Babcock's 'smart' technology is already being used on naval vessels to ensure maintenance and upgrades are aligned, helping to meet the real needs of navies by increasing platform availability and readiness.
By harnessing innovative technology for legacy warship classes - including the current type 23 frigates - Babcock is using sophisticated new techniques to optimise engineering support. The company is doing so by capturing a wide range of data sources that are fused, modelled, and transformed to enable improved decision support and optimised planning.
This cleverly designed predictive analysis of equipment is a game-changer in informing future service and maintenance requirements.
Babcock's iFrigate approach is also being incorporated into its type 31e, 120m general-purpose frigate offering. The frigate's adaptable configuration acknowledges that operational roles will change through the life of the ship, with multiple mission bays being incorporated into the design to allow rapid reconfiguration and rerole to meet changing operational needs, as well as support from realtime performance measurements.
Babcock's technology-led approach to the development of new general-purpose frigates is set to change the shape of the international maritime security market.
The introduction of a suite of technology and sensors into the build means that Babcock can 'design for support', developing ways for maintainers to get closer to the beating heart of their equipment. The company also brings its extensive experience in delivering leading through life support and upgrade capabilities. This functionality means that the maintainer can access up-to-the-second maintenance information and documentation at the right time, turning them into on-board service engineers.
Equipment sensors are constantly capturing operational data, which is then analysed and visualised using mobile apps. An on-board analytics suite allows fully informed risk-based maintenance or upgrade decisions to be made. Shore-side data analysis helps forward deployed support, optimise the next support period and derisk class support with through life systems.
Babcock's proactive approach to ship maintenance has also seen it working closely with Lloyd's Register to test remote inspection techniques. Airborne and underwater technology is already greatly improving its ability to get early visibility of the condition of vessels, in order to inform planning decisions and reduce the volume of emergent and unplanned growth on maintenance programmes.
The drive to understand the condition of existing equipment and to support maintenance decisions, based on accurate and up-to-the-minute data, is undeniably a key driver for Babcock as it explores ways to constantly improve its delivery of through-life management and support of customers' critical assets.
Babcock's drive for innovation supports everything it does in the maritime space. The company's focus on designing and trialling embedded technology allows engineers to better understand, and visualise, platform and facility performance in real time.
State-of-the-art dynamic surveying, advanced data analytics and cutting-edge visualisation techniques are just some of the 'smart' solutions helping to predict the future-maintenance requirements of some of the most sophisticated equipment on the planet.
The future of engineering support is already here, and Babcock is shaping its application from the front line.