Mission: Industrial Preparedness
Develop enabling manufacturing technology – new processes and equipment – for implementation on DoN weapon system production lines
Addressing affordability for 5 key acquisition platforms:
- VIRGINIA Class Submarine (VCS) / Columbia Class Submarine (CSS)
- CVN 78 Class Carrier
- DDG 51 Destroyer
- Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
- Seven Centers of Excellence(6 Contracted, 1 Government). For more information about the COEs, click here.
$56.712 M (FY2017)
Modified SHT Debond Detectors Delivered to Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for In-service Use
Special Hull Treatment (SHT) on Virginia class submarines (VCS) must be inspected for debonded areas during new construction and each docking availability. The manual tap inspection method is time-consuming and subjective. To minimize effort and to remove subjectivity, the Navy Metalworking Center (NMC) developed a debond detector under a previously funded Navy ManTech project,and later modified the design for use on “in-service” assets. This project was incorporated improvement requests to the unit and delivered three debond detectors.
Portable System to Mitigate Aluminum Cracking to Provide Significant Cost Avoidance
Cracks in the aluminum superstructure of the CG 47 class cruisers require extensive repairs or replacement (i.e., removing and replacing the affected plate as well as all of the outfitting obstructing the area). The Navy Metalworking Center (NMC) led this project to address the major contributor to the cracking – the sensitized microstructure in the 5456 aluminum-magnesium alloy used in the construction of the structure.
New Winch Will Enable Less Expensive Maintenance of RMS Component
The Navy’s Remote Minehunting System (RMS) consists of a Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV) towing an AN/AQS-20 Volume Depth Sonar. Currently there is no winch that meets Navy requirements for conducting shipboard periodic maintenance on the RMS tow cable. The winch that most closely met the requirements was more expensive and required extensive non-recurring engineering and integration. This project developed and tested a winch and ruggedized container that meets all functional, dimensional, and environmental requirements and costs less to construct.
Mechanical Arm for a Man Lift Application to Save Labor and Improve Ergonomics
Shipbuilders routinely perform abrasive blasting from a man lift to remove rust, mill scale, and other surface contaminants from the hull exterior. As a result of the physically demanding, repetitive operation, workers are required to take frequent breaks, increasing the overall labor to perform the operation. This project developed an easy-to-use, motion-assisted positioning system consisting of a track-mounted mechanical arm attached to the aerial platform floor structure to reduce the effort required, increase productivity, and find cost savings.
Enabling Earlier Outfitting
The build strategy for CVN 78 required much of the ship outfitting activities to be completed in the dry dock, in areas that were difficult to access. Identifying outfitting activities that can be done earlier in the shipbuilding process can save construction costs.
Ingalls Perfecting Unit Lay-Down Advisor with Capacity Planning Automation
This capacity planning automation project created an automated, rules-based capacity planning system used in the allocation of lay down space and the creation of real estate utilization documentation. The estimated cost savings increased to $1.1M per year and are expected to increase more over the next two years. Benefits for the warfighter include reduced central planning efforts by 470 man-hours per month and improved production efficiency.
Manufacturing Cost Reduction for Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Scalable Electronic Warfare (EW) System
There is an urgent need for enhanced EW capabilities for LCS. The Surface Electronics Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) proposed a new EW system which will be designed to fit on both LCS variants and will be capable of meeting the current LCS mission requirements. By enabling commonality of hardware, this project will result in a cost reduction across all of SEWIP, in acquisition costs and life cycle cost savings for the 150 ships planned and the 32 LCS platforms. The objectives of scalability of EW systems on LCS and performance were both successfully accomplished under this project.
Mechanized Tools to Reduce Labor for Pulling Cable on Surface Ships
It can take up to 25 workers to pull a single cable on a surface ship, and the workers are often forced to pull the cable from poor ergonomic positions due to lack of space and cable access. The objective of this Navy Metalworking Center (NMC) project was to develop easy-to-use, small, lightweight, portable, power-assisted tools to reduce the amount of time and effort required to pull cable. Ingalls anticipates this project will result in a 20% labor savings when using the tools to install Class III and Class IV cables on LHA, LPD, DDG and National Security Cutter (NSC) class ships, which equates to a total estimated cost savings of approximately $1.5M.
Improved Hull Fabrication Processes to Reduce Ship Construction Costs
Most of the production fitting and welding on DDG 51 and LHA class ships are performed manually using labor intensive processes. This project is identifying and developing hull assembly fixturing, along with automated and / or mechanized processes for layout, cutting, and welding. Improvement is anticipated to result in a cost savings of $6.72M across LHA, LPD, and DDG platforms built at Ingalls during a five-year period due to labor savings.
Achieving ‘Digitally Agile’ Data Strategy with Work Flow Tracking
This workflow tracking project improved existing processes and equipment Ingalls uses to track pipe detail fabrication during shop construction. The warfighter benefit was an automated process that now captures actual time and expenditures for 100% of pipe fabrication, as well as process steps that provide data to validate or improve the established metrics. The project equated to an estimated $1.01M in annual savings.
GDEB Robotic Welding of VCS Interim Products Effort Advances Robotic Manufacturing Technologies for Shipbuilders
Welding at shipyards remains a large cost driver in the construction of US Navy Ships. This project developed the requirements for and implemented a robotic welding cell for the manufacturing of the VCS part family. Shipyard evaluations have shown savings for both the fitting and welding times greater than the 30% estimated at the onset of this task. The estimated cost savings is $1.2M.
Automated Pipe Production Methods Anticipated to Save $7M on Several Ship Classes
There are several thousand pipe welds on Navy ships, with each weld requiring a significant effort to produce. The Navy Metalworking Center (NMC) conducted a project to investigate and develop improved methods to reduce the cost of producing these welds. The project team developed portable mechanized tools and automation technologies to improve pipe fitting, welding, and installation on several naval platforms. Based on pilot studies, the total targeted five-year cost savings is approximately $7M for the hulls constructed at Ingalls (LHA, DDG, LPD and NSC).
Improved Flexible Infrastructure Track System to Save Costs for CVN and Other Surface Ships
The Flexible Infrastructure track system has benefits that include enabling equipment to be mounted without the use of hot work and allowing rapid rearrangement of the space to meet changing missions. The improvements resulted in reduction in extrusion an machining costs of the track. The lead time for extrusion was reduced from 52 weeks to 17 which reduced the labor costs significantly. In total the expected cost savings will be $4.8M over five years.
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