Advanced Metalworking Solutions for
Naval Systems that Go in Harm's Way

Efficient Identification of Plate Defects

Identifying defects in steel plates earlier in the construction process will save shipbuilding costs. (NNS photo)


The Navy Metalworking Center (NMC) is conducting a Navy ManTech project that will develop suitable three-dimensional (3-D) inspection technologies to reliably and repeatedly identify surface defects so they can be corrected to meet surface quality requirements before painting.


Visual inspection of large steel plate surfaces to reliably detect critical surface flaws is a challenging task. In addition, if surface flaws such as scars and weld spatter are discovered after the plates are painted, the repair cost increases.

Technical Approach

An Integrated Project Team (IPT) is working with a metrology service provider to develop and modify a prototype automated visual inspection system and will demonstrate it in a production environment for expected use on CVN 79 and DDG 51 and LHA class ships. The IPT is focused on creating an inspection tool with speed, portability, accuracy, repeatability, and suitability for a shipbuilding environment.


By implementing both the prototype system and a system purchased from the metrology vendor, Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) is expected to reduce inspection costs by $4.2 million over a five-year period for construction of CVN 79. In addition, implementation of an inspection system at Ingalls Shipbuilding (Ingalls) is expected to result in a $650,000 savings over a five-year period on DDG 51 and LHA class ships.


Implementation is planned on CVN 79, beginning in August 2016. Secondary implementation is planned in 2016 for the pre-construction primer line at Ingalls in support of DDG 51 and LHA.




Mr. Joseph Lojek
CVN 79 Future Carrier Program Office


Newport News Shipbuilding
Ingalls Shipbuilding
PMS 379