Original Date: 07/21/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Electronic Record System
Electric Boat Corporation, Quonset Point Facility’s Electronic Record System improved weld data accuracy, greatly simplified the overall process, and incorporated expanded features while significantly reducing the cost of data collection and storage.
Electric Boat Corporation, Quonset Point Facility (EBQP) developed a Shipyard Weld Status System (SWSS) to capture the completion of weld joint work and provide assurance that weld accountability meets the Navy’s SUBSAFE requirements. The SWSS capabilities were enhanced for the Virginia Class submarines by establishing the Electronic Record System (ERS). Previously, SWSS relied on hard copies for maintaining records. A printed card was generated with weld joint information, provided to the worker to record activity completions, subsequently manually entered in a database, the card retained, and eventually placed in long-term storage. Approximately 300,000 cards were required for each submarine.
For the Virginia Class, the ERS replaced these transactions with a series of computer interactions. Design data for the weld is directly accessed from the SWSS database and routed through a logic phase that delineates the complete routing path for each weld. This information is available at local workstations where the trade foreman can preview the workload and assign an employee to each activity. Employees update the ERS upon activity completion. This can be done simply by scanning their security badges through a magnetic strip reader to access the system, enter the new information for the activity, and re-scan their badges for confirmation. A number of related information fields can be efficiently verified at the same time. These include validation of an individual’s qualifications to sign-off the particular activity, monitoring ship completion progress, and attendance data.
Data accuracy was an obvious improvement, as was the cost of data recording and storage. Added benefits were also realized. The system not only prevents activities from being done out of sequence, it also ensures that appropriate time delays are observed prior to inspector conduct, or sign-off for Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) after hot work is performed. Consequently, it is already being used division-wide within General Dynamics, and has also been implemented by Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) and Dry Dock for their submarine work.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.