Robust Deployable Superstructure Enclosure System
Navy SBIR FY2008.2

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2008.2
Topic No.: N08-179
Topic Title: Robust Deployable Superstructure Enclosure System
Proposal No.: N082-179-0658
Firm: Federal Fabrics-Fibers
45 West Adams Street
Lowell, Massachusetts 01851
Contact: Fred Geurts
Phone: (978) 441-3037
Web Site:
Abstract: The U.S. shipbuilding industry has fallen behind the global industry in terms of meeting "World Class" commercial best manufacturing practices. The U.S. shipbuilding industry desires to recover our status as a world leader in this area. One step along the path of upgrading our infrastructure to world class manufacturing quality and standards is to utilize enclosure systems during ship maintenance and surface preparation and coatings work. Currently this type of work is often performed in an open air environment which, decreases productivity, reduces efficiency and allows release of regulated air emissions into the environment. An enclosure system that is easy to use, easy to relocated from one work location to the next, easily maintained, storable within a small cube, and robust is desired. Finally, it is desirable that these structures are able to function on a ship's superstructures and around complicated geometries. Enclosures of this type will increase productivity, by decreasing down time (allowing work to continue during inclement weather), allow capture of regulated air emissions (VOC's), and ultimately increase worker efficiency, comfort, and safety. Federal Fabrics-Fibers (FFF) proposes an AirBeam Supported Enclosure System (ABSES) solution. This enclosure will be supported using our AirBeam and AirFrame technology. FFF has considerable experience in designing and manufacturing custom AirBeam supported shelters, i.e. tents and enclosures. Due to the nature of the AirBeam and AirFrame technology this system lends itself to easily be adapted to different configurations and sizes. For example FFF has produced "enclosures" ranging from 15 ft spans x 15 ft long to 30ft spans by potentially unlimited lengths. In addition, AirBeams with spans of over 80 ft have been produced here at FFF and adding a skin to make a relatively large enclosure is a simple task.
Benefits: An AirBeam supported enclosure system will benefit the shipbuilding industry by. 1. Decreasing down time, allowing work to continue during inclement weather conditions. 2. Increase worker comfort allowing workers to remain in a controlled environment while working and keeping them out of the rain, wind, cold temperatures of the hot sun (for example). 3. Eases scheduling (allows work to continue during inclement weather. 4. Allow compliance with regulations regarding the release of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's) to the environment. 5. Reducing worker exposure to VOC's released during deck coating operations for example. 6. Potential increased quality of coating, by allowing a controlled environment to optimize coating and drying conditions. 7. An overall increase in efficiency resulting in an overall reduction in costs.