Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (HSHI) recently announced that it adopted the “tera block construction method.” Tera blocks refer to shipbuilding blocks that weigh over 6,000 tons apiece. The company claims that as bigger blocks lead to shorter assembly lines, this method can contribute to productivity gains.
Of note, the tera block recently made by HSHI is by far the largest single block in the world, constituting one fourth of a 15,000 TEU containership. It weighs 10,000 tons a piece, and measures 89 meters in length, 51 meters in width and 30 meters in height.
Since HSHI does not have floating cranes that are needed to lift up and transport mega-size blocks, it instead uses a 40,000 ton capacity floating dock, a sort of pontoon for dry docking ships. In other words, the blocks are put together in assembly shops and moved by heavy-duty transporters on rails that span from the shops to the floating dock, a method which has not been attempted in the industry before.
The 10,000 ton tera block built by HSHI will be towed to the dock by a tugboat when the dock gate opens on January 22 according to the launch schedule, and the rest of the construction work will take place therein.
A company official said, “We will continue making innovations in various aspects of work, from adoption of the tera block construction method, addition of pre-erection sites to increasing the lifting capacity of cranes, in order to cut lead time and enhance productivity.”
HSHI plans to construct five vessels with the method this year and shorten the company-wide construction period by three weeks. Its 2016 sales target stands at 4.08 trillion won and order target at $4 billion.