PC POLICY VINDICATED
Lloyd's List - March 15 1999
HAVING evolved over a decade
from principally a design consultancy to a business concentrating
on the supply and support of specialist marine software, Antibes-based
has been vindicated in its early belief that the future lay in a
PC(personal computer) environment.
Even now, hardware costs alone for PC-based systems can be around
one-sixth of the established alternatives, and developments in the
software sector gravitating towards the use of a greater variety
of hardware platforms have increased the maritime industries' accessibility
to the latest technology.
The company takes a circumspect, solutions-based approach to the
needs of its technical marine and shipbuilding client markets, maintaining
a large number of different platforms in-office, so as to ensure
direct compatibility with most of its customers' systems. It feeds
into the development of the products from the range of marine software
houses it represents.
Nick Danese of DS&T
believes that the pace of progress in the maritime field has been
understated: "The remarkable technological advance of marine
software is probably less widely known than that of the more commonplace
computer hardware, used in all industries."
He perceived two distinct strategies associated with the supply
of software to technical marine users. On the one hand, some companies
have sought to develop programs covering a whole range of tasks,
while others have joined in partnerships aimed at maintaining the
highest level of expertise in their respective fields. Mr Danese
contended that informal user surveys had indicated that the collaborative
approach seemed to be yielding higher returns-to-investment ratios.
is itself party to a strategic alliance with a number of the companies
it represents, specifically Albacore Research, Creative Systems,
HydroComp, Proteus Engineering, Sable Maritime and Spar. The stated
aims are to perfect the integration of state-of-the-art software
for use on PCs, to improve user-friendliness so that the most sophisticated
tools can be brought within the reach of everyone in the target
markets, and to blend technical software into the commercial environment
so as to raise the user's competitiveness.
The grouping provides a combined resource of more than 100 project
engineers, about 40 of whom are focused on software development,
and its customer base includes marine design offices, shipyards,
ship operators, classification societies and navies.
From its base in the south of France, DS&T's
market reach is all the greater through its representation of a
number of software specialists besides those party to the alliance,
and including Fleet Technologies, ITS, Martec, Nauticad, Optimum
Structural Design, South Bay Technologies, Velocity and Visual Systems
Overall, it provides PC-based solutions to requirements in three
main categories. These are design and analysis, ship production,
and shipmanagement and maintenance.
has substantially developed its involvement in the ship production
and consultancy arena over recent years. This is reflected in the
current portfolio of products.
ShipCAM has been formulated by Albacore for fast, accurate output
of all shell-related fabrication data, and lends itself to integration
steel production modelling programs such as NauSHIP and CAD-Link,
both of which are represented through DS&T.