By Mark Cardwell

A new software upgrade that simplifies compliance with existing and future (International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) Common Structural Rules (CSR) will make life easier for designers and shipbuilders, the companies behind the leading software say. “As requirements change, it is imperative for classification societies to provide services and solutions that keep pace,” said Christopher J. Wiernicki, Chairman, President and CEO of American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). 

The Houston, Texas-based global marine and offshore classification leader teamed up with global engineering, technical and business services organization Lloyd’s Register to create joint venture company Common Structural Rules Software LLC in 2011. The joint venture makes a validated and verified suite of software tools for CSR that meets industry concerns regarding the possibility of different interpretations of CSR requirements.

Launched in February 2017, the new 2.5 version of the company’s CSR Prescriptive Analysis and CSR Finite Element (FE) Analysis software allows assessment of whole vessel structures – including new bulk carrier and oil tanker designs – using compliance information for the CSR that entered into force on July 1, 2015 and the rule changes that came into force on July 1 this year. Both classification societies use the software, which was initially licensed to some 500 users, but is now used by nearly 1,000, to evaluate new designs against CSR. According to a CSRS press release, the new upgrades to the company’s industry-leading software will “facilitate compliance to existing and future IACS Common Structural Rules” while providing users with an easy way to evaluate designs.

“The updated CSR Prescriptive Analysis software requires only that the user input the appropriate data,” reads the press release.  “All of the outputs are clear, straightforward and easy to read.” The software also provides a summary report with graphic representation of deficiencies.

“By updating this software, we ensure our tools are effective and provide the most help to end users,” Wiernicki said when the product was launched in early February.

Used mostly by shipyards and bulk carrier and tanker designers, as well as by both ABS and LR, the upgraded software is one of a handful of programs used by international classification societies since July 2015 as a common standard for the construction of safer and cleaner bulk carriers and double-hull oil tankers of respectively 90 and 150 meters or more in length.

According to Dan Cronin, ABS’s Vice-President class standards and software, Corporate Technology, CSRS’ upgraded tool is the best of the bunch. “The updated prescriptive-analysis software only requires the user to input mission-appropriate data,” Cronin wrote in a recent email to Canadian Sailings. “All outputs are easy-to-read. A summary report provides a graphic representation of any deficiencies among required and/or user-nominated scantlings.”

Cronin also noted the software provides an intermediate report that summarizes the main criteria for each structure as well as a detailed report that provides the data for the value of all parameters. “In conjunction with finite-element analysis, this complete tool enables verification of CSR compliance with minimal effort,” said Cronin.

He added that recent shipbuilding industry figures suggest that some 800 to 1,100 vessels per year classedified by all societies can benefit from the use of software programs like the upgraded CSRS tool.