Collaboration between the Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and industry has identified numerous potential savings in the shipbuilding process. A pilot project to prioritize efficiency efforts could be implemented this year and, already, Rear Adm. Thomas Eccles, Naval Sea Systems Command chief engineer and deputy commander for Naval Systems Engineering, issued a letter to shipbuilders, April 2, approving nine potential cost-saving efficiencies.
"Based upon the work of the four 'Specification Cost Reduction' working groups, I have approved a number of quick-win cost-saving items," Admiral Eccles wrote in his letter.
Targeted working groups established at an industry day in February identified and evaluated the potential cost saving requirement changes in the four highest priority functional areas: Hull and structure, electrical systems, piping systems and paint and coatings.
The approved cost-reduction initiatives include:
- applying powder coating directly to metal on interior components such as electrical boxes;
- applying interior liquid coatings on interior components without requiring a primer;
- applying underwater hull coatings over moderate rust;
- reducing surface preparation on deck tie-downs;
- using galvanized fasteners instead of painting bare steel fasteners in ventilation ducting;
- not painting areas covered by docking blocks during final coating application;
- applying high-solid, rapid-cure tank coatings that are tinted to bilge colors in new construction submarine bilges; and
- raising the allowed relative humidity in buildings in which tank coatings are applied.
In his letter, Admiral Eccles asked industry partners to review approved changes and identify the applicable portions of existing NAVSEA contracts and ship specifications that would need to be changed in order to implement the changes on each hull.
Of the remaining 248 potential cost-saving recommendations, 85 are hull and structure items, 75 are paint and coating items, 44 are piping system items, and 44 are electrical system items.
"We'll continue to work with industry and stakeholders as we adjudicate and develop implementation plans for the remaining proposed cost saving items to realize additional savings," said Robin White, NAVSEA director for Surface Ship Design and Systems Engineering.
April 13, 2012