Laser-Scanning at Newport News Shipbuilding
HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division is using laser-scanning to transform the work done on aircraft carrier catapult troughs during a refueling and complex overhaul.
“It shows the forward-thinking process that we’re looking at,” said Woody Woods, a Newport News designer, “bringing the technology in and changing the game and not building the ships the way we used to—leveraging the technology to improve that process.”
How Do We Build A Transformation Culture?
“Everybody has to recognize that where they are in their current position today, there are improvements that could be made along the way,” Melanie Anderson, vice president of human resources at HII’s Technical Solutions division, said at this year’s vice president offsite. “They shouldn’t wait for an external force to suggest something needs to change or improve or a customer wants something different.”
Who Is Responsible For Transformation?
“Everyone is responsible for transformation,” Xavier Beale, vice president of trades at HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division, said at this year’s vice president offsite. “It’s not just the leader. … Every person within this organization—within HII—is responsible for transformation.”
'Life Changing' Watch Rotations
HII’s Technical Solutions division helped develop new watch rotations that will improve the health and safety of U.S. Navy sailors.
“The results were phenomenal,” John Cordle, a director in Technical Solutions’ Fleet Support Group, said of their research. “One of the crew members said the words ‘life-changing.’”
The project is representative of HII’s transformational culture. “If you have a passion, you have a platform, and you have patience,” Cordle said, “you can be an agent for change.”
Integrated digital shipbuilding (IDS) is transforming the refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) program at HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division.
“This is actually one of the first ships that we’ve had a large presence of integrated digital shipbuilding on the RCOH program,” Jason Ipock, a lead general foreman, said of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) overhaul. “One of the biggest things that we’re seeing from it is that it’s actually taking the way we’ve always done it before, and it’s allowing us to be a little bit more efficient, a little bit more effective, a little bit quicker in our day-to-day operations.”
Robotic Automation at Ingalls Shipbuilding
Kevin Roossinck, a welding engineer at HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division, says computer modeling has facilitated the integration of robots in the Pascagoula shipyard.
“Robots are helping transform the shipyard,” he said. “I think this is an exciting time at Ingalls because we’re putting hundreds of millions of dollars into the shipyard in improving our facilities, increasing the amount of technology, making everything faster, smarter, more efficient, and I’m just excited to be a part of it.”
Laser Scanning at Sea
After testing laser-scanning technology on stationary ships, HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division was challenged by the U.S. Navy to prove that the tests are also reliable under sea conditions. It succeeded.
“I’m just real excited to be part of laser-scanning,” said Woody Woods, a Newport News designer. “After being in the shipyard for 32 years, I never thought I’d be working with technology like this, and I can only imagine where we’ll be 30 years from now, using this technology.”
Pipe Banding Tool
Chris Eckstein, a pipefitter at HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division, says a new banding tool is changing the way he does his job. It’s also cutting labor hours on the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79).
“It’s quicker, more efficient, and also I can get in to tighter spots,” he says. “All these tools and digital copies of drawings and everything, it’s a game-changer for shipbuilding. So it’s technology and manual tools all coming together as one.”
Drone Technology For Emergency Response
The use of drone technology is becoming more and more common across HII’s three divisions, but Ingalls Shipbuilding is the first to use it for emergency response.
“Anywhere in this 800 acres, that drone can be in a minute and a half,” said Kevin Kowalewski, Ingalls’ manager, environmental, health and safety engineering. “My management team is open to any kind of idea that will help us do something faster, more efficiently or with higher quality, and this drone is all about that.”
F-15 Combat Air-to-Air Training Systems
HII’s Technical Solutions division is transforming the business by expanding HII’s customer base. The Mission Driven Innovative Solutions group, for example, supports the U.S. Air Force’s F-15 Combat Air-to-Air Training Systems program.
“We train somewhere in the neighborhood of about 70 students a year,” said Tim Ebner, Technical Solutions’ site manager at Kingsley Field in Oregon. “It’s a big mission we’ve got here to get these students out the door and get them out the door on time.”
HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division is using drone technology for a variety of projects, ranging from material storage to parking assessments.
“The future of the program is bright,” says Jim O’Brien, Newport News’ director, facilities. “We are developing a facilities master plan so we can track the shipyard’s future needs for material as well as buildings, and we’ll be using the drones to take pictures as we develop that plan.”
Dual-Mode Undersea Vehicle
HII’s Technical Solutions division has developed a dual-mode undersea vehicle that meets the mission requirements of two different naval communities in one platform.
“That changes the way people in those communities think,” says Ross Lindman, a director of operations in Technical Solutions’ Fleet Support group. “It helps those communities look outside just the requirements of their own community and think about vehicles that can do other things beyond borders of what their requirements are.”
HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division has introduced “rolling covers” in its shipyard, offering employees relief from the sun and rain.
“We’re transforming how we look at things, how we look at products, how we look at the build process,” says Dianna Genton, a manager of manufacturing engineering. “We’re really putting our money where our mouth is, and we’re making the investment in our future, so we are going to be the shipyard of choice for years to come.”
HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division has begun manufacturing and testing parts made on a 3-D printer.
“To be part of something that’s really changing to how we do business has been excellent,” says John Ralls, one of the engineers working on the project. “If you asked me 10 years ago, would I be working on taking powderized metal and lasers to make a part in three-dimensional shapes, I don’t think I could have envisioned that at all.” Hear more from Ralls and Newport News Vice President Charles Southall in this video.
Part of HII’s 2018 leadership conference was dedicated to disruption—the concept of HII reinventing its business model. “We want to disrupt ourselves before anyone else has the chance,” HII President and CEO Mike Petters said at the conference.
HII is responding to those threats with a transformation strategy to capture efficiencies and synergies across the enterprise with specific focus on the material value stream, technology and digital strategy. The transformation effort also empowers employees across the enterprise to change their jobs for the better.
Please take a few minutes to watch a new video message with more of Petters’ thoughts on disruption and transformation.