World's Biggest Syncrolift Now In Service At Todd's San Pedro Yard

A new $47-million Syncrolift shiplift and land-level ship transfer facility, the largest and most technologically advanced installation of its kind in the world, was dedicated recently at the San Pedro yard of Todd Shipyards Corporation's Los Angeles Division. The Syncrolift is a product of Pearlson Engineering Company of Miami, a member of the NEI Group. Pearlson is a world leader in shiplift technology, and the only firm in the world devoted exclusively to the design and manufacture of shiplift systems.

In his remarks at the opening ceremony, Todd chairman John T. Gilbride said the installation is specifically designed for the repair and construction of naval surface combatants. It is also suitable for commercial vessels.

"This innovative system will increase the Los Angeles Division's construction capacity by 100 percent and its repair capability by 250 percent," Mr. Gilbride stated.

"It will create approximately 800 new jobs and support a work force of up to 4,000 when used at full capacity when all work bays are completed later this year. This would translate into about $250 million in additional annual sales for this division," he said.

The Syncrolift will permit the San Pedro yard to perform multiple drydockings with one lift platform that hoists the ship from the water to land level, where it is towed onto a side transfer carriage and moved to any of five work areas. The platform, which can act as a sixth work station during peak periods, is powered by 110 15-hp electric motors. Lifting speed is approximately nine inches per minute; design maximum lifting time is 72 minutes. The platform, which measures 655 by 106 feet, can handle vessels with overall length of 780 feet and beam of 105 feet. Maximum lifting capacity, when docking directly on the platform without a cradle, is 22,200 long tons. Maximum draft over the cradle is 32 feet.

According to Todd president Hans K. Schaefer, the Syncrolift installation will enable the Los Angeles Division to achieve productivity gains resulting from: • Multiple access to vessels undergoing overhaul and repair • Better material handling and material flow, including prepositioning • Accelerated preoutfitting of modular units for hulls under construction • Use of the shiplift as a launching platform in lieu of, or supplementing, the new construction in progress on the inclined ways • Lessening of environmental constraints by working ships on land instead of at a wet berth • Mechanical and electrical utility conservation, including recycling of processed grit materials.

The design of the installed and strategically spaced mechanical manifold and multi-service electrical stations and crane services at the work bays provides full service to single or double ship berths.

The demands at each work bay were developed using peak loads and other requirements as stipulated for fully crewed Naval ships.

Every anticipated requirement of the ship repair and modular assembly options, including outfitting at the land level berths, was given full consideration. Comparable services were designed for installation at the hoist platform to satisfy production requirements at that location.

At the dedication ceremony, chairman Gilbride also announced the formation of a Naval Technology Division, whose sole purpose is to develop new, cost-effective combatant ship concepts and lead ship designs for the U.S.

Navy, such as the DDG-51 guided missile destroyer program, and for foreign navies ships such as the 1,800-dwt and 2,500-dwt corvettes currently under consideration by several countries.

The new Division, comprising surface combatant technical and management disciplines at both the Los Angeles and Seattle Divisions of Todd Pacific Shipyards Corporation, will be under the management of Los Angeles.

Other speakers at the Syncrolift dedication included James Goodrich, Undersecretary of the Navy and a former general manager of the San Pedro yard, and Vice Adm. Earl B. Fowler, commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command, the latter a key figure in recommending which shipyard will build the lead ship of the DDG-51 program.

"The Syncrolift is indicative of Todd's commitment to support and strengthen sea power for our nation's defense," said Len M. Thorell, Todd vice president and general manager of the San Pedro yard. "The Syncrolift will allow us to be more efficient in the repair and maintenance of large vessels, which will translate in cost savings for the Navy and our commercial clients as well," he stated.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 12,  May 1984

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