Ship design and construction is a complicated process and often viewed from a technical perspective. It should not be forgotten that ship design and construction is also a business venture and must succeed financially, as well.
In the quality, cost and schedule triangle, quality seems to be the only constant because the demand on shipyards is to fabricate faster, more cost efficiently and without sacrificing quality. That leaves the cost and schedule as variables. Labor cost and workstation productivity are the two major areas where a shipyard can gain considerable savings by examining the estimated labor time against the actual fabrication time at each workstation with the purpose of improving productivity.
This estimating approach aims to provide a computer-based cost estimating method to improve the current manual methods by connecting to a 3-D model and the "behind the scenes" properties of already-modeled parts in time and cost estimation after the build strategy and basic assembly drawings are developed. It treats the shipbuilding as a fabrication process that takes place in many workstations. The time it takes to perform each task at each workstation becomes an important input value for the approach.
The estimating approach presented in this paper will be helpful for cutting down the estimating time and obtaining production related, insightful, information. It may be another valuable tool for increasing profits.