Shipbuilder/Supplier Design Process (The National Shipbuilding Research Program)
GENERAL ELECTRIC CO CINCINNATI OH MARINE AND INDUSTRIAL PROJECTS DEPT
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The cost of warships has increased dramatically in recent years. Much of this increase is certainly justifiable in terms of enhanced capability -- but not all. A sizable portion can also be attributed to a design process for major equipment that does not pass a costvalue-added screen. There was a time when this process was less complicated, less controlled, and much less costly. Depending on the type of warship, up to 23 of the total cost of a lead ship can be attributed to components that are designed and manufactured by the non-shipbuilder supplier base. As such a large part of the total cost, any serious effort to reduce the cost of warship production must include a rigorous review of the process that produces these components. One way to reduce the cost of designing prototype equipment is to better define the roles and responsibilities of the participants. This simple step would go a long way in preventing overlapping activities with their ensuing duplication of effort and non-value added work that has become common in recent years. But in order to provide a clear and concise definition of responsibility and accountability for each participant in the process, it is first necessary to define the total process. As Dr. Deming teaches it is only in the context of the total process that meaningful improvements can be achieved. This paper presents one approach to reducing shipbuilding costs by utilizing the equipment specification to define and optimize the machinery design process. To the extent that the design process of major Hull, Mechanical, and Electrical equipment HME is similar to other shipboard equipment, the conclusions and recommendations may be applicable. Since the writers experience is limited to a prime contractor of HKE equipment, applicability to other equipment is left to the reader.
- Operations Research
- Marine Engineering