Military Review

Man with a locker


Shipbuilders look to the future with cautious optimism. A deep and impartial analysis of the industry and the state of affairs at all our shipyards is required.

The legendary scientist, Alexei Nikolaevich Krylov, one of the leading shipbuilding luminaries, recalled how, while still a trainee engineer, he became friends with the chief engineer of the Admiralty plant (then, in the last decade of the 19th century, he was called Franco-Russian shipbuilding) Peter Titov, a brilliant self-taught shipbuilder. Formed Krylov helped him master the exact sciences. Somehow, for example, they decided to calculate the cross section of the forged davit rack. One made the calculation according to the rules of the mat. And the main thing is not that the results almost coincided. Krylov was struck by the fact that the down-to-earth, proven in practice methods of an engineer, whose profession is at his fingertips, at certain times turn out to be more accurate and suitable than mathematical models. It is not enough to be able to count - you need to understand your business thoroughly, in depth. This principle always works.

Genius in the hands

In 2002, in India, the Russian delegation showed a block of a submarine under construction. For shipbuilders, nothing unusual: a cylindrical structural element is inserted into the sphere, which is tightly fastened by welding. Since I have worked in the workshop for ten years and know the technology well enough, I said: it seems to me that in order to obtain the most accurate conjugation of cylindrical and spherical surfaces, it is necessary to add a weld of a certain configuration. I objected: "We have done everything according to the drawing." To which I replied: "Yes, according to the drawing, but for the convenience of working with such mates, a special template is made to make the welder easier."
The Indian colleagues didn’t say anything, but after a while in Russia at a meeting with our shipbuilders, the director of that factory approached me and said: “Mr. Alexandrov, you were right, how did you know how comfortable and more technological?”. I answer: “I didn’t come as a factory director from a party job — I was a foreman, shop foreman, chief engineer and I understand how to build ships and boats in steps.”

Not accidentally, back in 1987, when we received a large delegation of the Ministry of Defense of India at the plant, who had come to see how the boat was being built, I brought the guests to my native 9 workshop and asked the guys: remove all the tooling and accessories from the small drawers and storerooms . We were shown so many little tricks that even experts from our shipbuilding industry were amazed. Production needs to know, they need to live, and the manager needs to be both an organizer and a professional.

In this regard, I fully agree with Vladimir Putin, who at a meeting with young people described the main qualities of a leader.

The fundamentals are based on two inseparable concepts: high human qualities and the same professionalism, and only then everything else. Of course, we need organizational skills and other skills, including diplomatic skills. But without human qualities and without professionalism, you cannot be a leader.

In any case there are two levels - master and artisan. An artisan may be a wonderful person, but his level is to perform a prescribed specific set of operations. The master creates, and not just mechanically produces certain actions. And it is fortunate that there are more craftsmen at the Admiralty shipyards. Highly skilled workers and a solid, well-established team with rich traditions is the key to the well-being of the enterprise.

Not the staff, but the team

Since the beginning of 90, I have been arguing with city and industry leaders who said: the plant only needs to work, and everything else — housing, medicine, sports, culture, libraries — should be under municipal jurisdiction. But after all, it is at the enterprise that we spend most of the time. There will be a good atmosphere in large production teams - it will be comfortable and safe in the city. And for this, everyone should feel needed, sought after.

I came to the factory in 1967 year. In our workshop there were 1100 people. They worked perfectly and spent their free time together. At the stadium - passing the standards of the TRP, competitions in football, volleyball, basketball. Do not know how to play - pain for the sporting honor of the shop. And they all rested together with their families at the factory bases, in campaigns and trips to trade union vouchers.

This is how the team is formed. And to go reconnaissance or to perform very important tasks with those whom you know, of whom you are sure.

To the credit of the leadership of the shipbuilding industry, the Council of USC elders has been revived, we are aware of the problems and try to adapt our experience to the implementation of today's tasks. Professional contests, sports competitions, and evenings of rest are held to form a team. But you can go further. For example, at one time there was a good idea about housing construction with a certain support of enterprises. The employee pays the initial mortgage payment, and the factory helps to pay the loan. Mortgage, as a rule, make out about ten years. So, all this time a person will work in his native enterprise with a positive mood, having an apartment, and with good production figures. This is beneficial to the employee, and corporations, and the city.

And we can seriously talk about the long-awaited formation of the middle class of highly skilled workers and engineers.

Bologna Ambush

But this requires a system for training such factory elites, including both university and vocational education and advanced training, with extensive use of information technology and computer technology. And today we have a huge gap between the knowledge that is given in schools, and their use in production.

In Soviet times, the basis was research institutes with advanced technology, where the most modern and daring ideas were tested. Hand in hand with them acted a system of educational institutions, which were to industry. The close relationship of higher education with production was provided by government regulations. Now universities are separated from enterprises, there are no well-established mechanisms for internships and internships. We are trying to bridge this gap with the help of targeted contract training, when factories send candidates, and the task of the institute is to teach them theoretical fundamentals. To fill the education with practical knowledge and skills, backed up with the development of course and diploma projects, again undertakes the enterprise. It is also important in the conditions of production, in fact, during working hours to find the opportunity to train and improve the qualifications of specialists. But it already depends on the management of enterprises, on its civic position and ability to see the future. After all, you can often hear: they say, I pay wages, taxes, and training is not my task. This is a very harmful approach. The head must calculate the situation for many moves ahead. And one cannot be sorry for professional retraining of money, it is not a matter of streamlining expenses. Whether you like it or not, a new project is being developed, a new steel is being produced, new units are being designed, new equipment is emerging, new technologies are emerging. It is clear that no one will study in the evening. So, conditionally, at the end of the shift for an hour and a half (more information per day is difficult for a worker), an experienced teacher should come and introduce a new one, and communicate with production workers in one language: “Vasya, you cooked with such electrodes, the welding laboratory will tell you how the welding units change, how the modes will change, how the arc, the vertical joint, the ceiling joint and so on are formed. ” Without constant training, modern production cannot be kept at a competitive level. Teachers should be constantly in the company, as well as production workers in the classrooms, laboratories, at the stands.

Last year Korabelka (St. Petersburg Maritime Technical University) and the Admiralty Shipyards conducted a very successful experiment: employees of specialized departments together with shipbuilders went through the entire technological chain of the enterprise and outlined key points: what to look for when training and what science can be useful for production.

For example, one of my graduate students was assigned the task: to optimize production sites where they deal with titanium alloys - then they were scattered throughout the enterprise. As a result, he drew a first-class project of a new workshop for advanced designs with the composition of the equipment, with the calculation of labor input. The diploma was defended as “excellent”, his development was implemented, and the output increased by more than two times.

It is far more difficult to adapt the Bologna system of higher education adopted by us to the needs of production. Perhaps for the documentation and archival enough bachelor's qualifications. For engineer, shipbuilder - no. Enterprises now receive semi-trained graduates who picked up something for four years, and then two more should be taught in the magistracy. By the way, in the past five years they have done a specialist, and then for ten months they sent me to a specific factory to write a diploma. And now you can easily do this: five years of study and six months of undergraduate practice with the writing of a graduation project and its defense. And we will get well-trained specialists.

Bend your line

Since 2008, when Vladimir Putin held a meeting at the Admiralty shipyards on the development prospects of the industry, many billions of rubles were invested in the creation of modern marine technology. Enough funds were allocated for the development of the so-called conceptual projects of a gas carrier, a heavy-duty floating crane, fishing and passenger vessels, and elements of military equipment.

Man with a lockerToday it is necessary to analyze again the situation in the industry, at all of our shipyards, of which about fifty. At one time, when Viktor Khristenko was the Minister of Industry, he listened to the production workers, and somehow I offered him: “Viktor Borisovich, take an hour to talk with each director. He will give pre-materials in electronic or printed form. Then at the 20 meeting, there are minutes to report, and the rest is your questions. ” A series of such “presentations” took place, and it became clearer what kind of managers are in command of the production, how competent they are and what can be done for each enterprise. And there were results.

For example, after my report to the Minister, it was decided: to stop walking in a circle with a discussion of where to build diesel submarines. And they are built on the Admiralty shipyards.

It is very important to overcome the legacy of 90-s, when we left the planned economy, and to restore the connection of the central bodies, that is, ministries and state corporations, with the regions. The city is not indifferent to how busy its enterprises are and what their prospects are. And the ministry should know the regional opportunities for the research and production base, the availability of skilled workers, the system of vocational training, and social conditions.

After all, when the Baltic Plant was given the order to build a series of heavy nuclear missile cruisers, a decree was issued by the Central Committee of the CPSU, which described in detail what the center provides and what the city provides. Funds were allocated so that a company could build housing for a thousand people, local authorities immediately provided for schools, shops, kindergartens, city transport routes. Leading St. Petersburg universities - Korabelka, Voenmekh, Polytech prepared the necessary number of engineers, and industry institutes and enterprises developed and implemented the appropriate technologies, equipment, accessories.

Having adopted this experience, today it would be right to allocate money for the creation of advanced structural materials, modern equipment for metal processing, welding technology, especially laser, in general, to reach a new level of technological preparation of production.

The simplest examples. We have a lot of allowances for parts, and this leads to an increase in labor intensity, the amount of metal consumed. Due to such Russian specifics, our body is at least 10 percent heavier than foreign, and these are costs and unnecessary work.
It is necessary to work seriously with metallurgists who still supply semi-finished products. So in modern conditions it is impossible. The metal should go to the shipyard already cut, ready for assembly. And today, the yield ratio of the part is 0,82, that is, 16 percent is scrap metal. Why, one wonders, carry large heavy plates to the shipyards, and back, waste when you can cut them right at steel mills or somewhere close to them. The task of USC is to think it over and implement it. In a number of countries, shipyards do not have hull-manufacturing facilities — all are provided by a specialized enterprise with verified billets.

In Germany, many factories do not have bending equipment, since it costs millions of dollars. It is easier for them to buy ready-made sections in Poland with corresponding elements in order not to spend money themselves. This is again the task of USC: to create specialized workshops or production facilities - pipe bending, corps, paint-insulating and others, working for all enterprises of the industry.

Sight a half century ahead

A lot of questions are connected with losses, because today the level of loading of the main production is very different. How is the hotel? It is profitable if the occupancy is more than 55 percent. So, approximately, and at us: if loading 70 percent and above - the enterprise develops.

In East Germany, the situation is resolved by the compact shipyards, which build a certain number of ships, and the rest of the volumes are collected by working for the public utilities: they make installations for water utilities, stadiums, and buildings. In St. Petersburg, by the way, the program was practiced when large high-tech enterprises produced equipment for the city on free capacities.
Without such innovations it is difficult for us to withstand the competition, especially in the context of sanctions and the next recession. After all, the crisis that has hit us is deep in nature. This is approximately until 2025 of the year, so it is not necessary to build any illusions (“Have more time, everything will work out”). Strategic industries, including shipbuilding, need government support: the abolition of customs fees for equipment that we buy abroad, long bank loans for government orders at least four percent per annum, and not eight to ten percent, as it is now.

It is important to demand from our designers perfect projects focused on the day after tomorrow and developed in conjunction with technologists. We need fresh ideas, ships with new power plants, deep-water equipment and surface too. Corvettes and frigates have proven themselves well, but they are near-field ships. And about the new destroyer of the ocean class, we have been talking for fifteen years, as well as about an aircraft carrier. Of course, at all levels it is necessary to improve the technological and industrial culture, discipline. Do not do without the introduction of modern industrial capacity.

The development of the industry is hampered by the absence of a large dry dock, a whole building area for large vessels. Especially if the plans include an icebreaker "Leader" 47 meters wide.

In the shortest possible time it is important to solve the problem of building ship engines.

Until now, no one knows where the factory of diesel engines has gone, which was built in Vsevolozhsk, and about a billion dollars have been poured into the project. In order to put on the production of new diesel engines, today you need about 360 million euros. There is no such money in USC, which means there must be a state order. Frigates and other ships need gas turbines, this was already mentioned since 1993, when the first bursts of nationalism began in Ukraine. Now the Rybinsk plant is closely engaged in turbines.

And in each direction, appropriate highly professional managers, production captains, who support the cause, for the state order are necessary. And such people - piece goods. Sometimes it is very disappointing to see how the staff rotates in the region and in the industry. You can not throw this thing to chance. Nobody calls for the return of the regional party committee, but specialists of the highest category should be trained accordingly. By the way, shipbuilders by the end of last year gave 55 percent of the total industrial production of St. Petersburg, which is more than 150 billion rubles. And of course, it is necessary to create a new promising technique with the horizon of design ideas already in the second half of the 21st century.


Vladimir Leonidovich Alexandrov, 26 years led the Admiralty shipyards, wrote and published the book "Half a Century in the Profession." He worked on it for almost four years. His work is essentially an encyclopedia of shipbuilding and domestic industry in the most recent period. storiesAn objective analysis of the processes in science and production with caution against errors can well become a benchmark for any head of the defense industry enterprise.

Alexandrova in Petersburg is not for nothing called shipbuilder number one: with his direct participation, about 200 ships and ships sailed out of the sea, including 86 submarines, including 41 nuclear. Vladimir Alexandrov came to the Admiralty Shipyards (then the Leningrad Admiralty Association), as a student of the Shipbuilding Institute, and went from master to director general. In 90, he was the one who did not allow the enterprise to be split up, to destroy a unique vocational school. Admiralty shipyards remain the leading enterprise in the industry, where the most modern technologies and professional personnel are concentrated.

Help "MIC"

The Nobel plant was founded in St. Petersburg in 1862, and in 1901 the first domestic diesel engines were created on it. In Soviet times, the plant was called "Russian diesel", engines were built here for fleetdiesel generators.

At the beginning of 80-x, by the decision of the Central Committee of the CPSU in the industrial zone of Vsevolozhsk, the construction of a new plant as part of the Russian Diesel began. The company was built by the Finns, by 1990, the first phase was commissioned. But by this time the state funding of the object ceased. In the future, the plant was bankrupt, and what is now called "Russian diesel" - a company for the production of spare parts.
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  1. 210ox
    210ox 15 November 2017 06: 16
    Thanks for the article ... I feel that the Professional is writing, not the journalist on emotions ..
  2. andrewkor
    andrewkor 15 November 2017 07: 00
    I fully support! I want to add on my own behalf, I’m hydraulic, a specialist in hydraulic machine drives, for all the time of practical work, for more than 30 years, you think of so many things that you won’t find any passport or equipment instructions. And there’s also a "locker" .Therefore, it is still in demand by profession, despite its age, especially in Uzbekistan!
    1. Uncle lee
      Uncle lee 15 November 2017 07: 46
      About the "Locker" I agree, each specialist had one. And most importantly - continuous training. In the USSR, there were courses by profession, well, + self-education. We studied radio equipment on radio tubes! Over 50 years, everything has changed, and those who remain in the profession have changed too. I think for the better. It is a pity that there are few of us left. hi
  3. Rurikovich
    Rurikovich 15 November 2017 07: 03
    There are always 2-3 out of 10 sensible leaders. And even then, they are well encrypted so as not to fall under the rink of an ignoramus, most of whom occupy large chairs. In the sensible subordinate, the nashalnika always sees a threat to his "authority". This is already verified by personal experience and proven.
    So an intelligent leader who has reached the top can bring a lot of benefit to the country as a whole through his work. hi
  4. antivirus
    antivirus 15 November 2017 07: 44
    In any business, there are two levels - the master and the artisan. A craftsman may be a wonderful person, but his level is the execution of a prescribed set of operations. The master does, and not just mechanically performs certain actions

    - That's right. Unfortunately.
    however, the full cycle with cutting, etc., will be prepared by the procurement industries --- these are the requirements of self-sufficiency and isolationism "we ourselves with a mustache."
    + in a war, the loss of some capacity leads to the suspension of the chain. and excess power under its side - "a stock that does not pull"
    and now not paid by the mob reserve? THIS IS GOS POLICY (FROM GDP), not the decision of the director or USC. in St. Petersburg, land and other little things are very expensive-- it's easier to take everything to the province and live happily on the sale of bananas then.
    1. Sverdlov
      Sverdlov 15 November 2017 22: 51
      "craft" ... Call a carpenter a carpenter, he will be offended ....
      "Vocational schools"
      Insult these guys who were standing at the machines and sharpening shells ...
      And “maister” is not a professional. This is the boss. Mayor, Major, Major ...
      1. Andrey Barinov
        Andrey Barinov 16 November 2017 08: 12
        They said beautifully about the craft ........ The master himself will not praise himself, as some here .....
  5. Severok
    Severok 15 November 2017 18: 01
    Very sensible article. With analysis, suggestions and soft criticism of what deserves frank flogging.
  6. Petrol cutter
    Petrol cutter 15 November 2017 20: 13
    I read the article with maximum attention. For almost all points, I strongly agree. hi
  7. Sverdlov
    Sverdlov 15 November 2017 22: 49
    AND! Yes, a professional. There are so few of us ...
    All around are efficient managers ...
  8. alma
    alma 16 November 2017 06: 18
    Let me express my opinion:

    "The metal should arrive at the shipyard already cut, ready for assembly. In Germany, it is easier to buy in Poland"
    - in our case, earlier it was assumed that the enterprise should be self-sufficient in case of martial law. Here it is worth considering which is cheaper: can the auxiliary support be stored in the GCC (in case of war) and organize additional production at metallurgists, or leave the existing system?

    "In East Germany, they are getting out of the situation at the expense of compact shipyards, which are building a certain number of ships, and they are getting the rest of the volumes by working for public utilities."
    - as you can see, they were also preoccupied with the conversion and production of the "citizen", the path to which the president had outlined for us (like at least 50% by 2025)

    With the Bologna system, I agree, you need to do something - it is designed to degrade highly developed education in a self-sufficient state.
    1. Petrol cutter
      Petrol cutter 16 November 2017 21: 50
      Honestly, I don’t understand how a shipyard can work for utilities ...