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Samsung unveils the tera-block

Samsung unveils the tera-block

Seoul: Samsung Heavy Industries has developed a new shipbuilding system, called the "tera-block" method, that allows the company to assemble a vessel from just two large ship blocks. Comparing a ship with a house, ship blocks are the equivalent of bricks. As bricks are laid to build a house, ship blocks, which are made individually, are welded together to form a ship. An extra-large ship usually consists of dozens of blocks. But in recent years shipbuilders have been trying to reduce the number of ship blocks they need in order to boost their productivity. Bigger ship blocks allow for more efficient construction of blocks on land. And when they are welded together in a dock, bigger - and thus fewer - blocks lead to shorter assembly times. Samsung Heavy Industries first launched its "mega-block" method in 2001, which requires about ten large ship blocks. Next it came up with the "giga-block" method using just five blocks. The new method cuts the blocks down to just two. On Wednesday the company held an opening ceremony for a new facility in China's Shandong Province that makes the jumbo blocks for the tera-block method. At the ceremony, the company said it will build the 150-m, 10,000-ton ship pieces on land at the plant in China, and then move them to its shipyard in Geoje Island, South Gyeongsang Province to be assembled. To reduce the workload and transport time, the company will tow the ship blocks directly through the water rather than load them on barges. The new construction method will allow Samsung Heavy Industries to build ten more extra-large ships per year using only dry docks. [14/09/07]

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