In the past, deck drains on all Navy surface ships and non-nuclear carriers were giving Sailors maintenance nightmares-repairs took too long , and were costly to replace. More importantly, the deck drains posed a potential safety hazard if a chemical/biological/radiological (CBR) attack occurred on the ship.
However, through the Naval Sea Systems Command's (NAVSEA's) Cumbersome Work Practices (CWP) process, a solution has been developed that will save numerous man-hours of labor, save the fleet over $620,000, and allow for a watertight/airtight closure of the deck drains in the event of a CBR attack.
Commander, NAVSEA Warfare Center
, Carderock Division (NWC-Carderock ) recently issued an authorization letter, which allows Sailors the ability to install retainer ring type 3-20 (RRR 3-20) on all deck drains aboard all surface platforms and non-nuclear carriers.
"The deck drain retainer ring is a success story for CWP," said Mark Browder, CWP program manager. "This is just one example of how the CWP process can reduce significant costs and, equally as important, time spent by Sailors for repairs, without compromising technical requirements."
Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion & Repair (SUPSHIP) Portsmouth, Va. introduced the deck drain retainer ring to the fleet after identifying problems with existing deck drains, and found the existing deck drain body retaining tabs were breaking and fastener holes were becoming stripped, preventing a watertight/airtight closure of the deck drain. Since the setting of condition Zebra aboard a ship requires watertight/airtight deck drains, this deficiency posed a potential CBR safety issue.
In addition, the SUPSHIP agreed that replacing a damaged deck drain was not only labor intensive, but costly, with the replacement cost per drain averaging $4,500. The cost of installing the RRR 3-20 retainer ring is $216 per drain.
"This is a very non-traditional type of repair," explained Domenic Luciani, NWC-Carderock's Ship System Engineering Center Seawater, Fuel, Lube Oil and Piping Systems section head. "What we are allowing the fleet to do is to utilize this ring to patch up the deck drain, which gives them a safe, effective and much less expensive way to make a fix. With this approval, we hope to give the fleet a little relief."
Cumbersome Work Practices, which falls under Fleet Naval Engineering Group and Maintenance Process Improvement (SEA 05N), seeks to simplify non-nuclear cumbersome work practices, focus on ship maintenance and modernization, reduce costs without compromising valid technical requirements, complete institutionalization of approved technical changes and ensure that all the information was passed to all NAVSEA Activities.
The CWP scope has recently been increased to include work practices on new construction ship and craft, and work in private shipyards.