As the command ship for the U.S. Navy’s Sixth Fleet, the USS Mount Whitney represents all that Collins Machine Works (CMW) strives for: excellence in engineering and quality construction that’s meant to last a lifetime. The Mount Whitney was commissioned in 1971, and it is currently undergoing an overhaul that the U.S. Navy hopes will keep it in service through 2039. As part of those renovations, Military Sealift Command (MSC) appointed the CMW team to assist with the construction of rudder components.
Working on a ship built in the late 1960s comes with its fair share of challenges. Because the drawings and material specifications for the Mount Whitney were obsolete, CMW’s supply chain department worked with MSC and the American Bureau of Shipping to identify modern materials and alternate manufacturing methods. As a result, we were able to produce the replacement parts more quickly and more cost effectively.
Using our updated vertical turret lathe (VTL) and portable coordinate measurement machine (CMM), CMW produced five large-diameter, heavy components. The VTL helped CMW produce precisely cut parts with both speed and accuracy, while utilizing our CMM to measure the complex dimensional requirements.
We also developed 3-D models of the components to aid in the manufacturing process.
From start to finish, the Mount Whitney project engaged a variety of CMW departments and teams. The supply chain department identified the right materials, with the engineering, programming and manufacturing teams putting the pieces together expertly. Finally, quality assurance guaranteed that the components would last for years to come.
Once the components were ready for installation, they were shipped abroad. The Mount Whitney’s renovations will be completed at Viktor Lenac Shipyard in Croatia. Although the vessel will remain abroad for the foreseeable future, it’s local teams like CMW that offer the support it needs to take on the open seas.