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Austal USA takes a modular approach to our shipbuilding process. Austal USA uses a three dimensional design process that divides construction into modules which are constructed entirely undercover in the 700,000 SF Module Manufacturing Facility (MMF). Uncut metal enters at one end of the production line and modules, approximately 85% complete, emerge at the other end ready to be assembled in one of three large vessel assembly bays. Each module progresses down the production line through work stations where cross-functional trade teams install small components, pipes, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) ductwork, machinery, electric cables, equipment and outfitting.
Once the modules emerge from the MMF they are transported to the vessel assembly bays using multi-axle transporters capable of lifting modules weighing over 400 tons and measuring up to 120 ft (length) x 50 ft (width) x 30 ft (height) (42m x 30m x 9m).
Upon arrival in the Final Assembly bays, modules are lifted into place and welded to the existing structure. Work is completed on the pipes, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) ductwork, machinery, electric cables, equipment and outfitting as Austal prepares the ship for launch.
Vessel launch is conducted in a multi-step process that involves transferring the ship using multi-axle transporters from the assembly bay onto a deck barge, which is then towed to another shipyard just south of Austal USA. The ship is then transferred onto a dry dock; it is floated then returned to Austal’s facility where it undergoes final outfitting and activation before sea trials and delivery to the client.