A fully automated line heating (LH) process includes a control system (software) and an automated machine (hardware). The software and hardware need to be developed concurrently in order to verify and maximize the efficiency of the new process. However, most shipyards have developed these separately for an automated LH process. The development also involves extensive calculations of computer-aided design, manufacturing, and engineering (CAD/CAM/CAE) information. Thus, it cannot be user friendly for technicians. The objective of this paper is to describe the entire engineering concept for the automation of LH process. Based on the object-oriented methodology, a control system and an automated machine were developed simultaneously. The main function of the control system is to provide real-time heating information to technicians or automated machines. The information includes heating location, torch speed, heating sequence, and other related information. These data are derived from CAD/CAM/CAE applications. With the calculated heating information, the machine provides automated LH tasks and collects relevant information during and after the task. The developed system shows a user-friendly capability for shipyard operators and includes advanced engineering calculations for accurate plate fabrication. A specific example was performed, in order to verify the system. Details of the applications will be described in the paper.

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