Reduction of Manufacturing and Repair Costs for the AAAV by Developing an Innovative Approach for Automated Tracking of Weld Quality

Period of Performance: 06/01/1999 - 12/01/1999


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Weldware, Inc.
1165 Chambers Rd.
Columbus, OH 43212
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Edison Welding Institute
1250 Arthur E. Adams Drive
Columbus, OH 43221
Institution POC

Research Topics


The quality of high-integrity welds in vehicles like the AAAV is critical to the performance of the vehicle. The ability to control weld quality significantly affects the manufacturing and repair costs of a vehicle. Traditionally, the control of weld quality has been labor intensive. For example, for the F-22 Advanced Tactical Fighter the cost of developing weld inspection procedures and inspecting the welds was approximately three times that for the actual welding itself. Cost reduction can be achieved by eliminating paper documentation of inspection information by converting this information to electronic formats which allows greater use of advanced analysis methodologies and provides an electronically connected and distributed working environment. The feasibility of developing a tool to enter, store, retrieve and analyze weld quality data in an efficient and timely manner is proposed. The proposed tool referred to as Welding Quality Manager (WQM) uses an image of the weldment to assist the QC Inspector in entering weld defect data into a database. The same image of the weldment is used as the focal point for defect analysis of the weldment. The cost savings and technical impact of obtaining statistically-based information about weld defects will be determined to address the needs of the Navy N99T002 "Technology for Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV) Affordability". Conversations during visits with General Dynamics Quality Personnel at both the Woodridge, VA and Lima, OH facilities indicated the need for a tool like WQM.