On 11 March 1903 in Muenster was the founding protocol of the "North Sea Works" Emden yard and dock Aktiengesellschaft of Rheinisch-Westphalia entrepreneurs. An attempt was made to establish a big yard at Emden, where, with the assistance of the municipality, the Nordseewerke were founded. The completion of the Dortmund-Ems canal and the development of the Emden port emerging as a transit point for the coal and steel industry in the Ruhr region were crucial for this choice of location.
Just two years after the start of the yard on a settlement about 50 hectares large area in the King's polder, the first sailing loggers, pontoons and Seeleichter delivered. The early years of the company were then serious economic problems accompanied to the 1908 closure of the plant resulted. The city of Emden leased the shipyard facilities to carry out ship repair at least some of the jobs. The original capital was M. 2,100,000; but this proved altogether insufficient, and in 1907 a committee appointed to advise what could be done to keep the undertaking going recommended that an additional M. 2,200,000 was absolutely necessary. This was raised by shareholders' contributions and the renunciation by the creditors of a portion of their claims ; but these efforts to place the yard on a sound footing were unavailing
The actual development of efficient shipyard and the entry into the major shipbuilding was only through the acquisition and integration of the shipbuilding company in the group Stinnes (1911) as companies in the Deutsch-Luxemburgischen Bergwerks- und Hütten AG started. The yard was sold by auction for M. 53,000 to the big coal-dealing firm of Hugo Stinnes. The completion of the great sea (1913) and the construction of a Großhelling for ships with a weight of up to the end of 12000 tons accelerated this trend more acute. The economic situation of the company was in the following years so far stabilized, that even the major world economic crises in the 20s and 30s from the yard without serious employment dips survived.
As part in the First World War happened when the construction of boats and outpost Minenräumschiffen an essential part of the shipbuilding capacity for the Imperial Navy was reserved, resulted in the continual expansion of the shipyard facilities at the initiative of the Navy back into a total military production with the construction of 30 U Boats. Here is now, however, the origin of the product area of the North Sea plants, with the construction of naval vessels currently a majority of the economic strength of the business concerned.
Only after the release of the Allied shipbuilding ban beginning of the fifties was in Emden the rise of the shipyard to one of the leading German Seeschiffbaubetriebe. Supported by this development was the re-entry into the U-Bootbau, with a major export contract for the Norwegian Navy succeeded.
Nordseewerke GmbH as a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Technologies group employed about 1400 employees. Naval vessels and commercial ship construction of different types and sizes are rebuilt and repaired on modern production facilities.
Thyssen is a Naval constructor which filled in the lows of military contracts with commercial work. This is offered as lesson for a number of US shipbuilders who were in a similar situation at the end of the Cold War and would like to smooth the highs and lows of business with different product lines. The shipyard counter-balanced their extremely high labor rates with the most producible designs.
Shipbuilders have become extremely competitive in the world market. This forced the ones who wished to remain in the business to continually improve designs, and production strategies. Thyssen Nordseewerke in Emden Germany has been faced not only with this external challenge but with internal constraints for a number of years and developed a patented concept for modular construction of its engine rooms. This approach has provided the ship builder with anumber of benefits and also some concerns. The major benefit has been schedule reduction on the slip-ways, on the order of 15 weeks. Quality of, and repeatability of units and moduleshave been positive, and training of apprentice workers more efficient. Organizational communications from all levels of theyard have seen positive improvements. Managerial measurements on performance and cost issues are now simpler to implement and perform. Another key area of improvement due to modular construction is the overall man hours per shiphave consistently come down.
Merchant shipbuilding in Germany was subjected in the 1980s and 1990s to an ever increasing competitive pressure by Asian and East European shipyards. Therefore, each company was forced to developmassive cost reduction measures. Besides respective strategic and organizational measures, possible improvement potential in the sphere of direct production costs must be utilized. After having given attention to the cost reduction possibilities on the steel construction side, the shipyard concentrated specifically on the reduction of the time-versus space relationship and the dependency of engine room outfitting on ship block assembly at the slip way. This consideration led to the modularization of large engine room sections into functional modules. Further the modular technology supported the shipyardtarget in saving man-hours. Consequently the overall production costs were decreased. These activities reduced the cost of the total vessel by about 30 percent.
The biggest advantage of modularization is proven by the separation of the construction area and time between shipbuilding and outfitting activities. It is very important thatearly in the project phase it must be determined what areas of the ship can be modularized. This results in the development of engine room modules whose interfaces are clearly defined. This is in order to allow independent construction between shipbuilding, the engine room module outfitting, arrangement of the functional modules and further outfitting within the machinery space.
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