Shipbuilding has come a long way since our earliest seafaring ancestors. From Viking long ships to luxury cruisers, it’s always been the advancement of technology that informs the evolution of the industry. But what developments are going to be most important in 2019 and beyond? Here are five top technologies that will be making a big impression on the marine industry.
- 3D Printing: As the technology for 3D printing becomes more and more available, the more it will affect major manufacturing industries like shipbuilding. There are already shipyards using 3D printing technology to fabricate sale models for ships to make it easy to understand the overall construction. As things continue to advance in this arena it’s expected that shipyards may also be able to use the technology to quickly manufacture replacement parts for repairs.
- Robotics: As we discussed earlier this month, robotics is already a big talking point for many in the marine industry. Change may be happening faster than we original thought. There are already shipyards in the world relying on robotics for dangerous jobs such as welding in tight spaces, which can reduce safety concerns for employees.
- Ballast-free Design: Ballast water disposal has been a concern in the shipping industry for decades. When the water is discharged, it can deposit non-native species into lake and ocean ecosystems not prepared to deal with the outcomes. Manufacturers and engineers are currently experimenting with alternative designs that would eliminate the need for a ballast system.
- Liquified Natural Gas: Further environmental concerns are also leading to advancements in new fuel sources. LNG, or liquified natural gas, can reduce CO2 emissions up to 25% when compared to more traditional diesel fuel engines. There are other technologies that can cut the environmental impact down even more.
- Solar and Wind Power: Other technologies that are reducing the marine industry’s reliance on fossil fuels include solar and wind power, which can both be harnessed and used in a variety of ways. There is already a 100-ton research vessel that runs entirely on solar power. The information provided by this ship’s operations can go a long way to helping the shipbuilding industry create new innovations in the future.
Do you want to know more about how technological advancements will impact your shipyard? Contact the team at Hutco to learn more.