Advancing Manufacturing: One Aircraft Carrier at a Time

The Latest from C.H. Reed

June 24, 2014

Advancing Manufacturing: One Aircraft Carrier at a Time



When discussing Advanced Manufacturing, it is important to remember that the term involves more than improving ways to manufacture existing products. While improving efficiency and productivity is a major aspect of Advanced Manufacturing, the term also incorporates the finished product. Using emerging technologies to manufacture more advanced products is also an important aspect of Advanced Manufacturing.

Recently, C. H. Reed worked with Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) in a project that fulfilled both of the aforementioned aspects of Advanced Manufacturing.  The Application Specialists at C. H. Reed helped integrate some highly advanced technology into the NNS shipyard, a facility where they manufacture and refurbish nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines.

At their facility in Newport News, VA, NNS is developing the Gerald R. Ford class of aircraft carriers for the U. S. Navy.  Because of the massive scale of this operation, the painting department of NNS had a need for absolute precision, definitive quality assurance and data logging.  Those capabilities would help enable them to eliminate the need for rework, reduce material waste and provide added accountability to the entire process.


Since data logging and better material control were high priorities for NNS, the Application Specialists at C. H. Reed recommended the implementation of Graco Plural Component Proportioning Systems. Three different types of proportioners were utilized at the NNS shipyard, including the XM Plural Component Sprayers, the XP70 Plural Component Sprayers and the Xtreme 70:1 Sprayer.xm_plural_comp-1024x512

The Graco XM Plural Component Sprayer (above), the xp70_plural_comp-1024x614Graco Xtreme 70:1 Sprayer ( below, left), and the Graco XP70 Plural Component Sprayer (below, right)xtreme_sprayer1-1024x640








Ideal for 100% solid coatings developed for marine, bridge and wind energy applications, these pieces of equipment provided the quality assurance and USB compatible data reporting that NNS required for the project.

The Christening Ceremony for the first Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is set for November 9, 2013 at the NNS facility in Newport News, VA. The construction of these aircraft carriers truly encompasses Advanced Manufacturing, and C. H. Reed is proud to have been a part of such a significant undertaking.

Do you know of a process or product that incorporates both aspects of Advanced Manufacturing? If so, please share in the comments section below.


Posted by Clinton Shaffer

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