Structural Fit-up Applications

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Project Participants: Huntington Ingalls Industries – Ingalls Shipbuilding

Project Start: February 2020

The DDG-51 Program initiated in the late 1970s, with the first DDG-51 procured in 1985, is one of the longest-running shipbuilding programs in Navy history, and the DDG-51 class, in terms of number of hulls, is one of the Navy’s largest classes of ships since World War II. As platform capability and complexity increase, costs for the ships have also increased as expectations and requirements for the program have grown. The DDG-51 Program Office has directed a reduction in construction costs with the DDG-51 co-build shipyards. Huntington Ingalls Industries – Ingalls
Shipbuilding (Ingalls), assessed that there is opportunity for the Structural Fit-up Applications project to reduce cost associated with temporary attachments with technology insertion, process modification, and/or elimination of need.

The Structural Fit-up Applications project seeks to reduce shipfitting man-hours and re-work associated with the use of chains, angle iron, and saddles for temporary attachments on DDG-51 platforms built by Ingalls. In shipfitting, temporary attachments are needed to attach components to a weldment for bracing, handling, shipping, or other work requirements. Various temporary attachments are used in production areas as well as on the ships for a variety of purposes. A few examples of the use of temporary attachments include: attaching additional components for
support in handling operations, unit support, line control, stanchions, or unit lifting and moving. A unit could have more than 150 temporary attachments and could be needed to last up to a few weeks. Shipfitters are expected to install temporary attachments with limited resources. Since temporary attachments are installed on an as-needed basis, direction for installation of these attachments are given directly by the foreman, extracted from drawings, or just known by experience. Additionally, the tools, materials, and process varies and is rarely consistent.

This two-phased, 15-month effort will phase will focus on defining functional, operational, plus health and safety requirements, and identifying temporary attachments to down select. An investigation will be conducted to identify and categorize use cases of temporary attachments and gather usage data to determine which cases are more frequently used. The project will select up to three dissimilar temporary attachment use cases will be conducted to focus future investigations towards key categories. The project will then develop a pilot test plan and execute
the pilot. The pilot candidates will be tested in a shipyard environment to verify their applicability in a production environment. The Ingalls team anticipates reducing temporary attachments by 20%, a similar 20% reduction in temporary attachments installation time, and a 40% reduction in temporary attachments repair/rework time.

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