The design and construction of any marine vessel designed on a computer-assisted design (CAD) system, from a nuclear aircraft carrier to the smallest work boat, requires the interaction of many electronic databases, all of which must be continually updated for the work to proceed. The exchange of this information, especially geometry, in digital format is accomplished using many different tools and techniques. Much has been presented to the marine community about the tools used, such as the Initial Graphics Exchange Specification (IGES) and the Standard for the Exchange of Product Model Data (STEP), and how these tools might be used for exchanges in the future, but little has been presented on how production data exchanges actually occur. At Electric Boat, current submarine programs cannot wait for future data transfer solutions. Design and construction data must be exchanged among various activities, internal and external, with such volume as to make manual reentry of data an unrealistic solution. Because of the complexities associated with the electronic exchange of these data, the General Dynamics (GD) Marine organization of Electric Boat has a dedicated group that both performs production data exchanges and researches and implements new methods of electronic transfer. This paper discusses the rationale for and the formation of the data exchange group at Electric Boat, along with its place within GD Marine. It then presents an overview of the tools used by the group and how production transfers occur, both routine and unique. Notable transfers provide examples of how the group works to solve transfer problems. Importantly, this paper shows how many of the exchange standards developed for the marine industry actually work in production. Special emphasis will be placed on the exchange of solid models in a day-to-day environment. The paper concludes with a look at the future of production data exchanges for Electric Boat and the larger marine industry.

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