tal/cost parameters include solid waste generation
ing  guns)  can  be  selected,  and  welding  processes
potential (lb/square ft), atmospheric emissions (lb/
and parameters can be optimized prior to commit 
1000  square  ft),  and  productivity  (square  ft/hr).
ting resources or dollars to production.  With the
With this capability, UNO COE expects to improve
simulation package, it is possible to import the com 
maritime industry productivity, environmental per 
puter aided design model of the parts to be welded
formance, and worker health as well as reduce abra 
and locate it in the  proper positions, define the de 
sive consumption, energy, labor, atmospheric emis 
sired weld paths, download the welding program,
sions, and overall costs.
which has been prepared off line, and weld the part.
One  of  the  industrial  collaborators  in  this
project has sent materials for an actual assembly
ShipWorks Robotics Laboratory
to GCRMTC for modeling and welding.  The dem 
onstration project resulted in the achievement of
Automation in the automotive industry has been
the  targeted  cycle  time  and  required  quality.
the norm for many years.  However, the U.S. ship 
Based on this demonstration, the industrial col 
building industry was slow to adopt automation as
laborator committed to installing the system at
mass high speed production is not part of its indus 
its facility.  The expected payback for the invest 
try.  The ShipWorks Robotic Laboratory project be 
ment is less than two years.
ing developed and demonstrated by the Gulf Coast
Another project related to this research effort in 
Region Maritime Technology Center is showing ship 
volves  using  the  same  simulation  hardware  and
builders how they can effectively incorporate robot 
software  to  prove  the  feasibility  of  replacing  the
ics and process simulation into its processes.
welding robot with a robot equipped with a metal
cutting process (oxy gas, plasma, or laser), and uti 
The Gulf Coast Region Maritime Technology Cen 
lizing alternate product flow and processing in the
ter (GCRMTC) at the University of New Orleans,
shipyard.  Again, the simulation and visualization
College of Engineering (UNO COE)  undertook a
systems will allow for the analysis of this project
research program that has the potential to greatly
before the shipbuilder commits to changes.  Interim
assist  the  shipbuilding  industry  in  incorporating
reports to the industrial collaborators have been,
robotics  in  its  processes.    This  project  is  called
and will continue to be made as the research and
ShipWorks Robotics Laboratory.  The project goals
demonstration project continues.
are  to  develop  methodologies  that  provide  rapid
robotic programming, increase the tolerance of the
robot to handle shipyard accuracy levels (may re 
Management
quire some type of vision system), provide a baseline
for shipyards to estimate return on investment, seek
Technology Transfer
other process applications beyond welding, and es 
tablish a training program to support shipyard ap 
plications.  This research and demonstration project
The University of New Orleans, College of Engi 
is a joint effort between UNO COE, the Naval Sur 
neering created proven processes and methodologies
face Warfare Center   Carderock, and the Navy Join 
for transferring technology that was developed from
ing  Center.    Industrial  collaborators  include
research projects to private entities and industries.
Northrop  Grumman  Avondale,  Atlantic  Marine,
Bender  Shipyards,  Bollinger  Shipyards,  Electric
The University of New Orleans, College of Engi 
Boat,  Jeffboat,  NASSCO,  Northrop  Grumman
neering  (UNO  COE)  and  its  centers,  such  as  the
Ingalls, and Newport News Shipyard.
Gulf  Coast  Region  Maritime  Technology  Center
GCRMTC purchased the hardware (welding ro 
(GCRMTC), are not manufacturing facilities. The
bot) and software (Delmia Simulation), and built a
centers educate, research, and develop products and
robotics experimentation facility.  With this facility
processes  to  be  used  in  manufacturing  facilities.
and equipment, it is possible to create a virtual vi 
UNO  COE,  like  most  universities,  is  engaged  in
sualization facility in which models of different ro 
many research projects.  These projects lead to the
bots can be built, robotic process visualization can
development of innovative and cutting edge tech 
be achieved, part simulation within the facility can
nologies and processes, which, to become effective
be accomplished, welding equipment types (weld 
tools that industry can utilize, must be transferred
to industry in the form of technology transfer.  UNO
11
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