Originally published in Salute September 16, 2021
PSNS & IMF held a kick-off briefing the day before the event where Technology Insertion Office personnel and a representative from the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences helped department heads, division heads and innovation folks from throughout the command understand how they could best use the event to find capabilities that would help them solve problems and accomplish work more safely and effectively.
“All shipyard personnel were invited to attend, and we wanted attendees to come looking for solutions to problems they have right now,” Brimhall said. “The sole focus in the Technology Insertion Office is on ‘how can we help you with your problems?’ This event was designed to do exactly that.”
Capt. Jip Mosman, commander, PSNS & IMF, encouraged the leaders and innovators who attended the kick-off briefing to support their teammates in finding capabilities that could help improve how work is done at not only PSNS & IMF, but the other public shipyards as well.
“Naval Sustainment System—Shipyards is all about our shipyards improving our performance,” Mosman said. “There are pieces of NSS-SY that are people based. There are pieces that are process based. There is also a part of NSS-SY that involves innovation, and being innovative in the way we do things. This is such a great event to go get some ideas, and perhaps get some technology to support us doing better.”
He encouraged folks to find useful technologies and to put in the effort to help the command acquire them.
“We do amazing things out there on the waterfront already,” said Mosman. “However, perhaps there is something we can do a little bit differently to make the work better and easier, or to make it more productive or efficient. When those technologies that can help us are out there, we just need to be that advocate and help bring it in here to make things even better.”
Brimhall encouraged leaders and innovators to think about capability gaps that might be filled by a technology, and to not focus on a specific tool or technology. “When you are looking at neat tools or equipment, you tend to lean toward things that look good or are marketed well,” he said.
“When you focus on the capability gaps, you stay focused on ‘what is my problem and how can I solve it?’ Also, when you are focused on capabilities, you can ask vendors for input and ideas about equipment they do not have on display but could have available or could develop for us.”
There were several vendors at the event the command has worked with in the past, or is currently working with, to solve problems. The shipyard and NCMS worked together with one of the vendors to design and test a condenser cleaning system that has significantly helped speed up critical path work on aircraft carrier availabilities.
Another vendor at the showcase previously worked with PSNS & IMF to modify a special cutting machine to meet safety requirements so it could be used in the shipyard environment. PSNS & IMF innovators, with the assistance of NCMS and the Technology Insertion Office, worked as a team to help get the cutter through the approval process.
If an attendee took note of a capability their shop or code would like to explore, Brimhall said the next step is to reach out to Code 1000i to lay out who the stakeholders are and make a plan for bringing the solution into the shipyard.
“Please think about the things that you saw that you would like to pursue and reach out to us,” Brimhall said.
Code 1000i works with NCMS to try out technologies in the shipyard, and to collaborate with industry partners to customize them for the government, when needed.
“NCMS can allow us to try out new things quickly and easily,” Brimhall explained. “Also, they can help us to work with vendors to develop new solutions. This allows us to team with industry partners to develop new solutions that may not exist right now. This helps the shipyard to find solutions to problems and it helps the vendors to develop new products.