As a result of enhanced performance and mission requirements for Navy ships, ship design has dramatically increased the use of higher strength, lightweight steels and various local reinforcements, e.g., deck inserts, ring stiffeners, etc., in foundation designs to satisfy the design requirements for supporting machinery, consoles, and weapon systems among others. In additional to operational loading requirements, most of these foundations must also be designed to satisfy shock, vibration and other combat system requirements. While the same piece of equipment may be used in other ship contracts, the foundations are uniquely designed and require a separate analysis and drawing package. Computer modeling and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) have helped reduce the labor required to analyze foundations, but the high number of “unique” foundations as well as changes which necessitate a new analysis still create a large workload for engineers. This is further compounded by increased costs in production due to greater numbers of unique parts and materials that must be marked, stored, and retrieved later for fabrication.
In this paper, we have developed a cost-savings potential of leveraging past foundations work in designing, analyzing, and drawing foundations in the future. The research team was able to estimate that, through a new design process that fully integrates previous foundations work, there is a potential for up to 40% savings on engineering foundations labor and up to 10% savings on production costs of foundations. The team also developed a blank “template” database that can be downloaded and customized to meet each shipyard’s needs for storing and accessing foundation design information.