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

Abrasive Blasting Arm for Man Lift

A motion-assisted positioning device used for the blasting process will reduce costs and worker fatigue, and increase throughput on multiple naval platforms. Ingalls Shipbuilding Photo


NMC is leading an Integrated Project Team (IPT) to develop and evaluate a prototype man-lift-mounted, motion-assisted positioning system that integrates a cost-effective mechanically assisted arm and the interface components required to perform blasting operations from a man lift. The new system will allow workers to remove rust, mill scale, and other surface contaminants from the ship’s hull exterior with less effort than is required for the current method. NMC is further developing technology from a previous NMC project (S2579 Sonar Dome Fabrication Process Improvements) that successfully transitioned a mechanically assisted arm for grinding operations on the DDG 51 sonar dome.


Building on the success of a mechanically assisted arm that was optimized through a prior ManTech project, the Navy Metalworking Center (NMC) is leading a Rapid Response project to adapt the technology for use in the shipyard that requires a man lift for labor-intensive operations such as abrasive blasting.

Technical Approach

This project’s IPT, including the DDG 51 Program Office, Ingalls Shipbuilding (Ingalls), and NMC, will develop and implement a prototype abrasive blasting motion-assisted positioning system comprised of a mechanically assisted arm, supply hose and nozzle gimbal along with associated mounts to interface with a man lift. The IPT will perform pilot testing and provide a model and drawings of prototype accessories to the mechanical arm manufacturer, from whom Ingalls and other end users can purchase the blasting arm system.


Five-year savings from this project are expected to be $840K for all platforms constructed at Ingalls, including DDG 51, LPD, LHA, and NSC.


Implementation of the new system is targeted for the third quarter of FY16 on the first available hull.




Gregory Pierson
Program Executive Office Ships PMS 400D


Ingalls Shipbuilding
PMS 400D - DDG 51 Program Office