Meyer Turku Oy
Waters of the Baltic Sea glimmer brightly in the Turku shipyard dock. The shipyard was recently acquired by the Meyer family, and there are now three new vessels under construction. The speedy completion of hull components and sub-assemblies is facilitated with the Machine Track system.
A year ago the German Meyer family, specialised in the shipyard industry, acquired the Turku shipyard located in Perno. Since then, the new owner has succeeded in setting the operations of the Turku shipyard on a new course. After years of poor results, the shipyard is now seeing a period of positive growth.
At the moment, there are three vessels under construction: the 212-meter LNG-operated (liquefied natural gas) vessel for Tallink Silja, and two 300-meter cruise ships for Tui Cruises which are designated to sail the Caribbean waters. In addition to the ongoing projects, contracts have been signed on four other vessels, and construction will start during the next few years. It takes approximately two years to complete a single vessel. According to Meyer Turku shipyard’s hull production Development Coordinator Petri Uotila and System Specialist Petteri Soininen, there is work in Turku for shipyard workers for at least five years.
“Increased production means also recruiting new employees. We must be efficient in hull production as well, so that we can deliver the vessels as agreed”, says Soininen with a smile.
One of the tools used in production development is the ARROW Machine Track system. It has been used to monitor the shipyard’s production since the end of the 1990s. At that time, it became necessary to gather information regarding the operation of plasma cutting and welding robots used in the manufacturing of hull components and in sub-assemblies.
“Turku shipyard has acted as a pioneer in the utilisation of robotics. Machine Track has been used since the beginning to facilitate the development of automated production”, Uotila explains.
According to Uotila, the Machine Track system was developed and adapted heavily for the shipyard’s specific purposes in 2006–2007. At that time, the usability of the program was improved and, along with new additions, the benefits were increased significantly.
At the moment, Machine Track is used to monitor the operations of 12 robots and 10 numerically controlled automated machines. The system is used by the robot operators, foremen, and shipyard maintenance personnel alike. The main target for measurements is efficient operating time, but information regarding disruptions and waiting periods is also gathered. The collected data is used to make component production more efficient.
“For example, a couple of years ago we implemented a development project on the bulkhead line based on Lean procedures, in which we utilised the data collected by Machine Track to optimise production. As a result, the production of bulkhead metres was doubled. Now we have implemented Lean methods on other production lines as well”, says Uotila.
Uotila and Soininen are happy that a devoted owner has taken over the shipyard.
“Under the new ownership we can create production development projects in a purposeful manner. Project management has been specified, but we still have enough room to manoeuvre”, says Soininen contently.
The component manufacturing section is currently undergoing a Machine Track system renewal phase, which is scheduled to be ready during the fall of 2015. After the renewal, the system will be used through a browser, which means that the system can be used with mobile devices as well. At the same time, eight new robots are introduced to the system. A Machine Track Quality Data module is also implemented for the purpose of operator quality checks.
“With the module, the measurement accuracy of profile components and plate panels can be entered straight into Machine Track. There is no need for hand-written records that were required before”, Soininen explains.
Uotila and Soininen are happy with the long-term co-operation with ARROW, as well as the benefits brought on by Machine Track.
“The basic functions of the Machine Track system are ready, and the development work on the program has run smoothly”, says Uotila.