Original Date: 07/21/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Vertical Cabling of Submarine Cylinders
Electric Boat Corporation, Quonset Point Facility’s modular and vertical hull construction resulted in the ability to run large cables with greater safety and produced extensive savings in labor costs while improving the quality of the finished cable installation.
Previously, cable installations in submarine cylinders at Electric Boat Corporation, Quonset Point Facility (EBQP) was sequenced to precede major structural work, including hot work such as welding and its related heat soaks with consequent potential damage. Although some cables were localized and confined to a particular area of the ship, many of the cable runs supported global services or larger areas of the ship. Thus they required many stops and extensive coiling before completion. The position of the submarine cylinders during assembly was horizontal, or parallel to the ground, and these intermittent cable installations had to be performed in that position. Because of the high cable weights (10 pounds per foot in some cases), the operation was labor intensive and prone to personal injury and damaged cable. Continuous cable runs were accomplished by revisiting the cabling effort as many as three to four times so that cables could be pulled through successive cableways as the assembly of the cylinder progressed and the ways were made available.
A major change to the cabling process was introduced with the inception of modular design for the Virginia Class. The modular design allowed for the splicing of many of the service cables where the cylinders are joined. These splices allow incremental installation of hull length cables as separate pieces at the most convenient point in the construction cycle. Another innovation is the construction of most internal work while the hull section is in a vertical position. The EBQP team took advantage of this and now installs cable while the hull is in this vertical position. This has resulted in reduced labor hours, fewer injuries, and reduced cable damage.
With the use of handling fixtures, cable reels, and a crane, heavy cable can now be installed vertically by dropping the cable down through the hull section using a reduced number of personnel and considerably enhancing safety. When this approach is used, it results in approximately 60% savings in labor costs and reduces installation time by 37%.
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