SENER Marine receives the Gold Medal at the AINE awards for its application of AI in FORAN thanks to IBM Watson functionalities, available in IBM Cloud

19/01/2021 (Spain)
SENER Marine receives the Gold Medal at the AINE awards for its application of AI in FORAN thanks to IBM Watson functionalities, available in IBM Cloud

SENER received several awards from the Association of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers of Spain (AINE) at the 59th Naval Engineering and Maritime Industry Congress. The most important one was the first prize, the Gold Medal for SENER's paper entitled "New technologies in ship design: machine learning, data analysis and artificial intelligence."

The paper was carried out by Jesús Angel Muñoz Herrero, PhD in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, and naval architects Alicia Ramírez Gutiérrez and Silvia Santana Bayón, all of them from SENER's Innovation Technology Unit.

This paper presents a specific use case in which SENER applies disruptive machine learning, data analysis and artificial intelligence technologies: specifically, the application of IBM® Watson "Machine Learning" functionalities from the IBM Cloud platform to implement design improvements to the FORAN System, the CAD/CAE/CAM software that is developed and owned by SENER.

FORAN is one of the world's best-selling shipbuilding and design systems. The software can be used for every phase of a ship's design in a fully integrated manner thanks to a single database, which yields a considerable reduction in the delivery time and cost of the vessel.

The award-winning paper details the methodologies used by SENER, and underscores the importance of a knowledge of data science in conjunction with ship design. SENER is a leader in both areas, which the company combines to apply new technologies efficiently in the field of ship design and construction, and to be at the forefront of the sector.

FORAN in Shipyard 4.0

Currently, the FORAN System has embarked on the shipyard 4.0 project in an effort to become a key tool in the process of digitalization and technological upgrade used in shipyards, and includes aspects as diverse as Virtual and Augmented Reality, Simulation, Artificial Intelligence, Additive Manufacturing, Life Cycle Management, Sensorization, IoT, Asset Management, etc. The goal is to use the FORAN database, where every component of a vessel is defined down to the smallest detail, and which is used to generate all the manufacturing and assembly information, as a data source for creating and maintaining the vessel's digital twin.

Mindful of the desirability of having the best specialists in defining and operating the digital model of the vessel, SENER has reached strategic partnership agreements with leading companies in the development of industry 4.0, including IBM. Under these agreements, the FORAN System incorporates different enabling technologies, providing the best end-to-end integrated solution and leading to the design, manufacture and operation of better vessels at a lower cost.

Partnership with IBM®

SENER and IBM have launched an innovative project to endow the FORAN System with IBM Watson's Artificial Intelligence functionalities, available in the IBM Cloud. Among Watson's many applications, it can be used as an assistant, named FORAN Assistant, that helps both in the design of FORAN and in learning how to use it. This assistant has access to a knowledge base that can be used to consult best practices for using FORAN in different stages of the design. It also incorporates rules for designing and analyzing the various components to determine if they are consistent with both these design rules and the shipyard's practices. IBM Watson's artificial intelligence engine is able to analyze the natural language of users and find the right answer to the user's demands. This flattens the FORAN learning curve and cuts down on the time needed to define the 3D model. It also reduces design errors, and thus any additional work that results from these errors. The system can operate on-demand or passively based on the user's actions. The answers provided by IBM Watson improve the more it is used thanks to the powerful machine learning systems it employs.

AINE Awards at the 59th Naval Engineering and Maritime Industry Congress

Alicia Ramírez presented the results obtained when machine learning was applied to a set of design data for the FORAN structure model at the 59th Naval Engineering and Maritime Industry Congress. Held virtually, this event took place last month under the theme of "Boosting the economy and employment through ecological transformation."

The paper presented, entitled "New technologies in ship design: machine learning, data analysis and artificial intelligence," received the Gold Medal. SENER Marine representatives also received an AINE runner-up award for the paper "Application of virtual reality in immersive collaborative engineering environments" and the Special Prize for the Best Historical Presentation for the report on "The people who developed Naval Engineering in Spain. From Gaztañeta to Rechea Hernández."

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