As an expert in life-cycle management, Naval Group upholds its commitment to maintaining its in-service vessels. Until now, a ship’s operational lifespan was interspersed with various pre-scheduled service stops consisting of upgrading and maintaining the vessel’s operational condition. All these maintenance operations are linked to dry-docking periods.
However, expectations are fast evolving; with the global shift towards digitalisation comes an opportunity for ship manufacturers to ride the digital wave, and to take full advantage of the wide ranging benefits associated with these new technologies. Naval Group is leading the way in the development and integration of on-board digital systems as early on as in the design phase. Naturally, such developments pave the way for a more digitalised approach to subsequent vessel operations, one of those being the in-service support (ISS) of sea-going vessels.
There are clear ways in which adopting a more digitalised approach to ISS can not only optimise resources, but can all-out reduce the number of service stops a vessel is forced to make throughout its lifetime, which in itself represents a considerable advantage.
The primary benefits associated with the digitalisation of ISS are two-fold.
Firstly, heavily digitalised vessels give ship manufacturers and operators added user flexibility. In concrete terms, digital features such as i-maintenance provide the vessel-operator with a continuous feed of accurate real-time data representative of the vessel’s condition, both of its physical and electronic components. As such, the vessel-operator may adapt the vessel’s scheduled service stops depending on its real-time condition. Essentially, this means that the vessel’s ISS becomes conditional rather than preventive, thereby giving the vessel operator that valuable added flexibility.
Secondly, the vessel’s integrated digital capabilities allow the ship operators to progressively update the vessel’s on-board software, thereby updating and modernising on-board equipment without having to immobilise the vessel at all!
The i-maintenance system is scheduled to be deployed on all new generation vessels. Such is the case for the Belh@rra®, Naval Group’s latest frigate.
Sometimes however, service stops are inevitable. In such instances, the maintenance programme itself is digitalised, using the back-up of centralised land-based command centres (called COSIN) that capitalize all the data collected onboard. The COSIN enables a better workforce organisation and daily task assignment for each worker thanks to the use of pads. The dashboard-style output provides all interested parties with a succinct summary of the works allowing them to optimise the process and therefore immobilise the vessel for shorter periods of time.
It its relentless effort to optimise processes and save resources whilst remaining at the forefront of digital innovations in the defence sector, Naval Group continuously explores ways of taking advantage of new technologies to benefit its clients.