Robots to build ships at Hyundai Heavy Industries

South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has unveiled its plans to start using robots to construct ships in an effort to improve efficiency and cut costs.

The move comes on the back of year-long testing of robotic systems, which the company conducted at its Ulsan shipyard.According to HHI, the robotic sistem, which is based on the Internet of Things and automation technologies, automatically shapes a vessel’s 3-D curved surface.

Equipped with a high-frequency inductive heating system, and a multi-joint arm, the system is expected to increase productivity by three times, improve the quality of the end product, and result in cost savings of about KRW 10 billion per year.

Meanwhile, shipbuilding companies working under the umbrella of the Hyundai Heavy Industries Group have secured orders for ten newbuildings, according to broker reports.Hyundai Heavy Industries won orders for four ships, two tankers and two ultra large boxships.

Namely, South Korean H-Line Shipping is reported to have ordered two 300,000 dwt tankers for $85 million each.The Tier III ships, slated for delivery in 2019, are said to be intended for a time-charter with GS Caltex, according to Intermodal.

Danish Maersk Line has lifted options for two 15, 226 TEU ULCVs at HHI, which are also set for delivery in 2019.In addition, Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries is said to have received orders for two Tier III 319,000 tankers from compatriot shipping line Sinokor Merchant Marine. The order has been tied to an option under an existing contract.The ships are worth $83.5 million apiece and will be delivered in 2019, according to Intermodal.