This has nothing to do with sound workmanship. The technical systems of a freight and passenger ship are in fact just as complex as those of a modern commercial aircraft. However, traditional skills still play a decisive role in repairing and maintaining ships, as our gallery shows.
Of course, technical engineers from German Dry Docks and its engine division MWB Power plan and develop their projects on a computer screen using state-of-the-art software and CAD systems. However, anyone who walks through the workshops and on board the ships through the construction sites can still see trusty plans on paper, and even the good old angle steel to measure everything. This is also because repair and maintenance specialist greatly rely on tried and tested methods. And for good reason: Ships must be able to hold steady at high tide in rough conditions – anything that can’t be repaired with on-board equipment or close to the harbour by the mobile repair service of German Ship Repair, must hold.
Sure instincts are required at the workbench
Anyone who watches the GDD technicians at work, will notice something special as they do so: The sure instincts that the experts use, even to look after the largest fragments on the workbench. That being said, sometimes you just have to put in a bit of elbow grease. Just the weights alone, which shipbuilders and engine specialists work with, need this type of work. However, if a new cylinder head gasket needs to be installed, stainless steel panelling needs to be accurately sanded to a millimetre, or a fine welded seam needs to be pulled, the workers can perform their tasks in a very careful and cautious manner. You can’t just learn something like this, you have to work hard to acquire the skills required.
GDD has great confidence in its team of experienced employees. At the same time, the business is making sure that young people are always shadowing the craftsmen and foremen, so that they can pick up know-how from the ‘old boys’ by putting it into practice on a daily basis. In this way, the business’s core competency, which is sound craftsmanship, is definitely maintained. Together with a willingness to break new innovative ground, this ensures that the business is future-proof, and we can keep our customers happy.