SHIPS 2011: “Build Ships – Build India” Seminar by CII and NMF at Kochi (Part 3 of 3)

by OldSailor on October 2, 2011


SHIPS_2011_Build_Ships_Build_India_Seminar_CII_NMF_Kochi_20AThis is the last part of the SHIPS 2011 (Strategies, Human Resources, Infrastructure, Processes and Security) Conference with the theme ‘Build Ships – Build India’ hosted by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and National Maritime Foundation (NMF) at The Gateway Hotel, Kochi, Kerala on 27 and 28 September 2011.

The SHIPS 2011: “Build Ships – Build India” Seminar continued on 28 September 2011. Some interesting features of the second day seminar are:

  • Morning:
    • Plenary sessions on Indigenisation, Shipyard Productivity.
    • Speakers of the seminar were honoured.
  • Afternoon:
    • Panel Discussion was conducted as a colloquium by all participants formed into four brain storming groups to discuss on Policy, Productivity, Indigenisation and Human Resources.
    • Seminar was concluded with valedictory session.
    • A visit to Cochin Shipyard Ltd was arranged for a group of 25 to 30 delegates.

Day 2 Proceedings: 28 September 2011

Plenary Session V: Indigenisation


  • Opening Remarks & Chair: Capt (Retd) SK Patnaik, Head – Marine Marketing Business, Larson & Toubro Ltd.
  • “Warship Building in India – Present, Past and Future”: by Commodore Anil Kumar Saxena, Warship Production Superintendent, Mumbai.
  • “Opportunities and Challenges in Warship Building in India – An Indian Navy Perspective”: by Commander Rajeev Sreedharan, Directorate of Naval Design, New Delhi.


  • India is having a glorious maritime heritage; but around the period of independence, India could not match the capability (to design and build warships) available with other countries; now India has built around 80 warships with 18 Indian designs.
  • Presently Indian Navy has the largest pool of Naval Architects in the country with the capability to design all types of warships; also current warships are being constructed with 60% to 80% indigenous content; if the present trend continues, India can become a warship seller to the world.
  • India’s core capabilities in warship designSHIPS_2011_Build_Ships_Build_India_Seminar_CII_NMF_Kochi_21
    • Structural design.
    • Stealth.
    • Hydrodynamics.
    • Propulsion system integration.
    • HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning).
  • Earlier Public Sector Shipyards like MDL, GRSE, GSL were engaged in warship construction; now CSL and HSL are also engaged in warship construction.
  • Features unique to Indian warship building
    • Extremely complex engineering activity that involves integration of equipment, systems of various manufacturers from India and other countries.
    • Undergoes frequent midcourse corrections due to technological advancements and to comply to the latest military strategy.
    • Prolonged financial sanction procedures followed by the government.
    • No significant learning curve benefits because of small batch sizes of warships.
    • Telescopic design and construction because of long gestation periods.
    • Thrust on indigenisation, to overcome possible ‘sanctions’ from other countries.
    • Slow decision making as the number of stakeholders are more.
    • Higher shipyard effort is needed to deliver the warship.
  • Factors affecting development of indigenous material and equipment for warship building
    • Government:SHIPS_2011_Build_Ships_Build_India_Seminar_CII_NMF_Kochi_22
      • Restricts production of many items by private industry to safeguard military interests.
      • Complicated and prolonged procedures set up by the government to procure material from vendors.
      • Overdependence on foreign OEMs for the supply of material.
    • Vendors:
      • Show least interest to indigenise materials/products as it involves huge investments and less volume of business.
      • Performance of most of the vendors are not satisfactory.
  • Now Indian Navy has started placing orders to build low weapon intensive warships by private shipyards.
  • What needs to be done further for warship building ?
    • Capacity expansion with modern shipbuilding techniques to meet the growing requirements of warships by the Indian Navy.
    • Shipyards have to improve productivity.
    • Synergise the strengths of Public Sector and Private Sector.
    • Develop a strong shipyard-vendor partnership.
    • Focus on R&D and Technology Development.
    • More government support for warship building.
    • Develop industry practices and processes to suit evolutionary nature of warship building.
    • Codify materials with Indian Standards (in line with global standards) to boost indigenisation.

Plenary Session VI: Shipyard Productivity


  • Opening Remarks & Chair: Mr Antony Prince, President, GTR Campbell Marine Consultants Ltd, Nassau, Bahamas.
  • “Productivity in Indian Shipyards – A Coast Guard Perspective”: by DIG Arun Shrivastav, Director (Material), Indian Coast Guard.
  • “Warship Construction in India – Can enhanced shipyard productivity improve delivery periods”: by Capt M Nirmal Menon, Warship Production Superintendent, Kochi, Indian Navy.


  • Indian Coast Guard ships are being constructed by both Public and Private Sector shipyards; Indian Coast Guard faces problems in both type of shipyards for ship construction; there is a need to benchmark shipbuilding processes of Indian shipyards to global standards; this will help to improve the productivity of Indian shipyards.
  • Problems faced in Public Sector shipyards
    • Lack of modernisation and automation.
    • Design capability not of international standards.
    • Delays in Planning and Procurements.
    • Low productivity.
  • Problems in Private Sector shipyardsSHIPS_2011_Build_Ships_Build_India_Seminar_CII_NMF_Kochi_24
    • Commercial considerations play a major role.
    • Lack of quality control mechanism.
    • Low productivity.
    • Deviation from standard shipbuilding procedures.
  • Common grey areas
    • Poor product support.
    • Lack of ancillary support.
    • Over-dependence on manufacturers based abroad.
    • Lack of quality and trained manpower.
  • Advantages seen in foreign shipyards for shipbuilding
    • Great emphasis on use of jigs, frames, lifting tools, mock ups, templates etc.,
    • Automation.
    • Production dash boards available to monitor daily progress.
    • Emphasis on time, space and safety management.
  • Post-launching build periods for warships are abnormally high in India; this leads to
    • Obsolescence of equipment.SHIPS_2011_Build_Ships_Build_India_Seminar_CII_NMF_Kochi_25
    • Preservation of equipment till installation and commissioning.
    • Risk of losing warranty/guarantee.
    • Technology is outdated by the time warship is delivered.
  • Reasons for long construction periods for warships in Indian shipyards
    • Design changes and midcourse corrections.
    • Complicated procedures lead to delayed approvals.
    • Lack of indigenisation and over-dependence on foreign suppliers.
    • Not following integrated ship construction.
    • Lack of Planning and Project Management.
  • Modernisation needed in Indian shipyards to improve productivity.
    • Docks & Crane facility.
    • High capacity cranes.
    • Improved shop facilities.
    • Trained manpower.
    • Use of CAD/CAM and other IT solutions in shipbuilding processes.
    • Implementing integrated construction.

Plenary Session VII: Colloquium

All the participants were formed into four groups to discuss on the following topics as per their choice:

  • Government Policy.SHIPS_2011_Build_Ships_Build_India_Seminar_CII_NMF_Kochi_26
    • Uniform Inland Vessel Act for all states have to be promulgated like Kerala Inland Vessels Rules, 2010.
    • National level directory of ship builders, ship repairers, marine vendors must be compiled, published and to be updated regularly.
    • Government support must be extended to both private and public sector shipyards to market their products.
    • National Shipbuilding Corporation with representatives from maritime domain has to be established.
    • National Port Authority must be established to control the sea ports like Airport Authority of India
  • Shipyard Productivity.
    • Shipyards must have state of the art design capability to ensure error-free, defect-free shipbuilding; ship designers must have practical exposure to ship building and seafaring to be good designers; a good design helps to reduce time and cost over run.
    • Shipyards must interact with each other to improve productivity.
    • Shipyards must have a strong vendor base to reduce procurement time and to procure quality material.
    • Improve project management skills to avoid rework/reduce process time.  SHIPS_2011_Build_Ships_Build_India_Seminar_CII_NMF_Kochi_27
  • Indigenisation.
    • Encourage reverse engineering to speed up indigenisation.
    • Encourage joint ventures with foreign manufacturers with full technology transfer.
    • Avoid L1 syndrome.
    • Encourage R&D.
  • Human Resources.
    • Consider training as an investment.
    • Encourage multi-skilling.
    • Benchmarking is necessary at training level (for the training institutes) to maintain uniform skill level.
    • Assure career progression for the employees.

Valedictory Session:SHIPS_2011_Build_Ships_Build_India_Seminar_CII_NMF_Kochi_28

  • Valedictory Address: by Mr KKM Kutty, Past Chairman, CII SR and CEO & Managing Director Sealings & Jointings.
  • Vote of Thanks: by Gp Captain (Retd) LV Mohandas, Head – IT & Internal Security, CII – SR.

More photographs are available in Flickr.

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