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Workforce learns about new technology at showcase

By PSNS & IMF Public Affairs | PSNS & IMF | Aug. 20, 2019

BREMERTON, Wash. —

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility employees were able to check out cutting-edge products during the technology showcase hosted by the National Center for Manufacturing Science at the Kitsap Conference Center, Bremerton Harborside July 25 - 26.

Roughly 1,100 employees used the opportunity to learn about industry innovations, try unique tools and engage one-on-one with product experts. More than 50 companies displayed equipment, tools, supplies and safety gear to more cost-effectively and efficiently help shipyard workers maintain, modernize and retire the Navy’s fleet. 

Kolton Baldwin, a career counselor with Shop 11, Shipfitters, and Shop 17, Sheet Metal Workers, attended along with Dustin Hoffman, career path supervisor, and Eric Mischenko, acting career path manager. The trio were enthralled with magnetic drill presses that can lift and hold in place a significant weight.

“I was very impressed,” said Baldwin. He noted that his shop has similar technology but “not to this level.”

“Implementing this would definitely cut down on costs and time and will keep everybody safe.”

Vendors brought out computer and software systems, touted processes to improve reliability and productivity, showcased training tools and displayed a variety of safety wear and gear. The four naval shipyards recently committed to hosting these types of opportunities quarterly, which ties in with the vision of the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Plan to enhance the shipyards’ ability to deliver ships back to the fleet on time and within budget. This is the first time PSNS & IMF has helped organize the showcase.

Mark Wadkins, Shop 38, Outside Machinists, Continuous Training and Development instructor, tried out a hand-held bolting system with fellow instructors Katherine Sprinkle and Orville Stoner. Wadkins was surprised that the bolt system could be operated with only one hand.

“It’s pretty crazy it can do all of that,” Wadkins said.

As an industrial facility, the shipyard actively seeks efficiencies and cost-savings as well as techniques and equipment to enhance employee safety. Two employees from Code 1030, Combat Systems, were particularly impressed with the possibilities.

“I think all of the booths are great examples of technological advancements we need at PSNS & IMF,” said Amy Taylor, assistant product line planning manager.

Taylor’s Code 1030 teammate Eugenia Halverson, program analyst, admitted that she was envious of some of the tools showcased saying, “I wish some of this was available when I worked with tools.”

The goal is to host the technology showcase here annually. Code 1000, Product Lines, was responsible for organizing the event with Jeff Brimhall, technology insertion manager; Canh Tran, innovation manager; and Mitch Van Eps, Innovation cell manager, leading the effort that was aligned with Naval Sea Systems Command’s innovation instruction to implement new technology to reduce duration and increase efficiency  on availabilities.

“This event was about changing the culture by helping people recognize that we can reach out to industry and bring solutions into the shipyard,” said Brimhall. “I think we accomplished this. We intend to pursue some of the items seen at the showcase and bring this new technology into the shipyard.”