A Comparative Case Study of Dutch and U.S. Naval Shipbuilding Approaches: Reducing U.S. Naval Shipbuilding Costs Using PLM and 3D Imaging
Shannon, Kevin P.
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U.S. Navy shipbuilding costs are unsustainable. There is a need to cut costs to meet shipbuilding sustainment. Some pathways to reducing costs are through the use of product life cycle management (PLM) and through three-dimensional (3D) imaging technology that re-engineers the shipbuilding process. In this report, I introduce the possible ways to achieve cost savings and increase affordability for the U.S. Navy to build ships using two new technologies: PLM and 3D terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). I explore the results of implementing PLM and 3D TLS in the automobile and aerospace industries and extrapolate that data to the shipbuilding industry. I compare Dutch and U.S. Navy ships to ensure the comparability of the different platforms in an attempt to further identify the reasons for vast differences in the costs of comparable vessels. I present estimated cost savings and increased affordability in U.S. Navy shipbuilding that result from these technologies. PLM technology is still new to the shipbuilding industry; the shipyards I compare in this study do not have a full and operational implementation of PLM. Because the PLM implementation is not complete at this time, the shipyards I compared were unable to provide data to show the cost savings possible with PLM. In this report, I extrapolate the success that the automobile industry has experienced with the use of PLM solutions and apply it to the shipbuilding industry. Although this technology has not been fully implemented in the shipbuilding industry, this success is strong evidence that suggests possible cost savings that can be gained. 3D laser scanning currently does not meet the accuracy requirements set forth by the shipbuilding industry (0.030'') and is not currently being utilized during the construction of new ships. If this technology were to be deployed, there is a possible cost savings of over $470 million during the construction of the next 50 ships (to include small, medium, and large ships) that the U.S. Navy will procure.
Case Study (for Acquisition Research Program)
NPS Report NumberNPS-AM-12-036
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