Premature failure of a component on submarines due to the buildup of calcareous deposits on these parts often necessitated unscheduled repairs and caused operational limitations for the Navy. Keeping these ships and submarines out of commission led to significant costs for the Navy and impacted mission readiness.
By bringing together companies across industry and leading academic institutions, the ATI-managed Naval Shipbuilding and Advanced Manufacturing Center (NSAM) used collaboration to address this—and many other—Navy challenges. Working with the Institute for Manufacturing and Sustainment Technologies and General Dynamics Electric Boat, the team developed a thermal spray coating solution for extend/retract cylinder rods in the submarine’s bow plane system. This coating will prevent the build-up of calcareous deposits on the cylinder rods and will reduce the need for unscheduled maintenance.
Projected savings from the project are more than $9M per hull over the life of each platform, with a total submarine lifecycle cost savings of approximately $300M. In recognition of these enhancements of the Navy’s mission readiness, the project team was awarded a 2017 Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award in the Readiness Improvement category.
Three other NSAM projects were nominated for awards for their outstanding achievements in manufacturing technology: The Dynamic Change Awareness project provides identification of baseline process gaps to reduce process times. The Enhanced Task Assignment and Progressing (eTAP) project streamlines tasking assignment work for shipyard foremen. Finally, the Machine Readable Material Transactions project reduces the cycle times of material transactions using machine-readable data entry.
By facilitating collaboration between the Navy, shipbuilding, and manufacturing industry leaders, and premier academic institutions, NSAM project teams combine efficiency and cost savings with innovation to increase mission readiness.