The automation of pipe fabrication processes for shipboard applications will improve quality and reduce cost on multiple naval platforms. Ingalls Shipbuilding photo
The Navy Metalworking Center (NMC) is leading a Navy ManTech project to investigate and develop portable mechanized tools and automation techniques to improve pipe fitting, welding, and installation on several naval platforms, including the LHA(R), LPD, and DDG Classes, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Security Cutter (NSC).
With several thousand pipe welds on Navy ships, even a slight reduction in manufacturing time can result in significant cost savings. The labor required to join pipes depends on several factors, including shipyard location, materials, and equipment near the weld zone that might need protection.
The project team, consisting of the LHA(R) Program Office; Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division; Ingalls Shipbuilding; and NMC, will conduct a requirements assessment and identify potential solutions that will be down selected for further development.
Automated pipe production methods will reduce the cost of manufacturing thin wall piping system components. The total targeted five-year cost savings is approximately $10 million for five awarded DDG hulls, two NSC hulls, plus the projections for future amphibious and LHA(R) hulls.
NMC will develop, evaluate, and refine prototype designs and generate a manufacturing requirements package to facilitate commercialization of the technologies developed.
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division
PMS 377 LHA(R) Program Office