Maintenance Collaboration Speeds Ship Availability
During a recent NAVSEA Industry Innovation Partnership (NIPP) call, Technical Insertion Managers shared maintenance and sustainment success stories and best practices. James Calverley, an engineer at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNY & IMF), mentioned the positive impact of the automated hydro–lancing system used to clean condenser tubes that was recently demonstrated at PSNY & IMF through the CTMA Program. Ship availability is a challenge faced by all the public shipyards, so David Anderson, Innovation Program Manager at the U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center in Yokosuka Japan (SRF-JRMC), took notice. Heat exchanger condenser tubes need to be regularly cleaned, a labor-intensive task that can take several months.
Calverley had identified automated hydro-lancing technology from Terydon Inc. as a potential industry partner to address this challenge. He attended the SRF and was able to arrange for a demonstration of the technology and its capabilities.
“James went above and beyond the call of duty to demonstrate this technology to our maintainers,” says Anderson. “The demonstration was informative and productive, and now we definitely have something to work toward.”
There are two issues unique to SRF-JRMC. Most of the workforce speaks only Japanese and the facility primarily maintains surface ships, smaller than the aircraft carriers the Calverley is tasked with maintaining. In order to use the Terydon technology, modifications would need to be made to accommodate the smaller space and a Japanese partner would have to be found to assist with translation needs.
Interest in this technology is high. Condenser tube cleaning can take months no matter the size of the ship. This innovative technology will reduce that time to days while providing an environmentally friendly and safe solution.
Currently, SRF-JRMC is looking at test cases to better analyze potential benefits. The team is also working to develop a knowledge–sharing platform to enhance the distribution of best practices and lessons learned. There are many maintenance and sustainment challenges that are common among the public shipyards. Working collaboratively on solutions will lower costs and increase ship availability.
“We’re excited that we could experience the technology demonstration to better understand the capabilities and applications,” says Anderson. “It’s important to bridge the technology gap between carriers and surface ships. During missions, these ships support each other.”
To read more about how this technology is enhancing readiness read the article in the February 4 issue of Salute, the newsletter of the PSNY & IMF facility.