WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC) Gas Turbines and Engine Controls Branch engineers were honored during the 2016 Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Commander's Award for Innovation ceremony at Washington Navy Yard, April 26.
MARMC Engineers Barry Fraser and Andre Guevara received the NAVSEA Commander's Award for Innovation team award for their initiative in the Whidbey Island (LSD 41) Class Machinery Control System display refurbishment.
LSD 41 class MCS console monitor displays had become unreadable due to the discoloration of gel substrate between the monitor face and external protective glass, caused by heat from the monitor's back light.
"We (Fraser, Guevara and MARMC Engineer Derrow "Willy" Williams) noticed the problem happening on a regular basis about five years after they upgraded the ships (during Mid-Life Modernization)," said Guevara. "The substrate in between the monitor and the glass started clouding and discoloring, so Sailors couldn't see the indications and the windows' tabs around the edges. They had to shrink the screen down to about half its size to be able to see the entire display area."
MCS controls the entire engineering plant including main propulsion, auxiliaries and electrical aboard dock landing ships (LSDs).
According to Guevara, replacement MCS console monitors were not available in the supply system, nor was there a date they would become available to the fleet.
"We had to come up with a solution quickly," said Guevara. "The idea was to use laminated safety glass as opposed to a regular piece of glass with a membrane in back of it. All we needed was the In Service Engineering Agent at Naval Ship Systems Engineering Station Philadelphia to buy off on the material we selected."
The original arrangement of gel backing the MCS console monitor external glass served to protect the operator, should the glass shatter.
"We had to ensure the safety glass met specifications the way the original gel coating did," said Fraser.
Fraser, Guevara and Williams submitted their idea to the ISEA. The ISEA concurred with the material they used and they were granted permission to refurbish all monitor displays.
With seven MCS console monitors on each ship -- 28 systems total -- refurbishment was successfully completed on the first four LSD 41 class ships.
"It makes the work that much more satisfying, when we are able to accomplish something that's going to make it easier for the Sailors," said Fraser. "I'm retired from the Navy, after 21 years active duty, so I understand the problems they have on board and trying to get things done. If this makes it in any way easier, that's what we're here for -- to improve their conditions."
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