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Release No: 255-97
May 21, 1997


(703)697-5737(public/industry) (703)695-0192(media)

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency today selected nine new projects for negotiation as a result of the FY 1997 MARITECH competition. Combined, these nine projects are expected to receive a total of $36.0 million in government funding matched by $39.2 of industry contribution. The five-year MARITECH program is currently in its fourth year. MARITECH is part of the National Shipbuilding Initiative and is an effort to develop and apply advanced technology to improve the competitiveness of the U.S. shipbuilding industry and thereby develop and preserve the capability for affordable Navy ship and submarine construction.

The projects cover two thrust areas, Advanced Business Practices and Total Process Systems. The ABP demonstration projects are expected to develop and demonstrate innovative application of new technologies and processes that will vastly improve a shipyard's capabilities in its interoperations among suppliers, customers, and other shipyards. TPS demonstration projects are expected to develop and demonstrate system-wide, integrated design and production technologies. Each project will result in a demonstration of the developed technologies, with possible future commercialization of the enabling technologies. These are two-year efforts. The nine winning projects were selected from 23 proposals.

The selected projects and consortia are:

* A First Principles Approach for Shipbuilding Integrated Process and Product Development (FIRST) - FIRST will develop a computer system that integrates ship design, engineering, and manufacturing systems. This will be a first-of-its-kind system that uses COMPASS, a next-generation WINDOWS-based computer aided design tool being developed under a separate MARITECH award, as its underlying foundation. FIRST will integrate design, planning, scheduling, and engineering analyses tools into an enterprise-wide integrated computer system. These tools will be coupled with multidisciplinary design optimization to allow issues such as costs and refinement of build strategies to be developed simultaneously with the ship design. The system will provide the shipbuilder with a capability to develop more competitive

bids with a higher level of confidence and lower risk. The project participants include Intergraph Corp. of Huntsville, Ala. Proteus Engineering of Stevensville, Md.; SPAR Associates Inc. of Annapolis, Md.; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University of Blacksburg, Va.; Newport News Shipbuilding of Newport News, Va.; and the American Bureau of Shipping of Houston, Texas.

*National Industrial Information Infrastructure Protocols (NIIIP) for Shipbuilding Partners and Suppliers (SPARS) - SPARS will develop national level protocols and Virtual Enterprise Servers to enable electronic-based business operations between shipyards and their suppliers transparent of the underlying processes and computing environments of the participants. It directly supports the transfer of information between geographically dispersed teams in support of requirements analysis, supplier relations, material procurement, and resource and financial management. By improving the ability to transfer information between team members, the shipbuilding virtual enterprise can reduce the total time of ship design and construction. SPARS will develop an Information Management System that enables users to access and share real time enterprise-wide data and will implement Business Policy Management Procedures using a mediated Knowledge Base Management System. The project consortium includes the National Industrial Information Infrastructure Protocols Consortium of Stanford, Conn.; Marine Machinery Association of Arlington, Va.; Carnegie Mellon University of Pittsburgh, Pa.; General Dynamics, Electric Boat of Groton, Conn.; Bath Iron Works of Bath, Maine; Todd Pacific Shipyard of Seattle, Wash.; Avondale Industries of New Orleans, La.; and National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. of San Diego, Calif.

*Ship Factory Transformation - The goal of this project is to dramatically improve the pre-production design and planning process to facilitate rapid response to customer inquiries for new ships. This project will define the product attributes and logic that drive pre-production processes and products. It will identify core manufacturing competencies and product structure cost variables that influence product variation; define design and planning quality criteria and metrics; and re-engineer workflow as required. This project will build on experience to date in rationalizing shipyard production processes; leverage the strengths of the project partners in key systems and operations technology areas; and take advantage of other, ongoing MARITECH initiatives such as the Ship Building Information Infrastructure Project. The project team includes National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. of San Diego, Calif.; Anderson Consulting of El Segundo, Calif.; Computervision Corporation of Bedford, Mass.; First Marine International Ltd. of London, England; Kockums Computer Systems Inc. of Annapolis, Md.; and W. Miller & Co. of Boise, Idaho.

* Internationally Competitive Fast Ferries and Composite Ship Technologies - The goal of this project is to develop an internationally competitive, high-speed passenger ferry using advanced hull forms and materials. This project will integrate initial foreign export orders to requirements of registration that meet both Det Norske Veritas and International Maritime Organization high speed codes; refine and further integrate the XP-300 composite hulled catamaran design into Gladding-Hearn shipyard production processes; further develop the low-wake catamaran design and its integration into Nichols Brothers production processes; research

production methods at International Catamaran licensee shipyards in Australia; further incorporate the use of Zone Outfit Logic Technology into the manufacturing process at both yards; implement computer enhancements in business systems such as networking isolated shipyard departments together; and introduce bar-coding as an inventory control tool throughout the engineering and production processes. The project will also develop advanced composite materials technology to reduce costs and increase vessel performance, as well as research vital areas involving combustion, fire spread, and structural fire protection. The project team includes Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding of Somerset, Mass.; Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Whidbey Island, Wash.; International Catamaran of New South Wales, Australia; University of California, San Diego of La Jolla, Calif.; TPI Inc. of Warren, R.I.; Worcester Polytechnic Institute of Worcester, Mass.; VTEC Laboratory of Bronx, N.Y.; The United States Coast Guard of Washington, D.C.; Avondale Industries of New Orleans, La.; Trans-Science Corp. of La Jolla, Calif.; National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. of San Diego, Calif.; and University of Washington of Seattle, Wash.

*Organization of Work in a Second Tier U.S. Shipyard - This project will transfer state-of-the-art manufacturing and business practices from a small, innovative European shipyard and a major, internationally competitive U.S. equipment manufacturing company to a small Gulf Coast shipyard. This project will review, analyze and integrate new processes and procedures for material handling, production control, product identification, and information/data dissemination, use, and exchange. The project will also evaluate and test laser cutting and welding technology and provide connectivity between shipyard information and robotics test platforms. The consortium includes Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Co. Inc. of Mobile, Ala.; Caterpillar Inc. of Mossville, Ill.; Cybo Robots Inc. of Indianapolis, Ind.; Thompson Power Systems of Mobile, Ala.; Flensburger Schiffbau- Gesellschaft of Flensburg, Germany; and Colton & Co. of Arlington, Va.

*Transitioning to a 21st Century Advanced Manufacturing Facility - Phase II - This project will develop and deploy a state-of-the-art design, manufacturing, and information system, with concentration on the engineering and material control aspects of the system. Leading edge design and manufacturing technologies used in the automotive and aerospace industries will be evaluated and adapted to a small shipyard operation. Software for materials tracking and control, for prediction of material and resource requirements, and for anticipation and resolution of emerging conflicts will be developed and implemented. The project will also develop procedures for an extended enterprise with suppliers via electronic commerce, purchasing marine equipment using just-in-time principles and a vendor rating system. The team comprises Marinette Marine Corp. of Marinette, Wis., and Grant Thornton LLP of Appleton, Wis.

*Advanced Technology Demonstration Project - This project will try to dramatically improve practices and processes used for the design and construction of ships through new and revised organizational concepts, the development of a state-of-the-art CAD/CAM/CIM system, and the development and implementation of advanced facilities. This project will develop and demonstrate integrated software that will rapidly develop a commercial ship design concept and

costing to a level suitable for marketing and bidding. The project will evaluate and implement innovative human resources software to improve workforce management and training capabilities. An advanced CAD/CAM/CIM system will be integrated with a state-of-the-art shipyard simulation modeling tool to improve planning, costing, and scheduling. The project will incorporate an advanced accuracy control system based on best Japanese and European practices and develop and implement the use of a modern steel fabrication and assembly facility and a new launching system. The project team includes Alabama Shipyard Inc. of Mobile, Ala.; Atlantic Marine Holding Co. of Jacksonville, Fla.; Imabari Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. of Imabari City, Japan; Proteus Engineering Inc. of Stevensville, Md.; Sener of Madrid, Spain; and Decision Dynamics Inc. of Bethesda, Md.

*Delivering an Internationally Competitive Shipyard - This project will create an enterprise-wide real-time information processing system that will fully integrate production and engineering. It will apply a total systems approach to overhauling work flow, leading to a highly effective, dramatically improved fabrication and installation process. It will conduct an analysis of performance management measurements for production, engineering, and administration and will restructure the data collection and reporting systems to continually measure and improve processes. The project will also develop an enterprise-wide application for acquiring, processing, and distributing customer profile data for improved responses to market opportunities. The consortium consists of Todd Pacific Shipyard of Seattle, Wash.; Maritech Engineering Japan of Tokyo, Japan; Total Transportation Systems of Newport News, Va.; the University of Washington of Seattle, Wash.; L.D. Chirillo of Bellevue, Wash.; and Ernst & Young LLP of Seattle, Wash.

*Electronic Data Interchange and Electronic Commerce Between Yards and Suppliers - The major thrust areas of this project focus on the promotion of a computer culture in the supplier industry and the establishment of electronic links between suppliers and shipyards. This project will demonstrate the business advantage of electronic commerce between U.S. marine suppliers and shipyards by developing, testing, and evaluating electronic business practices. This will be accomplished by developing digital catalogues for 18 marine suppliers. These digital product catalogs will be made available to shipyards via the Internet or on CD ROMs. Shipyards will be asked to evaluate the digital catalogs for form, content, and usefulness. Shipyard feedback will be rapidly incorporated into the digital catalogs and sent back to the shipyards. Through this iterative process, the project will promote discussion and collaboration between suppliers and shipyards and will continually improve the use of electronic media for more effective business practices. The consortium consists of The Marine Machinery Association of Arlington, Va.; Newport News Shipbuilding of Newport News, Va.; M. Rosenblatt & Son Inc. of Arlington, Va.; Intergraph Corp. of Huntsville, Ala.; Kockums Computer Systems of Annapolis, Md.; and Computervision Corp. of Bedford, Mass.

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