VCS Improved Cable Lay and Sequencing Tool
Project Participants: General Dynamics Electric Boat
Project Start: December 2014
The VIRGINIA Class Submarine (VCS) and OHIO Replacement (OR) Programs’ operation and planning personnel involved with the installation of cables have identified an opportunity for significant and recurring savings. There are 15,000 to 20,000 cables on a nuclear submarine. The process of designing, planning and installing each one of these cables is complex and exacting. Cable sequences are also rife with inefficiencies. The result is that large amounts of cable are ordered and warehoused only to sit idly coiled until the next module is ready. The process proceeds in phases: logical design, component physical design, cableway design, cable routing, cable lay, and cable sequencing. This project addresses the last two steps in the process.
The VCS Improved Cable Lay and Sequencing Tool project is focused on re-engineering the cable lay and sequencing processes. The re-engineered process will assist the planner in the selection of smaller work packages. This will result in savings in material ordering, warehousing of cable, reduction of clutter in outfitting areas and more timely installation of cables in modules and on board the ship. The Cable Lay and Sequencing Tool will allow electrical designers to create a 3D CAD model of designated cable lay for a cable across its route. This includes the verification that designated Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI) rules have not been violated.
Second, the tool will provide the capability to sequence cable installation based on status of the ship. It typically begins in the early stage of design where functionally related equipment, systems, tanks, etc. are located to reduce the distributed system footage and maximize standardization potential.
The single phased, 15-month project will be executed with two sequential sets of tasks that will eventually lead to a process/tool to reduce cable lay design cost as well as reduce cable sequencing planning and operations cost on both the VCS and OR platforms. Once implemented, Electric Boat Corporation (EB) anticipates that the combined improvements created by the improved tool translate into a potential savings of $2.7M per OR hull and $274K per VCS hull.