Mechanized and / or automated processes will reduce labor during hull fabrication and improve quality on several ship platforms. Ingalls photo
NMC is leading a ManTech project team at Ingalls Shipbuilding (Ingalls) to identify high-potential hull fabrication process improvements and to develop, test, and implement those solutions.
Most of the production fitting and welding on DDG 51 and LHA class ships are performed using manual processes, which often produce inconsistent quality and other deficiencies that must be corrected later with additional cost and labor.
In particular, the project team will identify and develop hull assembly fixturing, along with automated and / or mechanized processes for layout, cutting, and welding. These methods will enable better hull fit-up, weld quality, and efficiency; streamline the installation and removal of temporary attachments that are needed for construction and transport; and increase the efficiency and quality of the installation of high-volume repeatable parts.
The advanced production methods are expected to save $6.6 million on the identified platforms over a five-year period due to a reduction in hull production labor.
The project results are expected to be implemented at Ingalls during the construction of LHA, LPD, DDG 51 and NSC class ships in the fourth quarter of FY15.
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division
PMS 400D - DDG 51 Program Office
PMS 377 LHA(R) Program Office