Report feasibility study Shared Facility micro panel line handed over to deputy of the Province of Groningen

On January 16, 2023, the final report of the feasibility study ‘Shared Facility micro panel line for the Northern Netherlands shipbuilding industry’ was handed over to the deputy of the Province of Groningen, Mr. Rijzebol, and the chairman of the Groninger Maritime Board (GMB) foundation, Mr. Vuursteen. For this, the feasibility of a fully automated line for the joint production of ship parts up to a maximum of 12 x 3 meters, the micro panel line, was investigated in 2022.

This research was carried out for and by the Northern Dutch maritime sector, the GMB Foundation, FME, and Conoship International. Conoship International was the coordinator of this project. Over 50 people from over 30 companies took part in the project, consisting of shipyards and suppliers from the Northern Netherlands maritime sector, as well as experts in the field of automation and digitalization.

The study aimed to determine whether it is technically, financially, and organizationally feasible to operate a fully automated micro panel production line set up by the Northern Netherlands maritime sector for the benefit of Northern shipyards.

The study showed that such an automated micro panel line is feasible, provided that the machine concepts, the control system, and the organizational and financing form are developed jointly and step by step and further elaborated.

As a follow-up, the possibility of setting up a pilot plant or Fieldlab, where, in cooperation between companies and knowledge institutions, new production techniques for shipbuilding can be developed and made ready for production, is being investigated. In addition, it will be investigated how the knowledge gathered by the parties in this way can be secured in teaching materials and what role the professional training at Stichting MSO, vocational colleges and universities for applied sciences, and the University of Groningen (RUG) can and want to play in this.