Project Participants: General Dynamics Electric Boat
Project Start: May 2011
This General Dynamics Electric Boat (EB) project seeks to significantly reduce the labor intensive installation of ship components by implementing the use of a high speed (phase-based) 3D laser scanning tool. The 3D laser scanner is a non-contact measuring device, which eliminates expensive manual targeting and staging requirements. Identifying more cost-efficient and less labor-intensive solutions will help the Navy to achieve their goal of reducing VIRGINIA-Class Submarine (VCS) construction costs to $2B and cycle time to 60-months.
EB has been evaluating the use of 3D laser scanning tools since November 2001. Evaluation of the 3D laser scanning tool in August 2010 showed a marked increase of functionality to capture more accurate xyz data than during previous project evaluations. There are also more advanced post processing software applications now commercially available to process a 3D as-built model in a shorter period of time from the scan data (point cloud, xyz measurements of as-built space).
In order to identify and recommend the most cost-efficient and least labor-intensive solution to installing ship components with a 3D laser scanning tool, vendor services will be leased to assist with laser scanner rental and post processing of data. The project team will develop a list of solution requirements that need to be identified based on the information on advancement of the 3D laser scanning technology and other requirements applicable to the process. The team will identify detailed information for each of the requirement areas on the list such as: types of scanners, ship components, size of components, time components, types of access required, time required to capture the as-built xyz measurements, and time required to post process the data into a 3D model for analysis. The implementation path is in place, as EB is targeting system use for fabrication activities as soon as possible. They anticipate a late spring trial use and expedient new construction and repair applications have already been identified. EB expects to use the metrology system(s) at their Groton facility and potentially at their Quonset Point facility as well.