CASES

 

SILENT PROPELLER

SILENT PROPELLER

  • Client is the US Navy, Naval Foundry Propeller Center and Office of Naval Research, which manufactures propellers and propulsors for submarines, particularly the USS Virginia and NAS class vessels.

  • Manufacturing propellers for the US submarine fleet is demanding, with requirements for both strength and precision. Each propeller must conform to the mathematical model to ensure silent subsurface operation. A complicating factor is that the design and composition of submarine propellers is classified by the Department of Defense.

  • Client’s operation suffered from outdated post-foundry processing of propeller components, processing that is required to find defects, remediate manufacturing issues, and certify completed propellers for use in the fleet.

  • Client’s Automated Propeller Optical Measurement System (APOMS) is a highly-precise, non-contact inspection and measurement system employing a robot with 6 degrees of freedom and a 20-foot movement area. APOMS was based on outdated compute systems, slow vision processing, and outdated motion control technology for the robot.

  • Together, these issues created extremely long inspection and analysis times necessary to achieve the level of precision required.