About Oyster Marine
Oyster Marine was founded in 1973 by current chairman Richard Matthews and soon gained an enviable reputation for the development and marketing of cruiser-racers with an emphasis on performance. Indeed over the years, Oyster yachts have notched up numerous first in class race successes.
During Oyster’s first two decades Holman and Pye were largely responsible for the design of the Oyster fleet. However a decade ago esteemed naval architect Rob Humphreys was appointed lead designer and Oyster assembled their own in-house design team. This partnership resulted in a string of successful yachts including the Oyster 53 – voted British Yacht of the Year in 2000.
Oyster Marine’s comprehensive fleet is recognised for quality, comfort and performance. The company has twice been the recipient of the prestigious Queens Award. Each yacht is uniquely tailored to customer requirements – for example, a customer will often review a range of digital interior mock-ups before selecting their preferred interior layout. This type of activity dictated the use of a design solution flexible enough to allow Oyster to generate and present design configurations quickly and efficiently – maximising re-use of existing design effort. This was just one of many reasons why Oyster invested in six seats of the CATIA V5 Yacht Solution in October 2006.
CATIA V5 is now the nominated design solution for all future Oyster projects. The aim is to improve efficiency and time to market by utilising CATIA South Africa as a true end-to-end solution – from the generation of concepts, through detail 3D design and on to manufacture. Prior to implementing CATIA, Oyster had no ability to parametrically control their 3D models. CATIA has offered them the capacity to parametrically adjust 3D geometry as their designs evolve without recreating geometry from scratch. Furthermore Oyster was previously unable to generate satisfactory 2D drawings associated with their 3D content. Having adopted CATIA, Oyster no longer needs to invest significant time and effort in remodeling and manually updating 2D drawings to reflect design changes.
Oyster is now able to adopt a fully integrated approach whereby an initial design concept can be developed into a detailed design ready for manufacturing all within the same application. Furthermore, the time and effort involved in generating the multitude of design iterations between concept phase and release for manufacture will be reduced dramatically thanks to CATIA’s fully parametric architecture.
CATIA has brought with it a change in working practices where assemblies are concerned. Previously a general assembly would be modeled within a single multi-layered 3D model file. Thanks to CATIA V5 Oyster are able to structure their 3D digital mock-up in a more flexible and realistic manner – constructed from individual parts and sub-assemblies.
In addition to maximizing the re-use of common parts and sub-assemblies, this approach also has the befit of allowing companies to automatically generate an ‘as designed’ bill of materials – invaluable for communicating the reality of the design vision to purchasing and manufacturing. CATIA also offers another valuable communication tool in its ability to utilise design data for marketing purposes. 2D publicity material can now be generated directly from the 3D models thanks to CATIA’s Photo Studio rendering workbench.
The Working Relationship
The team at Oyster have recognised that CATIA will allow them to easily create and manage libraries of standard assemblies, parts and even intelligent part features – this will prove particularly useful when designing interior joinery. CATIA has offered Oyster the scope to introduce automation and templating methodologies to ultimately accelerate their design activity.
TECHNIA’s involvement at the Oyster design studio has been threefold – providing technical support, training and design engineering resource. Application engineers delivered a series of regular on-site training days at the design studio at Fox’s Marina in Ipswich. These informal sessions provided those members of the design team new to CATIA with a solid understanding of core functionality, but also gave the opportunity to introduce some best practice methodology to those team members with more CATIA experience.
In addition to delivering training TECHNIA provided Oyster with an experienced design engineer for a period of three months. Senior design engineer Nick Lawther was asked to assist with ongoing design work for forthcoming additions to the Oyster fleet. As with all TECHNIA engineers Nick is well versed in the use of CATIA V5 and was therefore an ideal candidate to help the design team with their current V5 projects. During his time at the Oyster studio Nick was able to help define working practices and also answer technical questions as the designers gained more experience with CATIA.
The close working relationship between Oyster Marine and TECHNIA is expected to continue as Oyster has recently expressed an interest in managing their newly generated CATIA data within SmarTeam. As the PLM software division of a thriving engineering business TECHNIA is uniquely able to offer their customers both application know-how and real-world engineering experience. As a result TECHNIA has proven itself particularly well placed to serve the PLM requirements of the yachting sector.