KITTERY, Maine – Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY) developed a new tank cover to increase the efficiency of sandblasting operations during submarine maintenance.
The aluminum cover fits over small tank openings that keep temporary services organized and secured while maintaining proper environmental controls and airflow during preservation operations. Prior to this new development, the temporary ventilation line could fall in the 12-inch access hole while sandblasting and easily get fouled, requiring workers to reorganize the services before resuming work.
“We have very stringent cleanliness standards, especially when working interior tanks, and we need to contain our blasting media without sacrificing room for the blaster and equipment inside,” said Timothy Jardine, painter/blaster. “The new cover is designed to keep the vent pipe suspended up and out of the way, while still allowing all the other services to run into the tank.”
Jardine and co-workers Dan Nadeau and Matt Skrabal developed the idea for a new cover after process improvement training. The improvement training is part of an ongoing effort to empower mechanics on the deckplates to drive process and tooling improvements.
“It’s the people actually doing the work who have the best ideas to improve it,” said Aaron Economou, coatings and coverings shop operations manager. “Paint and preservation accounts for nearly 20 percent of submarine overhaul costs, and with mechanic-driven process and tooling improvements such as this [modified tank cover], the shipyard can continue to drive down maintenance costs for the submarine fleet and the Navy.”
PNSY is a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command.
from: Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Public Affairs