Optimizing Processes and Advanced Technologies to Improve Shipyard Maintenance Activities

NCMS Project #: 142096

Problem: Inefficient processes and practices cause U.S. Navy ships to cost more than they otherwise should and reduce the number of ships that can be bought under constrained budgets as well as delivering ships that require more effort to sustain than originally planned.  A Government Accountability Office (GAO) study determined that the top 150 problems identified by the fleet generally fall into three categories:  (1) problems maintaining commercial equipment on ships, (2) ship design that did not effectively consider maintainability, and (3) untested sustainment assumptions that turned out to be incorrect after ships were delivered to the fleet.  Nearly all Navy shipbuilding programs they reviewed experienced problems in each of these categories.

Benefit: Streamlining shipyard maintenance and shipbuilding activities will help to stabilize the workforce, increase shipyard competition, and increase worker expertise.  The completion of these tasks will serve as an example to commercial industry in how the application of tested and proven processes can help companies mitigate risks and reduce the time and money lost when performing maintenance on ships and other vehicle fleets.  Having these proven processes to align facilities, labor, materials, and other resources can improve the maintenance and sustainment of a vehicle fleet.

Solution/Approach: By building upon and refining the best commercial practices, processes, and procedures employed in commercial ship building, maintenance and repairs can be completed on time.  Using the Newport News Shipyard (NNS) and the Ford Class Aircraft Carrier program as a surrogate, current maintenance and shipbuilding program processes will be evaluated to generate maintenance planning and execution process improvements.  These improvements will better anticipate maintenance requirements and create more accurate work packages that optimize program schedules and budgets.  In addition, they will consolidate and streamline facility and supply chain efficiencies, identify and implement new workforce development and training requirements, and share best practices and approaches across Program Executive Office (PEO) Carriers, NNS and Naval Sea Systems (NAVSEA).

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Timely completion of maintenance activities 
  • Reduce maintenance and sustainment costs 
  • Increase asset availability and warfighter readiness 
  • Improve lifespan of equipment 
  • Strengthen technical skills and training of technical and mechanical personnel

DOD Participation:

  • Naval Sea Systems (NAVSEA) Command
  • Program Executive Office (PEO) Aircraft Carriers
  • Program Manager PMS 312
  • Program Manager PMS 378 
  • Program Manager PMS 379
  • Program Manager PMS 555

Industry Participation:

  • Phoenix Group
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Repair turn-around time
  • Maintenance avoidance and reliability
  • Safety
  • Improved readiness
  • Reliability improvement

Focus Area:

  • Reliability improvement (hardware)