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What is SIM?

Ship Information Model (SIM)

Ship Information Modeling (SIM) is transforming the way shipbuilding projects are planned, designed, and executed. By using a central model for project information management, SIM is making projects more efficient, accurate, and collaborative.


Ship Information Model (SIM) is a digital representation of a ship that allows engineers, designers, and construction professionals to collaborate and coordinate their work in a virtual environment.

SIM provides a centralized location for storing and sharing information about a ship’s design, specification, construction, and maintenance, including data on materials, equipment, and systems.

This enables professionals to make more informed decisions, reduce errors, and improve communication throughout the construction process.

The concept’s origins can be traced back to the construction industry, where it is commonly referred to as Building Information Modelling (BIM). You can find more information about this topic in our recent blog post.

Benefits of SIM

Here are five ways SIM can benefit your projects:


Ship Information Modeling (SIM) - Improved Collaboration

SIM platforms enable all stakeholders in a project to access and collaborate on a single digital ship model. This improves communication, reduces errors, and ensures everyone is working towards the same goals. Project teams can share information in real-time, and track changes, updates, and issues more effectively. This collaborative approach leads to more efficient and successful projects.


Ship Information Modeling (SIM) - Reduced Errors and Rework

SIM software can detect potential issues early in the project lifecycle, allowing them to be addressed before construction begins. This can reduce errors and rework, which can be costly and time-consuming. For example, clashes between components can be detected and resolved in the digital model, preventing on-site conflicts during construction. SIM can also improve the accuracy of specification documents, reducing the likelihood of errors during construction.


Ship Information Modeling (SIM) - Increased Efficiency

SIM can improve project efficiency by streamlining workflows and automating repetitive tasks. The SIM software generates detailed schedules, materials lists, and cost estimates, updating the information in real-time. This information can be used to optimize construction processes and reduce waste. SIM also allows for faster and more accurate construction documentation, saving time and resources.


Better Visualization and Simulation

SIM provides a realistic, 3D visualization of the project from project start, enabling stakeholders to understand the design intent better. This visualization can be used to communicate the project design to clients, contractors, and other stakeholders more effectively. Additionally, SIM enables project teams to simulate construction processes and test different scenarios or configurations before starting construction. This reduces the risk of unexpected issues arising during construction.


Improved Asset Management and Maintenance

One can use SIM models for managing and maintaining ships once they complete construction. The digital model stores data captured during construction, including materials used and equipment installed, which is then used to manage ship assets like mechanical systems and finishes. Additionally, SIM can provide real-time data on vessel performance, energy consumption, and maintenance needs, making it valuable for facility management purposes.

How SIM works

To understand how SIM works, it is important to know that it involves a collaborative process that relies on several departments, systems and tools to manage ship information throughout the project lifecycle.

One of the basic components of SIM is 3D modelling, which allows for the creation of digital representations of the ship and its components. These models can be used to visualize, measure and monitor various aspects of the ship design, such as structure, HVAC, electrical systems, and more. The information gathered in the digital ship model can then be used throughout the project lifecycle for tasks such as cost and weight calculation, scheduling, construction management and built status tracking.

Therefore, Information management is also a critical aspect of SIM, as it involves the structured collection, organization, and sharing of data related to the ship project. This data can include design specifications, materials, construction schedules, and other relevant information.

The SIM process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Conceptualization and Planning
  2. Design Development
  3. Construction Documentation
  4. Commissioning
  5. Operations and Maintenance

Throughout these stages, various software tools are used to create and manage the digital models, as well as to facilitate communication and collaboration among project stakeholders.

Difference between 3D CAD and SIM

The main difference between a 3D CAD model and SIM is that 3D CAD focuses only on the visual aspects of the ship (geometric model). A Ship Information Model on the other hand stores all information related to the ship in a digital model. This information can include technical metadata, cost parameters, specifications, relationships and also the change history among others.

While 3D CAD can be useful for visualizing a ship’s design, SIM provides a more comprehensive solution for managing a ship’s entire information throughout the lifecycle.

Future of SIM

While BIM is rapidly gaining popularity in the building construction industry, the concept of SIM is rather unkown in Shipbuilding.

The first SIM platform for Shipbuilding

Cloud Shipbuilding Platform Naval Architect vs. traditional process
Cloud Shipbuilding Platform Naval Architect vs. traditional process


Naval Architect is the industry’s first and only platform made for the adoption of Ship Information Modeling (SIM) in the maritime industry. Leading shipyards, design offices and suppliers trust our software. The platform allows the users to create and manage digital information model of ships and other marine structures:

  • Naval Architect is the only Ship Data & Design Management Platform to automate design, engineering, and production processes based on a uniform ship model. We enable project teams to collaborate in a shared and cloud-based environment, maximizing business efficiency and reliability and making sure that your projects are consistently delivered on time and budget.
  • This central ship model is the “Single Source of Truth” and contains all information about the ship: e.g. General Arrangement Plan, 3D CAD model, planning status, weight calculation, specifications, component data, project history and any other information you can flexibly define. By continuously maintaining the model throughout the ship’s life, it is the essential source of information.

Here you can learn more about the naval Architect software:

Naval Architect mitigates the risk of project delays and cost overruns effectively with their uniform SIM platform made for the requirements of Shipbuilding projects.

Ship Information Modeling (SIM) Platform_Naval Architect


Let us identify the possibilities of SIM in a call together. We will check the opportunities and find out how your organization can unlock the benefits of SIM.

➡︎ Schedule a discovery call here