Technology Showcases Highlight Needs at U.S. Naval Shipyards

The mission of the CTMA Program is to fill unmet technology needs within the DoD’s maintenance and sustainment community. That happens in several ways, but one of the most impactful is the Technology Showcases. These events bring multiple companies with innovative technologies, those that can help a DoD facility solve their unique challenges, to their doorstep.

In the last year, NCMS has hosted three Technology Showcases at Naval shipyards. Each one is more popular than the last. The Navy is investing in a large-scale modernization effort to bring the shipyards into alignment with today’s and tomorrow’s needs. U.S. Naval shipyards haven’t been significantly updated since World War II, and in some cases, the infrastructure is 100 years old. The shipyards sent out the distress signal and NCMS answered that call.

U.S. Naval Shipyard, Yokosuka, Japan July 17-18, 2018

Despite record heat and humidity, over 1,000 people attended the first-ever NCMS/ CTMA Technology Showcase at the U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility in Yokosuka, Japan.

With a mission of “anticipating and providing fleet service and support needs on demand,” it’s no surprise that the repair facility welcomed the NCMS Technology Showcase, leveraging the CTMA collaborative industry partners, with open arms. The base is challenged with providing extended service to their fleet in a high tempo environment, yet they don’t have access to all the latest technologies that their counterparts at domestic facilities do. When Peggy Hough, department head of the Continuous Improvement Office at Yokosuka found out about Technology Showcases, she jumped at the chance.

“I couldn’t be happier with the way the Technology Showcase turned out,” says Debbie Lilu, CTMA Program Director with NCMS. “The support we received from the entire team including translators, operations staff, and all the maintainers who participated was beyond my expectations. I know that this was the first step in a long, and valuable relationship going forward.”

U.S. Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Maine October 24-26, 2018

While the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard was busy repairing and modernizing a variety of Los Angeles-class attack submarines, approximately 1,700 of the 7,000 employees took a break to attend the inaugural NCMS Portsmouth Technology Showcase. The event introduced new and innovative technologies, products, and processes that could assist the maintenance and sustainment communities with filling unmet needs at the best cost. There were 36 tabletop displays from industry, academia, and non-profits from all over the U.S. who came to demonstrate their commercially- available applications, equipment, and machinery that could enhance warfighter readiness.

From machine shop artisans to base leadership, all attendees were thrilled to learn about innovative technologies that can help bring state-of-the-art solutions to a facility that was founded over 200 years ago.

This historic event was an answer to the call of increasing the readiness level, which is a priority within the DoD. It is more imperative than ever to bring industry and government together to solve maintenance and sustainment challenges. Submarines are one of the most difficult environments in which to work and NCMS is pleased to have partnered with the OSD and the Navy to let maintainers at the shipyard learn more about what U.S. industry can offer.

“Attending the NCMS Technology Showcase at the Naval Shipyard was definitely well worth the time. People were happy to meet with us and we felt as though we were a trusted partner. This was one of the most effective shows I’ve ever seen,” Gary C. Confalone President/ CEO East Coast Metrology Global Measurement Solutions.

U.S. Naval Shipyard, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii January 22-24, 2019

It wasn’t the balmy weather or palm trees swaying in the breeze that attracted almost 1,800 attendees to the Technology Showcase at Pearl Harbor. After all, in Hawaii tropical paradise is an everyday occurrence. The draw was the 28 companies that brought their innovative maintenance and sustainment technologies that could offer major advances to warfighter readiness.

Maintainers and leadership from the Pearl Harbor Shipyard were not the only people who attended the showcase. For the first time ever, a Technology Showcase organized by NCMS became a cross-service event. While the event was hosted on the Pearl Harbor Shipyard grounds, interested maintenance and sustainment personnel from the nearby Hickam Air Force Base and the Army’s Fort Shafter also saw the value to attend. Base Commander Gregory Burton took time out of his busy schedule to welcome those participating in the event and highlighted some of the challenges that the shipyard faces including personnel shortages and aging and obsolete facilities and machinery.

“Having representatives from the Air Force and Army at the Pearl Harbor Technology Showcase illustrates the critical need for maintenance innovations across the services,” says Lilu. “There was great interest in all the technologies that were on display. As the shipyard prepares for modernization, these technologies could assist with cost savings, improved efficiency, and labor productivity.”

The staff at Pearl Harbor who hosted the event went to great lengths to ensure success. They worked tirelessly on logistics resulting in shipyard maintainers lining up early to discover all that the participating companies had to offer.

“This has been as good a shipyard experience as we’ve ever had!” says Glenn Astolfi, President of Atmospheric Plasma Solutions. “We talked with a lot of artisans whose work we would help as well as command here at the base. There is a huge amount of interest in our technology from the hundreds of people we spoke with over the two days because of the time savings and ease-of-use.”

For the organizers at the Pearl Harbor Shipyard, putting on a large-scale event such as the Technology Showcase was no easy feat. When asked why they wanted to put forth all the effort, the answer came quickly.

“Why we wanted to have this event is all about our people,” says Dan Yamane, Director of Quality Assurance, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility. “The event, although not an easy one to execute, was focused on taking care of our shipyard maintainers and to provide a Technology Showcase to display technology that could potentially benefit the execution of their workload. Putting on an event like this was by no means an easy one. We were only able to execute such an ambitious event with the help and assistance from NCMS. Working with NCMS to organize this event from the planning phase to execution was great. NCMS handled all aspects of gathering information from the industry participants, including their facility requirements and security information. NCMS does most of the heavy lifting to ensure a smoothly run event.”

With a winning formula, NCMS will continue to produce Technology Showcases for military facilities around the globe. If the DoD maintenance and sustainment community needs it, NCMS will find it.