Seaspan Shipyards, located on the Pacific Northwest Coast of Canada, provides a complete range of shipyard services to build, repair, and maintain naval, research, and commercial vessels. Its shipyard operations include Vancouver Shipyards, Vancouver Drydock, and Victoria Shipyards. The company recently celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of its Victoria Shipyard and is considered an economic driver for the region. It has a solid reputation and is a trusted partner to government and commercial fleets in Canada and around the globe.

To meet new demands, Seaspan undertook a major effort to build out and modernize its shipbuilding facility. It was through that process that, according to Chris Phillips, director of Digital Shipyards at Seaspan, “We recognized that product lifecycle management was an incredibly important piece of the puzzle that we needed in order to be successful in the National Shipbuilding Strategy, and that’s what prompted us to go through an evaluation process—moving forward with Aras in the latter half of 2013.”

When Aras was first deployed in 2013, Seaspan focused on document management—converting massive amounts of physical documents to digital formats. By 2018, Seaspan saw a major change in its approach to product lifecycle management (PLM). Not only did the number of users increase, but their focus shifted from document-centric to product data-centric. As a result, they recognized it was time to leverage its PLM ecosystem in a more controlled manner.

Seaspan’s challenges

Seaspan realized that they had 5 significant challenges they wanted to address:

  1. Need for a “single source of truth” for managing data
  2. The ability to manage multiple project phases at one time
  3. Managing change across the life of a given project
  4. Managing collaboration among geographically dispersed teams
  5. Creating an ecosystem with accurate project data to avoid late changes, delays, and increased cost

As part of an initiative, the government named Seaspan Canada’s West Coast Center of Excellence for shipbuilding. To become a world-class maritime organization and support this expansion, Seaspan upgraded its three facilities: Vancouver Shipyards for construction and Vancouver Drydock and Victoria Shipyards for maintenance. Recognizing the need for an improved product lifecycle management (PLM) strategy amid constant shipbuilding changes, Seaspan aimed to replace outdated spreadsheets with a modern PLM platform to handle scale and swiftly changing priorities effectively.

Outcomes that exceed expectations

Seaspan looked for a vendor that could support a “two-pronged vision” of an upgraded PLM strategy. The team realized a disconnected approach wouldn’t be sustainable as their data storage and processes became increasingly complex. The company began a search for a PLM platform that was easy to use and adaptable to their organization’s specific needs.

“We were seeking a robust document management repository, which would allow us to manage essential design documentation, such as data sheets and design specifications. Seaspan leadership recognized that we needed to leverage our PLM ecosystem in a more controlled manner to become the world-class shipyard that we aspire to be.”

Seaspan’s solution was to deploy Aras Innovator® to create a unified data source to ensure effective change management.

Cruising into the future with Aras Innovator

Seaspan chose Aras Innovator as their go-to source for all product info, making everything clear and easy to track. Plus, with Aras, handling changes became simpler, even with the massive scale of shipbuilding in mind.

Seaspan’s next step is to link their 2D and 3D design software with Aras. This will let them manage configurations and see how changes affect things directly in Aras. This means they can pull important data straight from the 3D models, making it easier for them to manage their ships.

To learn more about Seaspan and how they deployed Aras Innovator to address their challenges, read the complete case study.