Austal received its Certificate of Occupancy from the City of Mobile for the newest addition to the shipbuilder’s Mobile, Alabama facility. The Panel Line Shop is located on the north side of Assembly Bay 1 and opens up directly into the assembly bay to allow for ease of transporting the panels from the shop onto the production floor.
The ground floor of the building, where the panels are assembled, is 200-ft. by 45 ft. wide totaling over 9,000 sf. The second level will house offices and meeting/training rooms. The Panel Line Shop is an addition to the building where the two U.S. Navy Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) are under construction.
In addition to the Panel Line Shop, Austal is also in the process of constructing an addition to its southern-most assembly bay, where the second Hawaii Superferry vessel is under construction, to include a Router/Fitout Shop to be completed in December 2007.
This building will house a recently purchased high-speed router cutter which is designed specifically to support aluminum ship construction. The equipment is operated with data from numerical cutting files of the required nested parts and enables the minimization of waste and the efficient recovery of scrap material. This router technology has been developed specifically for aluminum plate material and delivers to the production team dimensionally precise parts with machine-cut edges. This dimensional accuracy in conjunction with the detailed pen marking of each cut part, removes the need for large lofting boards to fit the cut parts together.
This state-of-the-art process will further improve the quality and efficiency with which the U.S. Navy's LCS as well as Austal’s commercial vessels are manufactured.