Constant investments in service of a high-performance industrial facilities
Chantiers de l’Atlantique is one of the world leaders on the markets of highly complex ships and offshore installations. The company relies on a high-performance industrial tools and constantly improves it by investing an average of 40 million euros ($48 million) per year.
Machining and pre-outfitting
Machining is the first step of any production. It consists in the cutting of steel parts with plasma cutter. Once assembled, those parts create the ship’s hull. Chantiers de l’Atlantique’s equipment includes:
- a machining workshop able to produce 175,000 parts per year with a gripping robot to retrieve and sort some of the parts,
- an automated pre-assembling workshop made of four welding robots used for various assembling procedures.
Once the part have been cut, they are sent to the prefabrication workshops in which they are used to produce and outfit the panels, the first of the subassemblies forming a ship’s hull. Chantiers de l’Atlantique’s equipment includes:
- a flatpanel workshop is made of two heavily automated lines able to produce 40 panels per week,
- another workshop for complex panels that can weigh between 80 and 400 tons.
Outfitting and Painting
In order to regulate the costs, the delivery time and the quality, all panels are quickly pre-outfitted, meaning they are equipped with as many networks as possible in dedicated area, and painted in another area equipped with volatile organic compounds burners.
Once produced and pre-outfitted, the panels are moved to the pre-assembling area. At this stage, they will be assembled to form blocks, sub-assembies made of 8 panels on average.
The pre-assembling area is 1,300 m (4,260 ft) long and can hold up to 22 blocks at the same time. This open-air area hosts three movable shelters used for some pre-outfitting or painting jobs.
The assembling consists in welding together the various pre-outfitted blocks in order to form the ship’s hull. The blocks are lifted from the pre-assembling area by high capactity gantry cranes put down in a 900 m (2,950 ft) long assembling dock.
The outfitting and the assembling procedures are done simultaneously. Outfitting is the installation of technical systems, such as the propulsion system, the various networks and grids or the insulation. It also includes the layout work of the various inside areas.
It takes place either in a dock, or in an outfitting quay, allowing to work on up to three large cruise ships at the same time.
The cabin factory represents an area of 130,000 m² (155,500 yd²), including 39,000 m² (46,600 yd²) of workshops. It holds five production lines and can produce one cabin every 19 minutes. It represents a yearly production of 5,000 cabins equipped with their sanitary blocks.
Once out of the production line, the cabins are moved to the ship where they are installed and connected to the grids already provided on board.
Anemos and Hall K, the workshops dedicated to offshore equipment
The facilities dedicated to the manufacturing, outfitting and painting of offshore equipment are able to produce two electrical substations per year. They are made of:
- A 120 x 35 x 15 m (393 x 115 x 50 ft) assembly workshop
- A 6,000 m² (7,175 yd²) pre-assembling area;
- A 50 x 35 x 22 m (164 x 115 x 72 ft) painting shelter,
- A 307 x 23 m pre-manufacturing workshop with one 50 tons gantry crane and special tools.