Multi-project planning in shipbuilding

R. van Dijk, A.J.R.M. Gademann, G. Schouten, J.M.J. Schutten

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic


Planning of time and capacity is an important instrument to improve the performance of a shipyard. In practice, however, the opportunities that planning offers are not fully exploited. In this paper, we describe common planning techniques and propose improvements by organizational changes and by support from computer applications. An important observation is that planning and organizational aspects are closely related. In order to exploit the planning opportunities, the planning process must be facilitated by an appropriate organizational structure. The common approach, in which orders are treated as projects, has proven to be successful, but offers new challenges. A shipyard is a multi-project environment, in which projects interfere and usually have a certain degree of uncertainty in the beginning. We discuss organizational aspects of multiproject planning and explain why traditional project management techniques are not always sufficient. Simultaneous management of time, capacity, and costs is required to balance the various interests in the organization and to improve a shipyard's performance. The multi-project level is the best platform for tactical time and capacity planning for engineering, purchasing, and production. Plan integration results in a more effective planning process. Spatial plans require attention as well, because they cause constraining relations for the production and assembly plan. We discuss several trade-offs for a planner in the planning process. Planning support can contribute to plan optimization and is required to fully use the potential of planning. We describe the possibilities and the demands for planning support. Also, we describe the ongoing implementation of a decision support system at a Dutch shiprepair yard. Although the planning processes for shipbuilding and shiprepair are different, the same principles can be applied.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication11th International Conference on Computer Applications in Shipbuilding, 29 September - 1 October, Bremen, Germany
Place of PublicationPiscataway
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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