Real Time Locating System (RTLS)

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Project Participants: General Dynamics Electric Boat

Project Start: May 2019

Production assets such as forklifts, welding units, cranes, etc. are essential components required in submarine construction.  Currently at General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB), there are no existing systems or processes in place to easily locate these assets. Assets are allocated geographically on an as needed basis with limited ability to track the path of the asset. This antiquated process results in underutilization of equipment, additional labor costs associated with finding assets, lost labor due to inventory efforts, and work scheduling conflicts due to an inability to effectively plan asset usage.  Additionally, there are no current program or universal database to capture details on asset status availability and condition. The absence of this pertinent information often results in uninformed planning and scheduling of work as well as preventative maintenance deferrals due to the inability to locate and schedule assets.

The Real Time Locating System (RTLS) project, managed by the Naval Shipbuilding and Advanced Manufacturing (NSAM) Center will create an effective electronic tracking method to integrate into GDEB’s existing emergent work order systems.  This will allow GDEB to locate, request, and status production assets on the floor in real time. RTLS technology offers cost-effective solutions to automatically status, track, and locate assets in a shipyard environment.  By inserting RTLS technologies capable of tracking assets connected to work orders, the project is expected to enable numerous improvements to equipment utilization, resource allocation, as well as a more effective in-field service program for preventive maintenance.

This project is expected to result in savings of approximately $233K per VIRGINIA Class submarine and approximately $376K per COLUMBIA Class submarine for five-year savings of $3.03M. The RTLS technology is expected to be implemented at GDEB’s Quonset Point, RI, facility during the forth quarter of FY22.

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