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MTTC Maintenance Savings for U.S. Navy Over $1 Billion

Louisville, KY: The McConnell Technology & Training Center (MTTC) today announced that three new projects would bring maintenance savings for the U.S. Navy to more than $1.13 billion over a 15-year cycle.

MTTC’s Fleet Maintenance Reduction Program helps the U.S. Navy resolve nagging and costly shipboard problems by inserting innovative commercial products and technologies. These projects provide the Navy with significant cost savings, huge manpower savings and important safety improvements.

The U.S. Navy estimates that 32 MTTC projects save $75.6 million each year. For more information about all of MTTC’s FMRP projects, click HERE

Quick Facts:

Total Number of MTTC FMRP Projects 34
Projects meeting U.S. Navy Requirements 32
Total Annual Costs Savings (U.S. Navy figures) $75.6 million
Total 15-year Maintenance Cycle Savings $1.13 billion

MTTC’s New Projects
  1. Diesel Engine Continuous Monitoring and Diagnosis: Most Navy ships use large diesel engines for main propulsion, electrical generation and/or emergency applications. All are maintenance intensive, with failures usually leading to expensive, unplanned repairs that can affect vital operations. The Navy estimates that over 80% of engine failures can be detected before they occur.

    Within the past few years, sensors (pressure, temperature, vibration and ultrasonic) that can monitor various engine parameters have been developed and integrated with computers. In theory, the computers could continuously receive sensor data and report negative trends or conditions to the operators, thus allowing Navy personnel to perform remedial actions to prevent catastrophic diesel engine failures.

    This project will test three integrated monitoring systems by giving them extensive operational time on the two main propulsion diesel engines (MPDE) located at the Navy’s Land Based Test Site in Philadelphia, PA. If they operate as planned, the Navy will select the best-value system for introduction into the fleet. The initial target for implementation is the MDPE on the LSD-41 class amphibious ships.

  2. Ceramic Bearings: The U.S. Navy has over 400,000 pump-motor combinations in the fleet. All of the bearings in these systems require quarterly greasing and replacement on a three-year cycle (average). Ceramic-coated bearings (carbide and nitride) last five to ten times longer between replacement times, and have a significantly improved greasing schedule.

    Because bearings are used in vital equipment, the Navy requires that all new concepts pass a brutal shock test that verifies that the components will be able to withstand the rigors of combat and battle damage. In this project, MTTC will coordinate the shock testing of both large and small sealed ceramic bearings. If shock testing is successful, the preventative and corrective maintenance schedule for bearings could be driven not by the bearings themselves but by the greases that are used inside them.

  3. Expansion Bolts: Fitted bolts (also called body bound bolts) are used to secure machinery to their bedplates because they provide positive machinery positioning and alignment. They are also used in large shaft couplings to provide positive resistance to shear loads between coupling halves. In both cases, they are precision machined, which often results in interference fits. They are very difficult to remove and often must be drilled out. The sizes of these bolts run from relatively small to very large (foundation bolts for gas-turbine engines and reduction gears).

    Recently, several companies have developed so-called expansion bolts. Expansion bolts are slightly undersized, but, when tightened, expand to produce a close-tolerance fit. When removal is required, the bolts are simply relaxed, removed and reused. The U.S. Navy could save millions of dollars a year replacing the fitted bolts. Unlike fitted bolts, the shear strength of the expansion bolts, because of their fitted sleeves, is not linear with diameter. It is therefore necessary to shock test the expansion bolts in a variety of sized applications. MTTC will team with the Navy and shipbuilders to conduct an extensive series of shock tests to validate the application of these devices to Navy requirements.

The McConnell Technology & Training Center (MTTC) provides technology consulting and training for individuals and businesses, and innovative technology solutions for the U.S. Navy. The MTTC starting operating in 1993, and has offices in Louisville and Lexington.

For more information, please visit, or contact Ray Zavada, MTTC Program Manager, at (502) 452-1131 or via e-mail [email protected].