Yards today are highly sophisticated production facilities that involves thousands of yard employees at the big yards. The process of producing ships and keeping the production schedule in a modern yard is essential for its efficiency and profitability. Shipbuilding is dominated by China, Korea & Japan as more than 90% are of the worlds cargo capacity is being produced in those countries. Through this process there are a few milestones i. e. Steel cutting, Keel-Laying, Launching & Delivery. Many times those milestones also marks where the part payments of the ship is done.
1. Signing of Contract - When signing the contract a ceremony usually will be held at the shipyard and this is a starting point for the shipyard to begin its process for building the ship. Normally the first payment is done when the contract is signed. The ship is also officially given a hull number and an IMO number which is unique identity that will follow the ship through out its lifetime.
2. Production Design - The production design organizes the design information in the detailed plans into respective component information. The production design enables the field staff to meticulously control a large amount of components on site.
3. Material and Equipment Purchase - At this stage yards starts purchase all material and equipment need to complete the vessel. Since a tremendous volume of materials need to be ordered to build a ship, it is vital to manage and supervise the delivery dates of those materials so that the procurement is timely and accurate.
4. Production Plan – The production plan has a critical impact on manufacturing efficiency due to the enormous amount of components and the large number of workers involved on the job site. It is vital, therefore, to plan thoroughly so as to control and supervise the flow of materials, work volume, job assignments and subsequent progress of the shipbuilding process.
5. Steel Cutting - Steel plates are being cut in to the parts that will form the the hull and deck sections of the ship. The process of heating and bending a steel plate into curved shapes is of great importance in shipbuilding, and requiries sophisticated skill and technique. Normally second payment will take place at this stage.
6. Keel Laying Assembly and Mounting of Ship Sections - The cut steel is assembled into smaller blocks that in turn are assembled into larger sections that mounted together to finally become a complete ship. Third payment is done at this stage.
7. Launching – When all the blocks are mounted and jointed, launching is the next stage. While the launching at a dock simply means filling the dock with water to float the ship, the launching from a building berth is a very impressive and exciting sight to see since the ship slides its way majestically into the sea. This is one of the most thrilling moments for all involved with the shipbuilding process. Fourth payment will normally take place during launching.
8. Finishing of the Vessel - After launching the vessel is finished up at the quay. Starting with finishing work of accommodation and control sections, every equipment and instrument is checked and re-examined in practice. We are now in the final stretch of shipbuilding.
9. Sea Trial - At sea trial the ship and ship equipment performance is tested and the result is kept as a performance record of the vessel.
10. Delivery - A new ship is born. After the delivery ceremony, the captain, chief engineer and crew embark for the ship’s maiden voyage. Final payment is done at delivery.
11. Warranty - Warranty period of a new ship is usually 12 – 24 months depending on the contract.