ZAI contributed to the design, testing, and procedure implementation of the Virginia Class Submarine Diesel Engine Static Lift Mechanism (DESLM), which was designed as a more efficient and cost effective tool for lifting the diesel engine block for oil sump gasket repairs.
Prior to the DESLM, this procedure took 35 days to accomplish, required the support of 20 personnel, and cost in excess of $850,000. This process also extended the loss of the submarine’s operational time, due to the time in port for repair, and degraded the quality of life for the crew by removing the use of the ship’s galley for the duration of the repair.
With the invention of the DESLM, repair time was reduced to eight days, manning required to affect the repairs was reduced to four personnel, nearly one month of operational time was returned to the ship, and the total cost was reduced to $40,000.
In addition, the DESLM offers a safer repair method (due to its stability), is mobile for use in any port, and allows for the maintenance of the quality of shipboard life during the repairs. This innovation has also reduced the time the submarine is in port for repair, allowing the vessel to return to operational status in a shorter amount of time.