GBS and Harmonised CSR moves closer

Jan 10 2014

Late last week, the IMO said that IMO audit teams will shortly be established to verify construction rules for bulkers and tankers of classification societies, which act as recognised organisations (ROs), following the receipt of requests for verification by the 31st December, 2013 deadline.

A new SOLAS regulation II-1/3-10 on goal-based ship construction standards (GBS) for bulkers and tankers was adopted by IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), at its 87th session in May 2010, by resolution MSC.290(87). 

This regulation, which entered into force on 1st January, 2012, requires that all tankers and bulkers of 150 m in length and above, for which the building contract is placed on, or after, 1st July, 2016, satisfy applicable structural requirements conforming to the functional requirements of the International Goal-based Ship Construction Standards for Bulk Carriers and Oil Tankers (GBS Standards) (resolution MSC.287(87)).

Under the GBS standards, construction rules for bulkers and tankers of classification societies acting as ROs, or national administrations, will be verified, based on the guidelines for verification of conformity with goal-based ship construction standards for bulk carriers and oil tankers (resolution MSC.296(87)) (GBS Guidelines). 

Based on the requests for verification audits, the IMO said that it will establish GBS audit teams, as soon as possible, to conduct audits for verification of the subject construction rules.  The outcome of these audits will be submitted to the MSC in May 2016 at the latest and, if approved by the MSC, those construction rules will be applied to bulkers and tankers to be built on, or after, 1st July, 2016.

On 20th December last year, IMO secretary general Koji Sekimizu met with IACS chairman, Roberto Cazzulo, also chairman of RINA Services, who confirmed that the IACS Council had adopted new Harmonised Common Structural Rules (CSR) for tankers and bulkers, which will be presented to IMO for GBS verification as its Common Package 2, by the end of June 2014.

To help with the harmonised CSR, Leading classification society ClassNK has released a new version of its PrimeShip-HULL (HCSR) ship design support software.

This software was claimed to be fully compliant with the new IACS Harmonised Common Structural Rules (CSR) for tankers and bulkers.

The new ship design support software was also claimed to be the first in the world to fully support the new CSR, which were adopted by IACS in December, 2013. As part of its work to support the development of safer ships, ClassNK is providing the software free of charge to its customers, such as shipyards and designers worldwide.

The new IACS CSR not only unify and harmonise the technical requirement of the existing CSR, but also incorporates new requirements for more comprehensive structural analysis at the design stage, including FEM analyses covering the entire range of cargo hold structures, as well as new formulae for buckling, fatigue and residual strength criteria to enhance safety and reliability.

The new rules will be applied to all tankers of over 150 m in length contracted on and after 1st July, 2015.

Although the harmonised rules represent a major step forward for ship safety, they also present a number of new challenges for shipyards and designers. ClassNK began the development of its new design support software in order to address those challenges and reduce the manpower and cost burdens on yards and designers, the class society said.

“While the new rules will mean safer ships, shipyards and designers will have to invest new resources to meet new design criteria and bring their designs into compliance with the new rules,” said Dr Takuya Yoneya, ClassNK executive vice president and head of development for PrimeShip-HULL (HCSR). “With PrimeShip-HULL (HCSR), our goal has been to develop a comprehensive and powerful design support tool that rationalises the design process and greatly reduces the man-hours needed to create ship designs that are compliant with the new rules.”

The result of more than four years of comprehensive development work, PrimeShip-HULL (HCSR) builds on ClassNK’s existing PrimeShip-HULL-CSR software, combining rule calculation and FE Model-based direct strength calculation software with completely new systems designed to interface directly with commercial CAD and rule calculation software, as well as automate parts of the basic design process.

“Thanks to the new interface with commercial CAD, PrimeShip-HULL (HCSR) makes it possible to automatically generate FE models for the fore, mid, and aft sections of the ship, as well as very fine mesh and buckling panel data. This makes it possible to greatly reduce the time required for some of the most man-hour intensive parts of ship design work,” explained Dr Yoneya

In addition to the improved interface, PrimeShip-HULL (HCSR) also includes a number of features to support both initial and full ship design, making it possible for shipyards and designers to rapidly carry out case studies of potential designs, as well as optimise their designs in accordance with the harmonized CSR.

All of the features of PrimeShip-HULL (HCSR) have been developed in close co-operation with shipyards to ensure that users will be able to effectively reduce the time and cost of the ship design process.

“We have timely released preliminary versions of PrimeShip-HULL (HCSR) to coincide with the first and second drafts of the harmonised CSR in July 2012 and April 2013, respectively and since that initial release, more than 70 shipyards and ship design firms throughout Asia have tested the software and provided design feedback.”

“Thanks to this extensive testing, we’re confident that the new software will make it easier for shipyards and designers to incorporate the harmonised CSR requirements in their ship designs and cost-effectively design a new generation of safer and more robust ships,” Dr Yoneya concluded.

*Meanwhile, ClassNK’s chairman and president, Noboru Ueda, became chairman of the Association of Asian Classification Societies (ACS) on 1st January, 2014.

ACS consists of six Asia-based classification societies and was established to share technical knowledge and insights.

With a membership comprising of Biro Klasifikasi Indonesia (BKI), China Classification Society (CCS), Indian Register of Shipping (IRS), Korean Register of Shipping (KR), Vietnam Register (VR) and ClassNK, ACS began operating as a formal organisation in 2010, following nearly two decades of informal meetings and co-operation between its members.

Ueda said that under his chairmanship, ACS will work to more proactively contribute to the development of balanced global regulations at the IMO and other regulatory bodies by consolidating the opinions of ACS members and providing greater technical support to regional administrations.

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