EU shipbuilding leading edge relies in the complexity, quality, customization, delivery time and lifecycle services (e.g. in situ maintenance, repair and retrofitting) of the vessels manufactured. However, in the last decade, EU small and medium-sized shipyards (SME) have experienced a competitive drawback in their market segments due to an increase of competition from other global regions that benefits from lower labour costs or higher automation degree. Moreover, SME shipyards must also overcome a major impediment related with capital investment that can overwhelm the part cost for shipbuilding. As a result, current automation solutions based on large monolithic equipment, are not still valid for increasing productivity in SME shipyards.
Therefore, shipbuilding, and especially SME shipyards, needs novel cost-effective, reconfigurable, modular and flexible worker-centric methodologies capable of improving worker’s performance and ensuring quality and precision in the execution of the labour-intensive tasks.
Mari4_YARD aims the implementation of a portfolio of worker-centric solutions, by relying on novel collaborative robotics and ubiquitous portable solutions, enabling modular, reconfigurable and usable solutions targeting the execution of labour-intensive tasks by preserving industry-specific workers’ knowledge and skills.
Moreover, replicability and early-adoption of the portfolio of technologies by other SME-shipyards is ensured through several actions on training, technology assessment, benchmarking by establishing a pan-European network of Didactic Factories, offering general-purpose testbeds and showrooms, as well as providing upskilling and re-skilling of shipyards workforce.
To further maximise the impact, Mari4_YARD plans to use synergies with complementary European and national initiatives, especially those related to MG-3-7-2020. A strategy for collaboration with Mari4_CHAIN and Mari4_PRO proposals, if funded as well, has already been set up.
The EU-funded Mari4_YARD project leverages the potential of the Internet of things (IoT), mobile and ubiquitous ICT tools, and robotics for implementing a novel connected shipyard, offering the European shipbuilding the opportunity to stay at the leading edge. Specifically, the project will implement a portfolio of worker-centric solutions by relying on novel collaborative robotics and ubiquitous portable solutions.