Gecko Robotics, a specialist advanced robotics and software company, has reached agreement on a new demonstration contract with the US Navy to help modernize the manufacturing process for the $132 billion Columbia-class nuclear submarine program.
Gecko will use its advanced weld inspection and data capabilities to help the Navy decrease inspection time and reduce costs during the manufacturing process, while also providing a baseline of data to improve in-service maintenance cycles.
Jake Loosararian CEO and co-founder of Gecko Robotics, says: “We are proud to grow our partnership with the US Navy beyond helping get ships through the maintenance process faster, to providing advanced manufacturing capabilities for the Columbia-class program.
“Demand from customers for more data on the front-end of the manufacturing process to help implement better predictive maintenance is growing – and we’re looking forward to starting this work with the Columbia sub program.”
Under the new contract – executed with BlueForge Alliance, a nonprofit integrator supporting the US Navy’s Submarine Industrial Base – the Navy will incorporate Gecko’s robotic digital weld inspections to assess the integrity of welds during the manufacturing process.
Digitizing weld inspection results will transform a key manufacturing process for the Columbia-class program, freeing up the skilled workforce for higher value tasks and eliminating the risk of unknown weld conditions.
The goal of this project will be to validate the return on investment of Gecko’s weld inspection process throughout several tiers of the Columbia-class supply chain.