Off-beat projects need some specially designed, unusual type of equipment. Tolerances are fine, design undergoes changes after start of production, special materials are required, etc. It is necessary to not only identify the correct OEM but to be associated with the OEM during the manufacturing process.
It is impossible for a shipbuilder to have in-depth knowledge of the large variety of equipment and fittings which go into completing a new ship. So shipbuilders rely heavily on OEMs.
It is important to identify the best OEM for a particular type of equipment for a particular project. For example, a particular brand of engine, suitable for a particular project, may not be the right choice for another. Also, in many cases, off the shelf items are not suitable and it is necessary to customize a product.
The right equipment at the right time is the single most important factor in timely and execution of a project.
In short OEMs play a significant role and relationship with an OEM is very important. Relationships develop over a time. Being in shipbuilding for 50+ years, we have a large bank of OEMs for practically every type of equipment and fittings required in shipbuilding.
OEMs have often gone far beyond their contractual commitments in projects in which we were involved. Let me give one example.
The project required three thrusters which were ordered with a Dutch OEM owned privately by two professionals. Soon after order was placed, the OEM was bought over by a multi-national. The people in production floors were used to a personalized style of working and were fed up with meeting discussing and setting sales targets. This led to serious delay in completion of our project. The order had been placed with the Asia branch located in Singapore and headed by a very senior person Dutch who had been with the company since its inception and who I knew and respected for more than two decades. On getting to hear about my problem, he told me to go to Holland and visit the plant and said he will be in Holland as he had resigned and was on leave before termination. I went to Holland, my friend drove over a 100km to pick me up and drove another 50km to the production plant. He introduced me to the production manager who was also with the company since inception and made a personal request finish the three thrusters in time. And the thrusters came in time and the vessel was completed on schedule.
Also, certain off-beat projects need some specially designed, unusual type of equipment. Tolerances are fine, design undergoes changes after start of production, special materials are required, etc.It is necessary to not only identify the correct OEM but to be associated with the OEM during the manufacturing process to ensure perfect finish. Design and manufacture of splitting mechanism for a Split Hopper Barge for a shipbuilder in Yangon was one such project successfully handled.
The first order led to a repeat order, which was completed some time ago. Now, a third is on the way.