FORAN v50: A Technological Renovation

FORAN v50 was officially presented at an event organized by SENER, the second FORAN Users Meeting (FORUM 2001), which took place in Valencia, Spain. v50 was conceived with the objective of maintaining FORAN as a leader in the delivery of state-of-the-art technologies, while meeting the requirements of present and future customers. v50 covers General Design, Hull Structure, Machinery and Outfitting Design, Electrical Design and Accommodation, all developed with the emphasis on the particular requirements of Initial, Classification and Detail design for all types of ship. The main technologies and innovations that have been introduced are: Oracle Relational Database; NURBS surfaces; Object Oriented Kernel; and, Enhanced Initial Design capabilities.

The propriety database of FORAN v40 has been substituted by Oracle, a standard commercial relational database. This means that the whole FORAN 3-D Product Model is now available and fully supported in Oracle, with the following very important implications, including: Open system; Platform and data independence; Facility of connectivity, hence Concurrent Engineering; Integration with ERP and other Management systems; Use of commercial tools for forms and reports; High scalability (number of users/amount of data).

Advanced Tools for Hull Surface Modeling A new Hull Form Definition module based on NURBS (non-uniform rational B-spline) curves and surfaces has been introduced, meaning that FORAN modules now use the NURBS formulation.

The advantages include: Applicable to any type of hull surface: robustness and ease of use; high quality and reliability of information for construction; fast fitting and fairing tools; facilitates hull forms exchange between different systems; 3- D environment with high interactivity and quality of visualization; fast hull form definition for simple geometry; and, time for fitting and fairing processes reduced.

New System Kernel Perhaps the most significant innovation in FORAN v50 is the introduction of a new object oriented kernel for 3-D modeling and visualization.

Completely developed using the latest object oriented technology, this new kernel is made up of a series of libraries of C++ classes, which cover all the principal basic functions of the System.

Among other things, this new technology allows for advanced visualization functions, openGL standard and high performance 3D graphics cards; and advanced solid manipulation and modeling tools.

First Release In the first release of FORAN v50 the modules to include this technology are FSURF, Hull Surfaces Definition (NURBS); and VISUAL 3-D, Walk-through Design Review; plus a series of completely new modules, which in addition to the general advantages derived from the use of Oracle, NURBS and the new kernel, incorporate many new innovations.

FORAN v50 incorporates a series of functionalities for the preliminary 3-D definition of the ship model so that from the earliest stages of the project certain budgetary estimates can be carried out.

Thus, for example, calculation of work content, weights, areas and other concepts can be made, and this helps in the earliest possible definition of the product both from the technical and commercial viewpoint.

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Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 36,  Oct 2001 Relational Database

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