MV Werften starts production in new, advanced welding plant

The new Hall 11 in Rostock, where steel fabrication for the Global-class ships is now under way The new Hall 11 in Rostock, where steel fabrication for the Global-class ships is now under way PHOTO: MV Werften

One of Europe's most advanced welding plants was put into operation at MV Werften in Rostock today. It is specially suited to build Genting Hong Kong's Global-class cruise ships.

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s Economics Minister Harry Glawe, representatives of Genting Hong Kong, MV Werften, the automation provider Pemamek and other project partners were present in the new Hall 11 when the plant produced its first weld seam.

Innovative laser-hybrid panel line

'The new plant enables us to make a significant increase in the capacity of our steel prefabrication for the Global cruise ships in Rostock and take a further, important step towards Industry 4.0,' MV Werften CEO Peter Fetten said. 'It is one of the most innovative laser-hybrid panel lines in Europe and also unique, as it is specially tailored to our processes and the Global class.'

The semi-automatic, highly efficient plant is the heart of the 400-meter-long hall area 11.1 and the entire steel prefabrication at the yard. Panels measuring up to 25 meters by 16 meters will be produced there. According to MV Werften, the panel line with all integrated equipment stands alone in Germany.

Its features include a one-sided butt welding station with laser-hybrid welding head and additional MAG tandem welding heads with integrated milling, automated profile assembling with two-sided fillet welding of profiles using the laser-hybrid process and programmable robot portals. The highly automated thin panel welding line optimally fits the digitalization and logistics concept of MV Werften.

Pemamek customized the panel line

'It is a great honor to be one of the main production solution providers for MV Werften and part of the company’s success story,' Pemamek CEO Jaakko Heikonen said, adding that his company customized the panel line for the shipyard. 'Its technology is perfectly tailored to meet the production requirements for the Global-class cruise vessels and will provide an important basis for the shipyard's future growth. During the entire project our collaboration has been great, and we look forward to continuing it in future.'

According to Glawe, 'The acquisition of the shipyards by Genting Hong Kong Limited and their development into specialists for cruise ship construction has given the shipbuilding and, indeed, entire maritime industry of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania a completely new perspective. Order, capacity utilization and employment levels are continuing to develop positively. The state-of-the-art and innovative panel production line will significantly improve production operations, as well as further sharpening the company’s edge in the fiercely competitive shipbuilding market.'

€6m grant to support innovation at the plant

The federal state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Germany's federal government granted €6m to support innovation at the production plant. Several regional companies have contributed to the value added to the project. The Fraunhofer Institute in Rostock carried out the feasibility study on optimized cycle times, while a Schwerin-based firm supplied the system control for coordinating the cranes and welding portals.

In addition to the panel production in the hall area 11.1, sections are to be produced and fitted out in the area 11.2. Hall 11.3 for profile manufacturing is to be completed in May. The three halls will provide a total of 25 workstations. MV Werften is investing more than €100m in the new shipbuilding hall complex, where up to 150 employees per shift will work in the medium term.

Posted 28 November 2018

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review