The project results reduce time, labor, and rework associated with sonar dome fabrication. Ingalls photo
S2579 Sonar Dome Fabrication Process Improvements
This Navy Metalworking Center (NMC) project has implemented several solutions that streamline the processes and procedures to fabricate the Aegis Destroyer (DDG 51 class) sonar dome, which has a complex geometry and is challenging to construct. NMC implemented metrology solutions as well as mechanized material removal technologies, which will improve the current manual processes. The project results reduce the time, labor, and rework associated with fabricating the sonar dome sub-assembly at Ingalls Shipbuilding (Ingalls).
The Integrated Project Team (IPT) assessed the sonar dome fabrication process, developed concepts, and downselected several concepts to prototype. The IPT developed, enhanced and tested several material removal technologies that increased the efficiency of this labor-intensive operation. Specifically, the IPT developed and pilot tested a portable grinding station consisting of a mechanical arm and versatile mounts for various conditions. In addition, the IPT demonstrated a plasma gouging system as a rapid material removal solution and developed a template to improve the current stem bar fairing process. For metrology, the IPT investigated and recommended implementation of a laser scanner system to perform plate check verification to reduce or eliminate rework prior to installation. In January 2016, the IPT demonstrated a specialized measurement plan that automated the post-processing of scanned data.
Implementation and Technology Transfer:
Due to the successful demonstration and tool validation, Ingalls is implementing the following tools and technologies:
The project results are also being used in other process areas and platforms at Ingalls, namely LHA, LPD and National Security Cutter (NSC). Bath Iron Works, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and BAE Systems-York also expressed interest in the project results.