Common Parts Catalog (CPC™)

The CPC™ initiative developed a standardized process and methodology for product characteristics /data modeling that allows Tier 2 shipyards to represent and communicate part information without ambiguity or redundancy.

A common problem in the shipbuilding industry is the lack of standardization in parts catalogs; in other words, the industry lacks a standardized process or methodology for product characteristics/data modeling that would allow them to represent and communicate part information without ambiguity or redundancy. For individual organizations, this void results in large, unwieldy, and unorganized catalog systems that make it difficult to search for and re-use parts. A typical second tier shipyard has a parts catalog with at least three to four times the number of parts currently in use by the enterprise. Over time, when existing parts cannot easily be located, duplicate parts with new part numbers are created, perpetuating and exacerbating the cataloging problems.

The impact is compounded at the industry level, limiting collaboration, workload sharing, and surge. There are currently no standard ways in which second tire and first tier yards can communicate about parts procurement, use, and inventories. Vendors do not have a standardized format for delivering part functionality information to shipyards, so similar components are often described in several different ways. Complex “one-off” product defination packages are required to deliver “common-place” parts information used by the prime contractor. Use of a product development process for common items invites the opportunity for miscommunication at the many different interfaces, which results in long lead times, re-work in the design, and, in extreme cases, purchase of “routine” parts that do not meet the required application.

KBSI’s Common Parts Catalog (CPC™) initiative, leveraging the Tier 1 CPC™ project (, delivered CPC™ features and benefits to second tier shipyards. KBSI developed and demonstrated a Common Parts Catalog on second tier Navy programs, establishing part equivalencies between their shipyards. The CPC™ initiative applied KBSI’s TAKE™ technologies to assist in the necessary part coding/conversion. Work focused on the Bollinger and Marinette Marine shipyards and targeted the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) parts. These parts are the focus of a collaboration between Bollinger and Marinette Marine’s that is focused on the sustainment life cycle of the LCS.

The Second Tier Common Parts Catalog was developed to (1) provide a framework for an improved parts catalog system for all second tier shipyards and their design support subcontractors, (2) standardize parts catalog processes and procedures across the industry, and (3) provide integration with material identification and planning systems (e.g., SAPS, MIDAPS™) and with design software (e.g., Ship Constructor). Both the Tier 1 and the Tier 2 CPC™ systems implement the Navy standard CPC™ part classification and coding scheme.

The KBSI CPC™ concepts and user interface innovations were validated through a pilot project at Bender Shipyard as part of an NSRP funded initiative. The project involved the Louisiana Center for Manufacturing Sciences (LCMS), UPS, Marinette Marine Corporation, and Bollinger Shipyards.