Sustainment of Naval vessels is typically driven by time based inspections. These can be costly if left too long or inefficient if undertaken prematurely. It would be smart to do all maintenance in a timely manner that reduces costs and loss of availability, i.e. conditioned based maintenance (CBM). However, this requires the condition to be known. Developments over the last few years have resulted in tools that are able to give information as to the condition and it is proposed that this project identify those tools and deploy them for testing on civilian or RAN vessels. Initial application would be targeted at those areas that have the highest associated maintenance man hours and costs; for example, tanks, voids and bilge areas. These areas that have high man-hour and monetary costs due to the limited accessibility and occupational safety and health issues of working in confined spaces. Shifting from a traditional time based maintenance system to a conditioned based maintenance system, could reduce the cost for tank, bilge and void maintenance significantly.
Scope of the work
This work includes: a business case analysis (BCA) for high maintenance costs, long maintenance time, and largest maintenance availability drivers; technical trade analyses for the outfitting the systems identified in the BCA with appropriate sensor packages; development of sensor packages as necessary; and development of software tools (such as fleet management tools) for use by the maintainers, ship's force, and decision makers. This program will provide a framework for implementation on several ship classes. However, implementation of this framework is outside the scope of this work.
Which SEA program would benefit and how? Final outcome and impact (eg TRL increase?)
Potentially all platforms can benefit from this type of analysis. However, the initial focus will be on the Collins Class submarines and the Armidale Class Patrol Boats. Maintenance and dry dock packages must be scheduled several months in advance. Using CBM systems will allow platforms to avoid maintenance costs and reduce time in dry dock.
Most sensor systems available as commercial off the shelf systems for condition based maintenance decisions do not have proven performance in naval ship environments, yielding a low TRL. This program will increase the TRL of these sensor systems by relevant testing and limited deployment trials. Additionally, asset management software is also low TRL because it has not been designed for large, complex ship systems. This program will increase the TRL of asset management software.
This program will develop a framework, which if implemented, could have significant impact on maintenance man hours and maintenance cost and also increase availability.