Delivering Vessels Fit for Purpose and Built to Last
Whether the requirement is for a high-speed passenger ferry, a sleek superyacht, or a simple tugboat, governments, port authorities, corporations, and private buyers around the world choose Damen Shipyards Group for its outstanding build quality, ability to customize orders to exacting specifications, superior levels of customer service, and reputation for innovation. And, with 35 shipyards on five continents, the company is renowned for being able to service or repair a vessel almost anywhere in the world.
Damen Shipyards Group projects are of such high value and strategic importance that customers often spend time at the company’s shipyards monitoring the progress of their builds. A buyer might visit a site twice a month to check on the status of their order, while a government agency might dispatch an entire team to a shipyard for the duration of a build.
At the same time, Damen Shipyards Group designers and engineers located throughout the world routinely travel between company offices, shipyards, and headquarters to collaborate on projects.
Addressing a Short-Term Challenge with a Long-Term Capability
When global travel restrictions were imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Damen Shipyards Group needed a way to allow customers to continue to monitor the progress of their orders and enable employees to continue to work together on builds. The company recognized that 2D photography or documentation, no matter how detailed, could in no way replicate the experience of visiting a shipyard in person to inspect an order. Members of Damen Shipyards Group’s Workboat Division thus decided to review the technology options available and immediately spotted potential use cases for Matterport, Inc.™ digital twin technology.
“The next best thing to seeing your vessel at the shipyard is to be immersed in a 3D representation of it that’s accurate down to the smallest detail,” explains Jan-Jaap Eits, Assistant Project Manager at Damen Shipyards Group’s Workboat Division. “We could see how Matterport digital twins could help us overcome short-term, pandemic-related challenges and then be harnessed as a strategic tool across the company in the long term.”
After the decision was made to standardize on Matterport, the Workboat Division installed the company’s Pro2 3D cameras at headquarters and at major shipyards in China, Turkey, and Vietnam.
“We were able to get up and running quickly since the cameras are intuitive to use,” recalls Eits. “Onboarding was easy; we created a short training video and sent it to the site teams. Their reaction to the Matterport capabilities was ‘wow!’”
Approximating The Feeling of Being There in Person
The Workboat Division’s enthusiasm for Matterport prompted the team to explore both internal and customer-facing advantages the technology offers. For example, early in a project, a digital twin of a vessel is sent to a customer so they can check that every aspect of the design meets their expectations before construction begins.
Using the digital twin, they can walk through every compartment, examine the layout and placement of equipment, and request modifications if necessary. Once the design is set, they can share the digital twin internally for promotional purposes or among assigned crewmembers to help familiarize them with the vessel’s layout and capabilities ahead of time.
For several recent projects, when headquarters-based project managers completed a blueprint for a vessel, they then distributed its digital twin to the design and engineering team for input. The Measurement Mode capability within the digital twin allowed the team to double-check the measurement of the room layouts and placement of everything from windows and doors to hardware and equipment, so they could easily provide feedback or suggestions for refinements.
Finally, Damen Shipyards Group is using Matterport to build a 3D archive of all of the projects it has delivered to customers since the solution’s deployment. The archive is particularly useful for supporting periodic vessel overhauls or equipment upgrades. Additionally, having a complete digital record of each build helps facilitate knowledge transfer when longtime employees retire or leave the company.
“There are multiple use cases and benefits of Matterport technology, but one of the most significant is that it renders most travel by employees or customers to our shipyards unnecessary,” says Eits.
Providing More Flexibility for Customers in the Future
Eits foresees that in the future, when a vessel is in a shipyard for repair, a customer could access Matterport to inspect the work and sign off on it. Conversely, if a customer encountered a fault while at sea, Damen Shipyards Group’s support team could use the digital twin to pinpoint the fault’s location, ascertain its probable cause, and help the customer fix it in real-time.
In addition, Damen Shipyards Group’s sales and marketing organization has had a positive reaction to the Matterport digital twins, seeing their potential as a tool for customer acquisition.
Reflecting on the Matterport deployment, Eits says,
The digital twin technology plays to our reputation for technology innovation and customer service. For the first time, we can offer customers an alternative to time-consuming and costly site visits that replicates the same feelings of discovery, excitement, and fulfillment.”
©2022 Matterport, Inc. All rights reserved. Matterport is a registered trademark and the Matterport logo is a trademark of Matterport, Inc. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.
ABOUT DAMEN SHIPYARDS GROUP
Founded in 1927, Damen is a family-owned shipbuilding company with operations in 120 countries.
Gorinchem, The Netherlands
Introduce a digital alternative to viewing ship builds in person
Matterport Pro2 3D Camera
Matterport digital twins allow customers to inspect their vessel orders in 3D while enabling globally dispersed designers and engineers to collaborate more effectively
- Reduces need for customer travel to shipyards, which can save time and money
- Facilitates business continuity during COVID-19 restrictions
- Fosters collaboration between design and engineering stakeholders
- Provides sales and marketing with a timely new tool for customer acquisition