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NSRP Tackles Paper, Primers, Process

Friday, February 14, 2014

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ORLANDO—Slashing paper work, simplifying maintenance, and improving process efficiencies are the goals that drove recent projects by the National Shipbuilding Research Program.

“NSRP Surface Preparation and Coatings Update: Specs to Decks” kicked off a four-part second session of the Coatings for Ships and Marine Structures track Tuesday (Feb. 11) at SSPC 2014. The morning session included three presentations.

NSRP is a collaboration of U.S. shipyards working to reduce the cost of maintaining and operating U.S. Navy ships.  

Stephen Cogswell

Stephen Cogswell discussed three recent projects that were developed to save time and money in ship building and maintenance.

Presenter Stephen Cogswell, of BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards, gave an update on current and recently completed work by the NSRP Surface Preparation and Coating (SPC) Panel, highlighting three projects that were designed to discover and implement cost-saving processes and technologies over the life of a vessel. 

SPC sponsors up to three projects each year. The projects must have high value, high impact, and be able to be implemented on deck plates.

Cogswell's project updates follow. 

Paperless Paint

Robust Functional Paperless Paint for U.S. Navy 009-32 Documentation with TruQC sought to modify a commercially available TruQC software system to support U.S. Navy preservation documentation.

The panel proposed that using this software would reduce the cost of documentation in shipbuilding and repair by reducing the hours spent documenting inspections and correcting errors. 

“It will keep the inspectors on the deck plates measuring and monitoring the quality product, instead of at their desk shuffling paper,” Cogswell said.

paperless coatings NSRP
Photos: NSRP

Paperwork can be costly and cumbersome, especially when mistakes are made. The SPC Panel is working with TruQC to modify software for NAVSEA reporting requirements.

TruQC modified its current software to support the specific needs of the contractors and government inspectors. The program had to be evaluated and tested to these requirements, and to meet the paperless QA reporting requirements of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Standard Items. 

Retaining Pre-Construction Primers

Compatibility of 'Single Coat' Tank Coatings with Retained Pre-Construction Primer: The goal of this project with Elzly Technology Corp. was to get approval from NAVSEA and coating manufacturers to apply rapid-cure, single-coat tank linings over pre-construction primer.

“They decided we were spending way too much money making a tank internal pretty,” Cogswell explained.

For the first part of this project, test tanks and panels were prepared, and testing showed that the coating system should be acceptable.

However, the data were not as good as required by the current, near white metal surface preparation standard. So a follow-up project was funded, to extend the tank exposure testing to one year and to apply the single-coat tank lining on a Navy ship under construction.

polysiloxane tank coatings

After a year of tank exposure testing, a single-coat tank paint system over retained pre-construction primer was approved.

NAVSEA approval was obtained in 2013, and a multi-tank application is currently in progress.

Shipyard Lessons

Benchmarking of Foreign Shipyards, with Elzly Technology Corporation/Safinah, dispatched nine subject matter experts to four European shipyards that face challenges similar to NSRP yards: environmental regulations, higher labor costs, and complex ships. The team also met with Asian shipyards in early 2013.

The goal was to observe coating practices to see what lessons could be implemented at NSRP shipyards. Among the questions addressed:

  • How does the shipyard integrate painting operations with other trades?
  • How does the shipyard deal with environmental regulations impacting surface preparation and painting operations?
  • How does the shipyard manage the information associated with the painting process (e.g., coating schedules, QA data, manufacturers’ requirements)?
  • What experience does the shipyard have with novel or innovative coating solutions (e.g., foul release coatings, metallizing, anchor chain coatings, polysiloxane)?
  • Does the shipyard do anything to help minimize the costs of touch-up?

So what did the team learn?

“They don’t spend money where we spend money; they spend money building ships,” Cogswell said. 

New Panel Chair

The review was Cogswell’s last. He announced that Arcino Quiero Jr., of Newport News Shipbuilding, would take over as chair of the SPC panel; Pete Lockwood, of Bath Iron Works, will serve as vice chair.

SPC panel meetings, held three times a year, are open to the public, and Cogswell invited attendees to present any ideas they might have.

“We look forward to you joining us and contributing to our cost-reducing mission,” Cogswell said. 


Tagged categories: National Shipbuilding Research Program; Quality assurance; Quality control; Shipyards; SSPC 2014; Tanks and vessels

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