Design for Production 1- Knowledge Tools

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Project Participants: General Dynamics Electric Boat

Project Start: October 2007

Recent studies have concluded that Design for Production (DfP) is the single most influential factor to reduce ship production cycle time and costs, as ship design processes are not keeping pace with manufacturing practices. Although design of the VIRGINIA-Class Submarine (VCS) is essentially complete, there are seven new naval ship designs in the immediate future; this in addition to impending re-engineering of the VCS for cost-reduction purposes.

This ManTech project selected a knowledge management process and tools to implement an infrastructure that enables authoring, configuration management, and access to DfP rules and standards. These articles will convey producibility criteria to designers who are working ship alterations, technology insertions, and new design development, as well as those improvements dedicated strictly to cutting production costs.

As part of this effort, the project team will identify DfP knowledge management requirements for each design discipline, define and document DfP processes, design topic maps for each discipline and implement both topic and process maps. This 14-month effort will conclude with a demonstration of a pre-production pilot to Electric Boat and Navy stakeholders.

While this project is one supporting element of the overall DfP mission, its marginal contribution is estimated to significantly increase the utilization of DfP principles on the order of $500K to $1M per hull. The resulting technology will provide the design community with manufacturing capabilities, best practices, cost information, and design rules/standards allowing for design decisions that reduce manufacturing, assembly, and testing costs downstream.

The project team plans to transition the prototype system to select users in the Jan – Jun 2008 timeframe. Results will be implemented in Electric Boat’s ship construction facilities at Groton, CT and Quonset Point, RI. Cost avoidances and cycle time reductions resulting from this project are estimated to begin as early as production of SSN-784.

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