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A Study into the Validity of the Ship Design Spiral in Early Stage Ship Design

Pawling, R; Percival, V; Andrews, D; (2017) A Study into the Validity of the Ship Design Spiral in Early Stage Ship Design. Journal of Ship Production and Design , 33 (2) pp. 81-100. 10.5957/JSPD.33.2.160008. Green open access

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Abstract

For many years the design spiral has been seen to be a convenient model of an acknowledged complex process. It has virtues particularly in recognising the interactive and, hopefully, converging nature of the process. However many find it unsatisfactory. One early criticism focused on its apparent assumption of a relatively smooth process to a balanced solution implied by most ship concept algorithms. The paper draws on a post-graduate design investigation using the UCL Design Building Block approach, which looked specifically at a nascent naval combatant design and the issues of size associated with “passing decks” and margins. Results from the study are seen to suggest there are distinct regions of cliffs and plateaux in plots of capability against design output, namely ship size and cost. These findings are discussed with regard to the insight they provide into the nature of such ship designs and different ways of representing the ship design process. The paper concludes that the ship design spiral is a misleading and unreliable representation of complex ship design at both the strategic and detailed iterative levels.

Type: Article
Title: A Study into the Validity of the Ship Design Spiral in Early Stage Ship Design
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.5957/JSPD.33.2.160008
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.5957/JSPD.33.2.160008
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1555132
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