SNAME New England Section And AWS Hear Japanese Shipbuilding Report At Joint Meeting

On December 7, 1973, one hundred and five members and guests of the New England Section of The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers and the Boston Section of the American Welding Society heard Dr. Koichi Masubuchi, professor of ocean engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, present a paper entitled "Assessment of the Japanese Shipbuilding Industry," which he co-authored with Dr.

Kiyoshi Terai, manager of the Welding Research Laboratory at Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., in Japan. Unfortunately, Dr. Terai could not attend the meeting, which was held at the A.D. Little Inc. facilities in Cambridge, Mass.

The technical session, following a social hour and dinner, was called to order by Richard Roberts, chairman of the New England Section of SNAME. He called on Prof.

J. Harvey Evans of M.l.T. to introduce the speaker. The presentation not only included the material in the paper, but also a number of slides showing the facilities and fabrication techniques used by various shipyards in Japan. Dr.

Masubuchi briefly reviewed the history of Japanese shipbuilding from the late 1940s to the present, and discussed some of the influences on its development. Among these influences were the effect of the shipbuilding market, the availability of well-trained engineers, and the emphasis placed on developing new fabrication technology.

Dr. Masubuchi pointed out tbe willingness of the Japanese industry to adopt and apply fabrication technologies developed in other countries, including those of the American aerospace industry. Dr.

Masubuchi also discussed how teamwork between competing firms in Japan was used to solve industry- wide problems, a practice not usually followed in this country.

The discussion which followed was quite active and interesting.

The topics brought up included labor unions, automation, the role of classification societies and regulatory bodies, new fabrication techniques which have been developed or adapted by the Japanese shipbuilding industry, and the relationship between technology and production.

Copies of the paper are available at a cost of two dollars each from Robert Baseler, Editor, New England Section. SNAME, General Dynamics Corporation, Quincy, Mass. 02169.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 14,  Jan 15, 1974

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