Big Investments and Lean Manufacturing Techniques Revamp Wisconsin Shipyard

Published By : 07 Sep 2015 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

Wisconsin shipyard overhaul is driven by the lean manufacturing techniques inspired from the automotive industry, more engaged and skilled workforce, and big investments. Wisconsin shipyard is the place where Italy-based Fincantieri SpA builds for U.S. navy the Freedom variant of its coastal warships for Lockheed Martin Corp. 

Almost US$100 million was invested by Fincantieri in recent years to revamp the shipyard from the era of 1940s into a state-of-the-art facility, where already seven LCS ships are under construction. Of these, three are already launched into the river. 

Lockheed and Fincantieri are hoping to leverage the savings in multi-million dollar Navy competition in the U.S., expected to start by the last quarter of 2017 for 20 frigates, or the upgraded and updated versions of the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS).

The Navy has plans to purchase at least thirty-two of the latest LCS models built by Australia's Austal Ltd. and Lockheed. It is anticipated that by 2017, Navy will take the final call whether to keep ordering both the models, and the shortlist one provider among them. 

Jan Allman, who became the president of Marinette Marine last year, after completing over thirty years in the truck and automotive business, walks the 51,097-square-meter shipyard every day, mobilizing tips from workers about how to improve and enhance production. 

Allman told Reuters last month that one of the workers in the facility told her that it is possible to save hundreds of dollar every month by giving titanium grease only in small quantities for daily use of worker’s, instead of handing them out a full US$20 worth titanium grease, a significant amount of which is thrown away by the end of the day. 

With this Allman once again took to the wisdom that every penny is important. Allman who comes with an extensive experience of working in the automotive industry aims to draft new guidelines for manufacturing in shipyard to enhance production and urge workers to spend resources as if they were their own.

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