Original Date: 02/10/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Research and Development Management
During the last five years, Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company, Inc.’s research and development program has been very successful, resulting in new technology implementations and major process improvements.
In 1995, Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company, Inc. began a Research and Development (R&D) program that started with the MARITECH project, Reefer 21. A dedicated manager was hired in 1997 to focus on R&D and technology implementation in collaboration with industry, government, and universities (e.g., the University of New Orleans, Ohio State University, the University of Maine, the University of Michigan, Caterpillar, and other shipyards) in the U.S. for new projects and future opportunities. It has resulted in process improvements. One person has overall responsibility for program management, which includes technology identification, proposal development, project management and administration, assignment of tasks, budget management, and implementations. The manager’s external contacts and knowledge of government programs contributed to the success of the program.
Implementation of new R&D technology has significantly reduced man-hours for ship production. It has also resulted in cost savings and improved working environment. For example, the shipyard now has the largest laser cutting machine in North America. It has pioneered laser welding in shipbuilding, dramatically reducing cost, cycle time and weight, and has increased accuracy and quality. In addition, the R&D program has improved morale and corporate pride and has brought national and international recognition. As a result, the shipyard attracts a better pedigree of job applicants. Funding was obtained through the National Shipbuilding Research Program, Small Business Innovative Research, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gulf Coast Region Maritime Technology Center of the Office of Naval Research’s Manufacturing Technology Program, and the National Academy of Engineering. Based on the success of previous projects, the R&D program continues to develop a steady stream of new projects bringing new technologies to the
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.