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

Unit Family Construction Optimization

More efficient unit construction will increase shipbuilding throughput while reducing production costs and labor. (Ingalls Photo)


The Navy Metalworking Center (NMC) is leading a Navy ManTech Integrated Project Team (IPT) that will improve unit assembly, pre-outfitting, and kitting of components within the Ingalls unit construction areas.


In the Covered Slab Area at Ingalls, units are constructed from panels and bulkheads that are fabricated upstream in process areas such as the Panel Line and Shell Shop. Fit-up and assembly of these units are performed manually and require a significant amount of labor and transportation time.

Technical Approach

The IPT will evaluate current processes and compile data to identify unit families and focus areas to target for mechanization. NMC will work with Ingalls to identify prototype technology requirements and develop concepts. Once the concepts have been down-selected, NMC will develop the prototype hardware for demonstration and pilot testing at Ingalls. The testing will enable the IPT to validate the expected process savings, which will be used to support capital expenditure requests for full-scale implementation.


Implementation of manufacturing technology solutions to construct unit assemblies is estimated to produce an annual savings of $1.4M across all platforms currently constructed at Ingalls (DDG, LHA, LPD, and NSC) as well as future platforms. The total projected five-year process savings for all hulls is $7.2M.


The IPT will focus on improvement to the leveling of structures, handling/setting bulkhead structures, and transporting structures among stations. In addition, upstream and downstream process areas, such as the Outfitting Hall and outdoor unit construction, will be evaluated and could benefit from the solutions developed by this project. The down-selected concept(s) will be demonstrated at Ingalls on unit assemblies to support full-scale implementation. Additionally, solutions developed as a result of this project will supplement Ingalls shipyard modernization plans. Implementation will occur on the first available hull at Ingalls starting in January 2018.




Gregory Pierson
Program Executive Office Ships PMS 400D


Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division
Ingalls Shipbuilding
PMS 400D - DDG 51 Program Office