Ingalls ‘Shipyard of the Future’ upgrades welding automation

Pemamek Ltd. is delivering hi-tech PEMA welding automation to Ingalls Shipbuilding’s Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard. The extensive and technologically advanced automation solutions will provide Ingalls with improved panel production and enhanced workflow, Pemamek said.

To help maintain its position as one of the world’s most modern shipyards, in 2014 Ingalls kicked off the “Shipyard of the Future” initiative. The multiyear initiative includes significant investments in modern infrastructure and manufacturing equipment, as well as technologically advanced procedure and processes. The planned investments are designed to raise the level of automation, enhanced production quality and improved workflow.

Now in its third year of modernization implementations, Ingalls Shipbuilding has agreed with Pemamek to acquire large-scale PEMA welding automation solutions to its Pascagoula shipyard.

The extensive delivery encompasses a state-of-the-art plate lengthening line that can feed two complete modern flat panel lines simultaneously, and several other highly advanced solutions like robotized welding and integrated milling and welding applications.

One of the plate joining stations uses a laser-hybrid arc welding (LHAW) process combined with tandem MAG and is capable of welding plates up to 60′ in length from one side and starting from thicknesses as low as 4 mm. The advanced welding processes together with integrated milling will provide precise seam preparation and efficient welding for the entire length of plates.

In the LHAW panel line, one of the advanced features is a fully automated robotized welding of entire panel stiffening. The solution includes multiple robots utilizing the hi-tech programming and control software, PEMA WeldControl 200. The software guarantees effortless management and communication between material, machinery and operator.

Each of the solutions is fully customized and are the result of a two-year collaboration between Ingalls and Pemamek.

The delivery is entirely a turnkey project, so in addition to all-round installation and training services, it also includes technical and production support services.

Ingalls is a subsidiary of the Huntington Ingalls Industries, the largest military shipbuilding company in the U.S. and provider of professional services to partners in government and industry. Headquartered in Newport News, Va., Huntington Ingalls employs nearly 37,000 people both domestically and internationally.

Pemamek specializes in designing and manufacturing automated welding and production systems, as well as work-piece handling equipment for heavy and thick materials. Pemamek employs 190 at its headquarters in Loimaa, Finland.

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