Design and Construction Framework to Enable the Modular Block Building Methodology to Broaden South African Oceans Economy

H. Theunissen, T. Van Niekerk, J. H.C. Pretorius

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


From the design to final completion of sea trials, the complexity of a ship is built into every aspect of the build. From planning the purpose of the ship and its economic viability, to the level of technology used in the design and build, where it will be built and the production flow of the build, is all linked and restricted by the capability and capacity of the shipyard. The modern era of technology, design methods and computer capabilities (CAD/CAM), has enabled multiple sites to contribute towards the total build. This has facilitated for modular sections (blocks) of ships being built in different locations, with the blocks fitting together when shipped to one location for final assembly. This type of cooperative methodology is often preferred by large government contracts where it is desired that the build benefit as many in the industry as possible, not just one shipyard. Additionally, each shipyard may have a speciality area of production that will lead to a more cost effective “block” being built, saving on overall costs. This ultimately leads to a cheaper, better quality and faster construction of the ship. A qualitative and quantitative, mixed methods research methodology approach was used to identify the South African industry capabilities using a questionnaire that was developed to engage the maritime industry and identify capabilities, needs and future requirements. This paper will; Review the knowledge design and construction areas required for ship building and apply the knowledge areas to propose a multi-site modular block building framework for South African shipbuilding.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLecture Notes in Production Engineering
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Production Engineering
VolumePart F1162
ISSN (Print)2194-0525
ISSN (Electronic)2194-0533


  • Block building
  • Design and construction
  • Maritime project management
  • Maritime sustainability
  • Modular flexible manufacturing methodology
  • Multi-site
  • Oceans economy
  • Project management
  • Ship building

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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