilders in the world. That’s why we invested in so highly innovative and automatized PEMA welding and production machinery,” summarizes Politz.
Complete PEMA Profile processing line. Cutting unit powered by HGG
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