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Navy Trims Ship Painting Protocols

Monday, April 16, 2012

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The Navy, Coast Guard and industry have approved nine significant changes to painting protocol during shipbuilding, in a pilot project designed to increase efficiency and save money.

 U.S. Navy

 U.S. Navy

Sailors board the California (SSN 781) for a rehearsal ceremony the day before the Navy's newest submarine was commissioned in October 2011. The new painting protocol includes changes for coatings used in new-construction submarine bilges.

Overall, the changes will mean less painting, less primer and less surface preparation.

Rear Adm. Thomas Eccles, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) chief engineer and deputy commander for Naval Systems Engineering, issued a letter to shipbuilders April 2, approving the nine potential cost-saving efficiencies.

Less Prep, Less Primer

The approved initiatives, which could be implemented this year, are:

• Applying powder coating directly to metal on interior components such as electrical boxes;

• Applying interior liquid coatings on interior components without requiring a primer;

• Applying underwater hull coatings over moderate rust;

• Reducing surface preparation on deck tie-downs;

• Using galvanized fasteners instead of painting bare steel fasteners in ventilation ducting;

• Not painting areas covered by docking blocks during final coating application;

• Allowing retention of preconstruction primer in fuel oil storage, fuel oil service, compensated fuel and diesel tanks, and on underwater hull;

• Applying high-solid, rapid-cure tank coatings that are tinted to bilge colors in new construction submarine bilges; and

• Raising the allowed relative humidity in buildings in which tank coatings are applied.

‘Quick-Win Cost Saving’

These changes were among hundreds identified by targeted working groups established at an industry day in February. The groups examined potential cost-saving changes in the four highest-priority functional areas: paint and coatings, hull and structure, electrical systems, and piping systems.

"Based upon the work of the four 'Specification Cost Reduction' working groups, I have approved a number of quick-win cost-saving items," Eccles wrote in his letter.
The letter asked industry partners to review the approved changes and identify the applicable portions of existing NAVSEA contracts and ship specifications that would need to be changed to implement the changes on each hull.

More Recommendations

The groups also identified 248 other cost-saving recommendations: 75 for paint and coatings, 85 for hull and structure items, and 44 each in piping and electrical system items. Those are now under review.

"We'll continue to work with industry and stakeholders as we adjudicate and develop implementation plans for the remaining proposed cost saving items to realize additional savings," said Robin White, NAVSEA director for Surface Ship Design and Systems Engineering.


Tagged categories: Maintenance coating work; Maintenance programs; Marine Coatings; Powder coatings; Primers; Surface preparation; U.S. Navy

Comment from Jeremi Day, (4/17/2012, 10:20 AM)

Not Very Smart

Comment from Car F., (4/17/2012, 10:40 AM)

Pay now or pay later, who cares, its only taxpayer's money

Comment from jesse chasteen, (4/19/2012, 9:14 AM)

This has been suggested time and time again for over 25 years that I am aware of. Finally pulling the dumb drops off the menu and issuing smart pills. Navsea I commend you for finally realizing that allowing coatings to be applied with the manufacturers allowable parameters is a cost effective measure that can no longer be left on the table and will now hit the deck plates. Bravo Zulu

Comment from russell shiflett, (4/19/2012, 10:35 AM)

After all studies that show up to 70% of failures are caused by corrosion and bad prep???? I expect to see more frequent repairs on ships.

Comment from Ray Vickers, (4/20/2012, 7:02 AM)

Sad news for the U.S. Navy indeed. For a crystal ball look at the future issues the U.S.N. maintenance managers and port engineers will face please read Mr. Roy Nedal's excellent article on "Ship Coating Maintenance" in the March 2012 JPCL.

Comment from Larry Stephans, (4/23/2012, 12:42 PM)

It looks like bean counters have now taken over painting protocols. I agree this will result in "quick-win cost savings" but long term not so much. Maybe the plan is just to scrap ships as they corrode away. A disposable Navy.

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (4/24/2012, 8:16 AM)

I'm not sure how applying underwater hull coatings over rust would be advantageous. Puzzling choices.

Comment from Harry Peters, (4/24/2012, 12:39 PM)

Knowing the facts and being familiar or involved in the USN's process, where research and extensive field trials, through the auspices of concerned organizations such as NSRP, lend credence to the flag officers' decisions to reduce costs without compromising readiness. The waste and excess of the past and known by all and are no longer affordable when mission ready requires the allocation of more limited DoD funding to newer and costly weapon systems and vessel to defend US interests well into the future.

Comment from Jeremi Day, (4/24/2012, 3:32 PM)

You mean newer and costly such as this?? ---->> ... I think they should stick to what has taken 40+ years for them to realize.. PAINT OUR DAMN SHIPS THE RIGHT WAY! HIRE REAL INSPECTORS!! LOL

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (4/25/2012, 8:37 AM)

Harry, you sound like a Navy PIO.

Comment from Jeremi Day, (4/25/2012, 10:56 AM)

Or a NAVSEA Engineer under investigation. .... No Offence.

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