NMC has initiated a project that will develop simulation models of two General Dynamics Electric Boat machine shops that manufacture the Virginia Class Submarine. General Dymanics Electric Boat photo
This project has successfully met the objective to develop discrete event simulation models for both the Groton and Quonset Point machine shops at GDEB. The analyses completed during the course of the project showed that both machine shops were able to meet this increased production schedule by modifying manning schedules and making additional capital investments. The models were intended to be continuous decision-making tools updated with current data and practices respective to each machine shop and used by GDEB in future analyses. They were developed to provide trained users the ability to manipulate the models and generate results for decision makers to act upon.
Given the projected increase in production rates with the 84-60 (60 months versus 84 months to fabricate one boat) and two boats per year initiatives for the Virginia Class Submarine (VCS) Program, the shipyards at General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) needed to determine if there was sufficient capacity in its current machine shop facilities to meet the increased demand.
The information gathered and the technologies recommended will streamline production and better manage resources at the shops. Specifically, the project will result in manufacturing savings from reduced labor hours, as well as improved process flow, allocation of work load resources, work efficiency and throughput. The cost benefit analyses performed by GDEB show that there is a potential cost avoidance of approximately $340K per year, which may be associated with the establishment and continued use of the machine shop models at Groton and Quonset Point.
Actual changes to be implemented at the machine shops have not yet been finalized as the production planning, machine shop management, and modeling teams at GDEB have identified additional scenarios to be run using the simulation models. This is in line with the implementation priority for the project, which is for GDEB to continue using the simulation models to address ongoing VCS Program changes that affect the machine shops. GDEB will note the future implemented changes during FY10 at the Groton and Quonset Point machine shops and the role the simulation models served in determining which changes were implemented.