Could quality control software be helping the Navy address sky-high corrosion costs?

Thirty-two percent of all Navy and Marine Corps maintenance man-hours are spent on corrosion-related activities. Nearly $3 billion is spent annually for maintaining paint jobs on ships and submarines. In total, the Navy spends a quarter of its maintenance budget, or $7 billion per year, on rust and corrosion-related expenses. That’s all according to the organizers of this year’s Naval Corrosion Conference, Mega Rust 2015.

These costs are crying out for smart solutions, and the country’s top naval engineers and industry leaders will gather in Newport News, Virginia this summer to discuss ways to reduce these corrosion-related expenditures. Experts from government, military, shipyards, research and repair facilities, ship owners and the coatings manufacturing industry are expected to attend the conference.

Because inspection and documentation make up such a large portion of these costs, the National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP) has worked with TruQC in the past to develop paperless painting software compliant with Navy Standard Item 009-32.

TruQC, along with other companies working on addressing the issue, have received multiple rounds of funding from the NSRP to explore more cost-effective solutions. The expressed goals of “reducing inspection costs,” as reported by Paintsquare, are to “calculate cost savings with a goal of reducing inspection time, paperwork generation time and audit time, as well as reducing or eliminating erroneous readings and non-conformances due to user error and transcription errors.”

If the goals of this grant seem like they make up the wheelhouse of TruQC, well, that’s no coincidence. TruQC recognized that corrosion inspection and documentation inefficiencies plagued all sectors of industry in the age of pen and paper reporting. While inefficiencies still remain, digital inspection and documentation are gaining recognition as a valuable source of return on investment, especially for operations as large as the US Navy.

Attendees of Mega Rust 2015 will likely put an emphasis on the potential of digital solutions to reduce corrosion costs, as well they should. Cloud-based data storage and specialized reporting software have the power to reduce inspection time, reduce errors and provide more accurate reporting.

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