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Web-Based Welding Procedure System for Shipyard Use

NavWeld is a web-based software system that assists vendors in developing welding procedures that meet various Navy qualification and fabrication requirements.

Objective

The Navy Metalworking Center developed a Web-based welding procedure system intended to reduce the rejection rate of vendors’ submitted procedures, along with the resulting additional costs. This project, which includes contributions from Weld QC, NGSB-NN, General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB), the Future Aircraft Carriers Program Office and Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division, leveraged a prototype system that was developed and demonstrated under a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) project sponsored by ONR and extended its capabilities and cost savings.

Background

The Navy’s requirements for qualification of welding procedures and welder performance can make it difficult for inexperienced vendors to develop the required documentation. In fact, Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding-Newport News has reported that a large percentage of vendor-submitted weld procedures are rejected, with many vendors resubmitting procedures multiple times before gaining approval.

While commercially available software exists to help develop procedures for American Welding Society, American Society of Mechanical Engineers and other commercial specifications, no equivalent tool existed for the Navy specifications. This project leveraged a prototype system that was developed and demonstrated under a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) project sponsored by ONR and will extend its capabilities and cost savings.

Benefits

As a result of the reduced rejection rate of vendors’ submitted welding procedures, cost savings will be generated from reduced labor and production delays, increased competition among vendors, better vendor retention, and welding engineers’ increased availability to focus on other process improvements. The project goal to reduce the rejection rate from above 90% to less than 20% has been met. Estimated annual savings is approximately $2.58M from vendor and shipyard labor savings alone.

Implementation

In August 2009, NGSB-NN implemented the web-based welding procedures system for a scaled set of CVN 78 vendors, reducing the rejection rate of vendors' initial welding procedures from 90% to <20%. In October 2009, GDEB started the process of implementing the web-based welding procedures tool for the VCS Program.

Status

Completed