Shipbuilding in the modern era | PEMA Digital platform

Already for decades, Pemamek has done constant development of welding automation machinery with advanced digital control technology for the shipbuilding industry. During the past five years, the increased amount of automation and integration of production lines, but also customers’ varying needs of output, have challenged manufacturers to rethink their production strategy and consider transformation to digital systems. 

In shipbuilding, the machine itself is no more the only challenge. The challenges are rather the direct in-and-out-data required from the machine, alternative product flow through simulations, reporting, tracking, and monitoring. This, in return, makes us the fortune-tellers in engineer’s suit. To support the digital shipbuilding industry, Pemamek has designed a modular platform solution to facilitate customer’s various processes. The platform includes convenient modules for every step of production from design and planning up to cloud reporting.

Shipbuilding in the modern era becomes digital

Digital shipbuilding and various software solutions for shipbuilding and design

Product Data Management (PDM) & Product Data Handler (PDH)

For years, shipyards have been working with 3D engineering software to design products. However, these models are not importable to machines as is, and therefore humans with multiple special software have been needed to add more data to generate each machine-specific file.

Together with Prostep, Pemamek has developed the PEMA OPEN PDM interface to collect and map all required data parameters from customers’ designs. As a result, one big assembly data is created that includes all the needed information that facilitates the controlling of the production automation machinery. PEMA Product Data Handler (PDH) is the tool to divide and map the assembly data with some machine-specific add-on requirements for each machine and later on for product traceability.

BIM & Digital twins

All PEMA products are based on 3D-modelling with 3D CAD, which works as the source of the following digital phases. By using tools like simulation software, which works as a basis for the digital platform, enabling e.g. VR & AR, digital twin, and simulation, the heavy 3D engineering package is “simplified” and modified to the functional digital twin.

Usually, all production lines are converted to a simple virtual model for marketing and general overview purposes, but also for Scada-type overall monitoring. As an add-on option of digital platform delivery, Pemamek offers functional digital twin for individual machines for customer planning and simulation purposes. This functional digital twin includes a machine virtual model with all main movements and PLC functions like in a real machine and it’s run via PC-based HMI twin to simulate various imagined situations.

3D-digital still model. (Markeing and sales project phase)

HMI & Monitoring

PEMA HMIs has been digital already several years. The hardware buttons and switches are mainly used for safety and ergonomic reasons. On automated machinery, all processes and functions are followed up from digital screens with the help of cameras and online process signal data. Digital development and integration are constantly more visible, and the operation happens from control desks or central control rooms. For production lines, the PEMA Digital platform can be supplemented with a central Production Line Monitoring solution. 

The monitoring solution is web-based and can be operated with any HTML5-compatible web client. It includes features to observe production line status in near real-time, such as:

  • State of each production unit
  • Product status on each production unit
  • Safety and alarms diagnostics by production units
  • Error log


The monitoring screen shows the workpieces that are being processed by a machine. The parts can be identified with product ID. Status information of the workpieces can also be shown, which is indicated by using color codes.
Safety is also highlighted in the system, and the screen shows a “Machine Safety View”. The view provides information on the status of safety equipment, such as e-stop buttons and light curtains when the safety circuit is activated. The production line monitoring platform is an open platform also for non-PEMA units. The implementation with pre-defined standard interfaces is possible with a separate agreement. The monitoring can be extended to cover the customer’s whole fabrication.

Production data collection and reporting in digital shipbuilding

Each automated machine provides a great number of signal data which is all collectible with different protocols. To handle this data, Pemamek has developed a software platform to collect all signals and forward the signal package either to the PEMA database or directly to the customer’s data point. This is especially suitable for customer’s IoT or similar platforms requiring time-series data.

For Data Collector a ready-made signal package is included in the PEMA Digital platform to speed up the mapping work. PEMA Database is required to store the structured data. This is the main integration channel for connecting data, generated by the production system, to the external factory systems. Pemamek takes care of the database structure and deploying it to a server supplied together with the production line.
With the database, the customer gets an API interface to find for example product’s historic data. The database provides a lot more possibilities for production and product monitoring.

Reporting and data analytics is an important part of the overall process. In the PEMA Digital platform, reporting is presented in a web-based dashboard that can be correspondingly operated with any HTML5-compatible web client. It provides organized reporting and analytics capabilities that are valuable especially for higher-level decision-making. The Reporting Dashboard presents reports composed of structured and organized historical data.

Pemamek provides ready made embedded views to the dashboard for example Productivity, Machine tracking/efficiency, Product traceability, machine failures, and service tools. The reporting tool is always supported as a part of the customer’s maintenance contract.


When considering the investment in digital shipbuilding, it is important to note that the digital platform needs to be part of the machine investment and the entire delivery scope. A correctly composed digital platform gives the customer a tool to anticipate and foresee instead of hoping and reacting. It also gives tools for extensive productivity monitoring and degree of completion even in the 3D world. If the digital chain is constant from design to manufacturing, the status of individual parts is always available in the customer’s BIM.

The possibilities of modern digitality and digital shipbuilding take production optimization and efficiency to a completely new level. Some of the most significant benefits of investing in digital shipbuilding are online production monitoring, running alternative production scenarios by simulation, and operator training in a realistic virtual environment. All this increases predictability, facilitates planning, increases transparency, and enables better machine life-cycle management.

With an extensive 30-year-long, experience in shipbuilding, Pemamek provides products and consultancy for customers looking to create an optimized and powerful digital ecosystem.

Read more

Related Articles​

Contact Us