Switchable Magnetic Technology

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Project Participants: Huntington Ingalls Industries – Ingalls Shipbuilding

Project Start: April 2019

The Switchable Magnetic Technology project, led by Huntington Ingalls Industries Ingalls Shipbuilding (Ingalls), is looking to will provide proof of feasibility for the use of switchable magnetic technology as a more cost efficient, safe, and effective hoisting alternative. By identifying possible points of usage within the IPD shop and under shipyard environmental conditions, testing the viability of that usage for various Lifting Magnets using different scenarios for production, the feasibility of providing more effective non-welded timesaving hoisting when Switchable Magnetic Technology is used in numbers can be proven. Engineering would design the placement of the multiple magnets based on load size, product shapes, and associated lifting equipment.

Lifting foundations within the IPD “Industrial Post Delivery” shop requires the welding and removal of lugs and it is believed using switchable magnetic technology could potentially reduce this effort by 40% since the tools have a handle that allows the release of the magnet. However, before any additional tools can become part of the construction process, applicability for usage and safety concerns must be addressed.  Safety of the workers is the number one priority.  In order for the Shipyard Safety Department to approve these tools for usage, testing needs to occur that validates the magnetic tools power availability at point and time of usage. The products are commercially available, however, there are unique environmental circumstances associated with operation in the shipyard environment and usage in various areas for different purposes.  Currently, switchable permanent magnets are not used for hoisting.

The project will be executed over six months. The project team will examine the feasibility for the use of switchable magnetic technology as a more cost efficient, safe, and effective hoisting alternative. The team will test the equipment for safety, applicability, durability, and verify that welding can be done up to the magnets as claimed. Then verify with the safety department and tool room that these tools may be used. If accepted, the team will create a process for calibration, reuse, and distribution of the technology into the production cycle. Once implemented this new processes are estimated to result in a savings of $180K per DDG Hull.  Ingalls anticipated these savings will be leveraged on all platforms constructed at Ingalls.

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