Norfolk Naval Shipyard dedicated its first Job Readiness Cell May 17 in support of the USS West Virginia (SSBN 736) Engineered Refueling Overhaul.
The new facility allows the shipyard to co-locate tools, consumables and a worksite close to the ship being repaired in one waterfront location. It also offers an indoor work area and a staff of project aides to assist mechanics with technical questions.
The standup of the Job Readiness Cells supports NAVSEA’s “back to basics” initiative which is designed to improve shipyard efficiency while conducting submarine availabilities.
“This is just the beginning of process improvement to increase our productivity on the deckplate,” said Shipyard Commander Capt. Mark Bridenstine. “It puts us in a position to be more proactive than reactive in getting our work done. This gives us an opportunity to see the difficulties ahead of the time when we hand something off to the mechanic, so we can mitigate those issues to give the mechanic the best opportunity to be the most successful they can be in doing the work.”
The USS Newport News (SSN 750), currently six months into its 23-month Engineered Overhaul, will be the next project to benefit from the readiness cells. The concept is also being developed for the shipyard’s carrier work, with USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), set to have a job readiness cell in its hangar bay for its first Planned Incremental Availability beginning in July.
“Tools, materials, a worksite – everything is pre-staged,” said NNSY Carrier Program Manager, Glenn Edwards. “The concept was bringing the tradesmen to the boat with everything there. In Lean terms, hunting and gathering is wasted time. Improving efficiency is what it’s all about.”
Naval Today Staff , May 25, 2012