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How to protect the cost advantage of my country's shipbuilding industry

Views:1     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2020-10-20      Origin:Site

How to protect the cost advantage of my country's shipbuilding industry

The design of the ship, especially the basic design and detailed design, directly determines 80% of the cost of ship construction. Moving the cost control center from the procurement and production stage to the cost formation stage can effectively reduce the cost of ship construction.


In order to compete for the scarce new ship orders in the market, South Korean shipbuilding companies have launched "offensive marketing" at low prices. In September, Korean shipping companies received 340,000 revised gross tonnage (CGT) orders, ranking first in the world for three consecutive months. In the third quarter, Korean shipping companies received 1.42 million CGT orders, accounting for 45% of global orders. In the face of this fierce offensive and the repeated drop in new ship prices, how to maintain the traditional cost advantage has become a huge challenge for China's shipbuilding industry.


Experts in the industry pointed out that reducing labor costs alone seems to be neither realistic at present, and the space is also very narrow. Therefore, tapping the potential for cost reduction from the design source is essential for China's shipbuilding industry to maintain its cost advantage. The design of the ship, especially the basic design and detailed design, directly determines 80% of the cost of ship construction. Since most of our country did not set strict cost indicators in the ship design stage, the weight of empty ships and the number of parts in my country's shipbuilding exceeded South Korea, and the additional ship construction costs accounted for about 5% of the ship price. From this perspective, It is not only necessary to reduce costs from the design source, but also has great potential. The current extremely severe market situation and competitive situation may become an opportunity for my country's shipbuilding industry to change traditional design concepts and reform the mechanism of disconnection between design and production. Only by grasping the “critical points” and reducing costs from the “fundamental” can we effectively help my country’s shipbuilding industry to defend its cost advantages, expand bargaining space, and enhance its ability to grab orders.



To reduce costs, design is the source and the "big head"


In recent years, my country’s shipbuilding industry has achieved rapid development, and it has become a top trend with South Korea and Japan. However, low cost is still an important support for my country’s shipbuilding industry to win orders in the international market. However, the rising labor costs, the low ship prices caused by the downturn in the ship market, and the superposition of this year’s new crown pneumonia epidemic factors have put tremendous pressure on the survival of my country’s shipbuilding companies, which have low gross profit margins. The cost advantage is unsustainable. Experts in the industry said that optimizing the cost indicators of the design plan, moving the cost control center from the procurement and production stage to the cost formation stage, and formulating low-cost and short-cycle design plans can effectively reduce the cost of ship construction and ensure the cost of my country’s shipbuilding industry. The advantage is sustained.


Ships are mainly composed of steel and ancillary equipment. About 60% of the cost of the ship is used to purchase steel and ancillary equipment, and 30% to 40% of the cost is for processing and assembly. The cost of main engine, outfitting parts and other supporting equipment is difficult to reduce significantly, and labor costs are also rising year by year. Therefore, ship enterprises must achieve profit growth by mainly relying on the cost reduction and efficiency improvement of hull construction and final assembly integration. Ship design is the most important factor that determines the cost and efficiency of hull construction and final assembly integration. The weight of the empty ship and the number of parts involved are the two core indicators that determine the cost of ship construction. The weight of the empty ship will increase the cost of raw materials, and the number of parts will increase. It has an adverse impact on ship construction, delivery time and overall costs.


It is understood that at present, the weight of oil tankers and bulk carriers built by my country's large shipping companies is 5%-10% heavier than the international advanced level, and the number of parts is 15%-30%. Take the very large tanker (VLCC) as an example. The weight of the empty ship of my country's related shipbuilding enterprises is about 1500-2000 tons, and the number of structural parts is about 20% more than that of the similar ship of Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine of South Korea. According to industry experts, this is mainly caused by the overly complex design of ship structures. The hull structure is the basic platform for ship construction and the general assembly of machinery, electricity, and outfitting. If the ship structure design is complex and the number of parts is large, it will increase the production design workload, prolong the production design cycle, and greatly increase the difficulty of construction, the amount of welding, maintenance costs, and coatings. The difficulty of installation and man-hours have caused the weight of the empty ship to be heavy, the construction of multiple disciplines is not smooth, the construction cost is high, and the construction period is long.


Hu Keyi, director of the Science and Technology Committee of Jiangnan Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation, said that in the process of developing the fourth and fifth generation Panamax bulk carriers from 1999 to 2000 and 2002 to 2004, Jiangnan In view of the empty weight of Panamax, Handysize and Great Lakes bulk carriers and measures to reduce the weight of empty ships, shipbuilding has conducted a more comprehensive analysis and research on the standard Japanese and Korean shipping companies. The study found that reducing the weight of an empty ship is a comprehensive system project that involves all aspects and aspects of the design and construction process, including whether the ship design mode is independent design or commissioned design, the concept of ship design, and the comprehensive technology and technology of ship designers Quality, ship design methods, computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided engineering (CAE) coverage and application level, quality and weight control during ship design and construction, etc. Hu Keyi said that among the above-mentioned factors, updating and changing ship design concepts is undoubtedly the most effective means, and at the same time the most difficult to achieve.


Statistics show that my country’s individual labor costs are less than one-third of South Korea’s. However, due to the failure to reflect the cost concept in the design process, the relative advantage of my country’s shipbuilding in labor costs is brought by the weight of the empty ship and the large number of parts The increase in cost is substantially erased. "When workers get the drawings, they are destined to spend about 5% more raw materials and processing costs than their competitors, and more than 10% more production man-hours." Experts in the industry said that at present, new ship orders are scarce and prices continue to drop. In the harsh market environment, this problem has seriously affected my country's shipping companies to receive orders. If advanced concepts, efficient tools and strict cost indicators are introduced in the design stage, the weight of the empty ship and the number of parts can be reduced through optimized design, which will greatly enhance the cost advantage of my country's shipbuilding industry.



There has been progress, the gap in the weight of the empty ship has been reduced


The indicator that directly reflects the structural design of the ship-the heavy weight of the empty ship has always been a big problem that plagued my country's shipping companies. This problem is most prominent among medium-duty tonnage ships. Studies have shown that in 2005, compared with similar ships of Japanese and Korean shipping companies, the average weight of the Panamax bulk carrier designed and built by Chinese shipping companies was 17% and 12% respectively. Hu Keyi said that in recent years, in order to reduce the weight of empty ships, my country's shipbuilding companies, especially some large ship companies with basic design, detailed design, and production design capabilities, have carried out a lot of work, which has greatly narrowed the gap. When Jiangnan Shipbuilding developed the fourth and fifth generation Panamax bulk carriers, it optimized the hull structure design, overall design, general layout, piping design, ship equipment selection, cabin design, and outfitting design. Effectively reduce the weight of the empty ship. In the past three years, Jiangnan Shipbuilding has even optimized the hull structure design of very large gas vessels (VLGC). At present, the 84,000 cubic meters VLGC designed and built by the company has reduced the steel consumption by more than 300 compared with the previous 83,000 cubic meters VLGC. Tons, and the construction is more convenient.


The reporter learned that some ship companies are also trying to reduce the weight of empty ships and reduce the number of parts through optimized design, thereby reducing ship construction costs. Last year, China Shipbuilding Corporation Chengxi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of China Shipbuilding Corporation, completed the design and optimization of the MR product oil tanker, which greatly improved its cost competitiveness and quickly became a "black horse" in this market segment. This year, Guangzhou Shipyard International Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation, completed the design optimization of the LR2 product oil tanker. The construction of the series of ships can save hundreds of millions of yuan in cost.


Industry experts said that at present, this kind of design optimization based on cost indicators is not widespread in my country's shipbuilding industry, and this is to a certain extent related to the separation of ship design and construction in my country. Different from the integration of design and construction in Japan and South Korea, my country’s ship design is in scientific research institutes and built in ship enterprises. The design institute’s main line of business is to sell design solutions. The first focus is on ship-type performance indicators, while insufficient attention is paid to ship costs. Design solutions cannot fully serve production; shipbuilding companies create value with ship construction as the main line and need to optimize design from a cost perspective However, most of the optimization capabilities in basic and detailed design are not enough, and the space for optimization of production design is limited. In this mode of separation of design and construction, many design institutes do not fully consider the actual production when designing. Some ship companies can only do "hands-off" when designing. It is difficult to get close to production from the design stage and try to reduce costs.



To ensure superiority, there is no shortage of "ideas", "system" and "talents"


The separation mode of ship design and construction in my country is caused by complicated historical reasons. I am afraid that it will be difficult to fundamentally change in the short term, but there is room for improvement under the existing mode. For example, the design institute establishes and implements the concept of overall cost reduction during design; shipping companies no longer do "hands-offs", but participate deeply from the basic design; all parties comprehensively balance the weight of the empty ship and the convenience of production, and fully consider Ship enterprise's production process, production facility processing capacity, hoisting capacity, and plan segmentation and layout of ship longitudinals in advance to form the optimal design plan. "This change can start from a large shipbuilding group. Some of my country’s shipbuilding groups not only have shipbuilding enterprises, but also design institutes, which can completely eliminate the gap between the two and build a platform for the two to work together. The optimal design plan for ship construction cost.” Industry experts said.


South Korea's approach to optimize design as a normalized work is also worth learning. The related design optimization of VLCC by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering is a very typical example. In 2004, the company set the goal of "10% reduction in VLCC structure weight and 20% reduction in the number of parts". During this period, the overall optimization requirements for different tonnage VLCCs were put forward on average every two years, and there were several local optimization requirements each year. And carry out optimization work accordingly. At present, the VLCC, which has been continuously designed and optimized for many years, has become the standard ship type for Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering. my country's shipbuilding industry should also focus on reducing costs through optimizing design as a daily work.


In addition, vigorously training talents for optimal design is also an important part of it. To consider the characteristics, production processes and facility boundaries of different shipyards at the beginning of the design, so as to optimize the general layout, structural layout, and construction standards, a large number of professionals are required. However, due to the long-term separation of design and construction, my country is very short of talents who are familiar with overall design and production by ship enterprises. It is imperative to train and reserve relevant talents. Experts in the industry said that the planning, construction, and distribution of production factors based on the ship’s front-end design directly determine the cost control space of my country’s ships. Only by adopting comprehensive measures to optimize the design and reduce costs, can my country’s shipbuilding industry maintain its cost advantage in the international market. Take the initiative in the price war against strong opponents.



"Cost" and "Technology" Walking on Two Legs


When it comes to the high-quality development of my country’s shipbuilding industry, what everyone thinks of is my country’s progress and breakthroughs in high-tech ships such as large-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships, ultra-large container ships, luxury cruise ships, new energy ships, and smart ships. These pioneering initiatives to break foreign monopolies from scratch are of course an important part of high-quality development. However, the work of improving, consolidating and reshaping the original competitive advantage cannot be ignored. They are also indispensable for high-quality development. component. For example, by optimizing the design of conventional ship types to further reduce the construction cost of my country's ships, in order to enhance the ability of my country's shipbuilding industry to grab orders in the international market, and from a certain perspective, this kind of work is more fundamental and urgent.


Relevant data shows that although the market demand for high-tech ships such as ultra-large LNG ships, ultra-large container ships, and large dual-power ships has been increasing in recent years, conventional ship types such as bulk carriers, medium and small tankers, and feeder container ships have increased Demand is still the "big head" of market demand. Therefore, occupying a leading position in these ship-type markets is the cornerstone for my country's shipbuilding industry to achieve sustainable and high-quality development. This requires my country's shipbuilding industry to reduce ship construction costs from the design source, so as to have a greater advantage in the conventional ship-type market. .


In fact, by establishing cost awareness, setting cost indicators, and implementing cost-reduction measures at the design stage, and thereby reducing ship construction costs, not only will it help my country’s shipbuilding industry to enhance its competitiveness in the conventional ship market, but it will also help my country’s shipbuilding industry in high-tech ships. The development and competition in the field are of great benefit. If only focusing on performance indicators while ignoring cost indicators in the R&D and design process of high-tech ships, my country’s high-tech ships may face more difficulties in the construction process, which in turn will greatly reduce the efforts of my country’s shipbuilding industry in the field of high-tech ships. , "Cost reduction by design" is also applicable to R&D and construction of high-tech ships.


"Cost reduction" and "R&D technology" are necessary conditions for the high-quality development of my country's shipbuilding industry. Only by "walking on two legs" can my country's dream of a strong shipbuilding nation be realized steadily.


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