Commercial shipbuilding - why not in the UK?

Yokel

LE
If you think Rolls-Royce are the best aero engine builders going and Chinese engine builders are shit, then you are wrong on both counts. Rolls-Royce have a long history of having it's aero engine division bailed out; they have always made more money from industrial and marine versions of the aero engines. The Chinese aircraft and engines operated by air arms like the Pakistanis were found to be more accurately built and lasted longer than their original Russian equivalents. China can churn out shit all day but it can also make precision equipment as good as anyone.
Rolls Royce only needed bailing out after the RB211 - I am not sure why that engine was so difficult and costly to develop, something to do with the customer (Lockheed - for the Tri-Star I believe) changing specifications. I am not sure that RR's Marine and Industrial divisions are more profitable than Commercial Aviation and Military Aviation. Is there any information on their website? All four divisions use much of the same technology.

As for Chinese versus Russian engines and aircraft - are you saying Russian build quality is poor or that Chinese quality is particularly good? Do either of them really do things such as ISO 9001 or AS 9100? I can think of companies that outsource manufacturing to China, but only the higher volume, less high specification stuff.
 
The 211 had several excessively complex points in it's design, one of which was a particular bearing and it's housing, called a squirrel cage, by those who got to play with it. From what I know,several of the design errors were ironed out over time and the 211-535 became a reliable unit but, allegedly, several of those design faults were copied into the later V2500, also available on the A320. The V2500 is a reliable cruise engine which also has the admirable quirk of not using much oil compared to a CFM 56, which likes a drop, as they say in Ireland........I worked on industrial turbines with several ex RR men, who all stated that the industrial / marine division was keeping the aero engine side afloat (pardon the pun) and they had all started in the aero division and were very loyal to RR. They were, to a man, old school fitters who could make pretty much anything if they had access to a lathe and a pile of bar stock .......a friend of mine is high in the upper echelons of an airline that returned Sukhoi SSJ jets to Russia because their spares situation was a joke. Build quality good to excellent, let down by chronically bad spares and support, well below the standard we are used to in the West. As for Chinese build quality, the Paks found that the build quality of Chinese stuff was and is good enough to replace Russian origin kit entirely.Russian Migs tended to be "Shorts Tucano" style mix and match to get panels to fit and engine life was chronically bad. Chinese engines for the Mig 19 and 21 were able to reach and even exceed the original Russian overhaul life. India was able to get the Mig 21 engine up to 500 hrs service life, compared to 250-300 for the original engine.
 
Which is why our industrial strategy has to be focused on quality and responsiveness.



Yes... But they are doing industrial espionage on a MASSIVE scale.



The Japanese benefited hugely from people like W Edwards Deming - sent to Japan to rebuild industry and given a free hand to implement his ideas that upset the old school management types back home. Same with Germany and British experts. Meanwhile Western industry had complacent management who ignored quality.
industrial espionage? Yes, they are mahoosive into that.

W Edwards Deming is a name know by every Japanese schoolkid and he is revered as a God in Japan.
He wasn’t taken seriously in the West until Mazdagate.

Ford bought into Mazda and started getting them to make gearboxes for their US domestic production cars. It was quickly noticed by buyers and dealers, the Japanese made ‘Ford’ boxes were much better in operation and faultlessly reliable - everyone wanted their Ford with a Japanese made box, not a Detroit one. it was a massive jolt to the US car industry and made them up their quality game.
 
Last edited:

Yokel

LE
Like with other sectors of British manufacturing, I think the "we have always done it this way" had a lot to answer for. After World War Two the outsiders who were brought into key industries to make things happen were quickly replaced by the old school types. I read a book on all aspects of the RN in World War Two including ship design and shipbuilding, as I was astonished at the level of wartime innovation, including the use of pre fabricating sections of ships at different yards.

But post War the management wanted to do things the 'right' way, and so did many of the trade unions.
 
industrial espionage? Yes, they are mahoosive into that.

W Edwards Deming is a name know by every Japanese schoolkid and he is revered as a God in Japan.
He wasn’t taken seriously in the West until Mazdagate.

Ford bought into a Mazda and started getting them to make gearboxes for their US domestic production cars. It was quickly noticed by buyers and dealers, the Japanese made ‘Ford’ boxes were much better in operation and faultlessly reliable - everyone wanted their Ford with a Japanese made box, not a Detroit one. it was a massive jolt to the US car industry and made them up their quality game.
With regard to American cars and bikes, that's how many of the rebuilders and aftermarket shops got their start, as American production was so shite,especially things like AMC (AMF?) producing appalling motorcycles which led to a surge in importation of Japanese bikes. There was a period of about 10 years when Harley bikes were so bad, they came close to the wall and a lotof it was down to union bloodymindedness.
 
There was an interview on TV with a retired Japanese car builder and he was asked about their build quality. He said that they had gone through the time period when copying others that they had figured out all the wrong ways to build things like gearboxes and after a number of years, building quality gearboxes from day one, for even the most basic car, was regarded as normal. They believed that the concept that engines and gearboxes shouldn't leak was normal.
 
With regard to American cars and bikes, that's how many of the rebuilders and aftermarket shops got their start, as American production was so shite,especially things like AMC (AMF?) producing appalling motorcycles which led to a surge in importation of Japanese bikes. There was a period of about 10 years when Harley bikes were so bad, they came close to the wall and a lotof it was down to union bloodymindedness.
The story of the defection of Ernst Degner is also an interesting one.
 
There was an interview on TV with a retired Japanese car builder and he was asked about their build quality. He said that they had gone through the time period when copying others that they had figured out all the wrong ways to build things like gearboxes and after a number of years, building quality gearboxes from day one, for even the most basic car, was regarded as normal. They believed that the concept that engines and gearboxes shouldn't leak was normal.
reminds me of Everretts and Harry Gills in Gosport back in the day.
Everetts sold BSA/Triumph, Gills next door sold Japanese bikes.
Everretts always had a drip tray under every bike on display in their quarry tiled display area. Gills showroom was carpeted.

FWIW, Honda built the engines of their basic C50 stepthrough to exactly the same standards and precision As their CB750 superbike. The British bike industry didn’t have a hope, and never even realised what killed it.
 
Last edited:

Yokel

LE
It seems that quality problems are non limited to British manufacturers of yesteryear.


Dangerous Doors and Fire Hazards: Norway’s Largest Naval Ship Flagged As Unsafe and Banned from Sailing

After examining the KNM Maud and interviewing the crew, the company rolled out a laundry list of red flags. Among the problems uncovered are the heavy doors which pose a “danger” to the crew, and the absence of proper lighting on board, which makes it hard to walk around the ship in the dark.

Much of the new and expensive medical equipment turned out to be faulty or outdated. In particular, an oxygen generator in the operating room could potentially pose a “major” fire hazard, a report by DNV GL said, citing interviews with the crew.

The firm also found no signs that the vessel had undergone any maintenance for two years while docked at the shipyard in South Korea where it was being built.
 
Should have bought Chinese - price and quality is good
 

Yokel

LE
Should have bought Chinese - price and quality is good
Can you think of any reasons a Western nation might not want to have naval or auxiliary vessels constructed in a yard in a Communist nation? I this this was an auxiliary - and things like RAS rigs, military communications, weapons, etc would have probably been fitted in Norway - but the construction would have revealed a lot.

Does China do quality well - as in ISO 9001 etc? Why is so much manufacturing being reshored?
 

Yokel

LE

endure

GCM
The majority of merchant cargo ships use slow speed diesels that are directly connected to the prop shaft and run at about 110rpm max. They have no need of complicated propulsion systems.
 
An interesting reflection on changing times...

BAe are having real problems in attracting top end engineers and science types to go and work at Barrow, not because the work is not there, but that their wives will not move to Barrow..

The reality is that this strata of society is now meeting their life partners at university, and that these partners are likely to be as well qualified and have as good employment prospects as their other halves as doctors, scientists etc and want to pursue careers.. but this is not going to happen in Barrow in Furness, (...with the sound of banjos echoing in the distance)!

...see what happens when ya edgermucate wimmin! t'aint natural..
Similar problem to Forces recruitment then with married potential recruits having to convince other halves that their career aspiration must henceforth be starting at the bottom as NAAFI (maybe it is Spar these days, I am not sure) till operator and maybe one day rising to the top as NAAFI/Spar supervisor.

Mind you life in some towns up and down the country as is might indeed make that seem like an attractive and exciting option.
 

Yokel

LE
The majority of merchant cargo ships use slow speed diesels that are directly connected to the prop shaft and run at about 110rpm max. They have no need of complicated propulsion systems.
Yes - at the present. But what of the few that do? I am thinking of things like the new Antarctic research ship RRS Sir David Attenborough and her design for very quiet electrical propulsion - borrowed warship technology surely? Or vessels that need things such as dynamic positioning?

The World is meant to be moving to Green shipping with reduced Carbon Dioxide emissions, so new technologies will be needed.
 

endure

GCM
Yes - at the present. But what of the few that do? I am thinking of things like the new Antarctic research ship RRS Sir David Attenborough and her design for very quiet electrical propulsion - borrowed warship technology surely? Or vessels that need things such as dynamic positioning?

The World is meant to be moving to Green shipping with reduced Carbon Dioxide emissions, so new technologies will be needed.
Dynamic positioning is done at present by thrusters driven by generators. I don't think that changing main engine type would make much difference

I've no doubt that the systems you mention will be useful in some circumstances but they're a bit of a niche product
 

bob231

Old-Salt
As for exporting technology, an Indian delegation recently visited HMS Prince Of Wales.

For whatever reason I cannot copy and paste, but the article mentioned the QEC design but also Integrated Electrical Propulsion. Does IEP technology have the potential to be used (and exported) for commercial vessels on a reasonable scale?

How many other technologies were developed for naval use but were later adopted by merchant shipping?
It already is used in commercial shipping, and extensively. Part of the shift to IEP was that the design capability for stonking great electric propulsion motors already exists, far more so than manufacturing the high-speed fabulously complex gearboxes required for a COGAG or COGOG ship (the Type 42 and Type 22 propulsion setup). That and it's pretty much the optimum solution for capital ships.

WRT your follow-up question, I suspect the answer is "ever less": the operating envelope of a warship looks less and less like that of a merchantman, which (applying significant gloss) is the design flaw of the Type 45 propulsion plant.
 

endure

GCM
It already is used in commercial shipping, and extensively. Part of the shift to IEP was that the design capability for stonking great electric propulsion motors already exists, far more so than manufacturing the high-speed fabulously complex gearboxes required for a COGAG or COGOG ship (the Type 42 and Type 22 propulsion setup). That and it's pretty much the optimum solution for capital ships.

WRT your follow-up question, I suspect the answer is "ever less": the operating envelope of a warship looks less and less like that of a merchantman, which (applying significant gloss) is the design flaw of the Type 45 propulsion plant.
What kind of commercial shipping is it used in?
 

Yokel

LE
It already is used in commercial shipping, and extensively. Part of the shift to IEP was that the design capability for stonking great electric propulsion motors already exists, far more so than manufacturing the high-speed fabulously complex gearboxes required for a COGAG or COGOG ship (the Type 42 and Type 22 propulsion setup). That and it's pretty much the optimum solution for capital ships.

WRT your follow-up question, I suspect the answer is "ever less": the operating envelope of a warship looks less and less like that of a merchantman, which (applying significant gloss) is the design flaw of the Type 45 propulsion plant.
Thanks for the reply. I have still not fully understood your explanation of gas turbines on one of the other threads - I will have another go.

I was not only asking about naval propulsion technologies being used by commercial vessels, but other things such as material handling systems related the the weapon handling system in the carriers, firefighting and damage control equipment, precision navigation, and so on.
 

endure

GCM
Thanks for the reply. I have still not fully understood your explanation of gas turbines on one of the other threads - I will have another go.

I was not only asking about naval propulsion technologies being used by commercial vessels, but other things such as material handling systems related the the weapon handling system in the carriers, firefighting and damage control equipment, precision navigation, and so on.
I'm sorry but you seem to have no idea of how a merchant ship works.

As an example a bulk carrier will load 100,000 tonnes of coal in Brazil and carry it at 12 knots to Europe. It will use GPS navigation. It will have a crew of 20 to 23 people. It will load the cargo by conveyor belt and discharge by either vacuum scoops or grab cranes.

The purpose of merchant ships is to make a profit.
 

Latest Threads

Top