Dematec technology at the heart of digital shipyard

Dematec Automation is developing world-leading technology that could sit at the heart of the all-digital Osborne Naval Shipyard being established in Adelaide by BAE Systems Australia.

A digital platform capability demonstrator that will connect robots, welding machines, hardware sub-systems, devices and sensors across the digital shipyard, will contribute to BAE Systems’ delivery of nine of the world’s most advanced anti-submarine warfare frigates to the Royal Australian Navy.

“BAE Systems’ focus is to make Osborne Naval Shipyard the world’s most technologically advanced shipyard, and our aspiration is that Dematec technology sits at the centre of a digital network that brings the precinct together,” said David Hart, Director of Dematec Automation.

In 2021, Dematec was selected in BAE Systems’ first Innovation Challenge to develop an integration platform that ensures connectivity, visibility and data capture for production plant and equipment and their sub-systems.

The integration platform, which is similar to that installed in a smart home where lighting, security, climate, appliances and entertainment systems are controlled through one automated system, will produce a “track and trace” system that provides data and insight needed for construction, future maintenance and continuous improvement of every element on a frigate.

Working within a production cell at the Line Zero Factory of the Future at Tonsley, Dematec’s platform is integrated with collaborative robots, autonomous intelligent vehicles (AIVs), industrial sensors and industrial programmable logic controllers.

“Our track and trace system demonstrated the capabilities that can be integrated in a real-world system to provide real-time visibility of users, objects, machines, sensors, and events, as well as the historical data capture and recall for quality, compliance, and continuous improvement purposes,” said David.

The platform allows teams to manage system access, drill down into collected data and monitor in real time by using a “control centre” and “shop-floor operator” through iPads.

“We believe this technology could play a key role in providing the connection between the industrial equipment and associated production sub-systems and the ‘higher level’ scheduling and maintenance software systems to be utilised in the shipyard,” David explained.

Sharon Wilson, director of continuous naval shipbuilding at BAE Systems Australia, explained that the partnership is essential for delivering Australian industry capability.

“Technology developed by Australian businesses is vital to help us delivering our digital shipyard, and Line Zero provides exposure for Australian innovation to industry – large and small – across defence and non-defence sectors,” said Sharon.

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