Case study: Maritime inspection rounds and watch-keeping events

In our last blog, we described how data captured during asset inspections gives organisations a real-time window into their operations. Following on from there, we’d like to share an overview of a recent project we’ve undertaken for the Royal Australian Navy [RAN] which serves as a good demonstration of this.

Relegen’s asset intelligence solution – assetDNA – is being used by the RAN’s Landing Helicopter Dock System Program Office [LHDSPO] to facilitate the electronic collection and management of data from inspection rounds on-board the new Canberra Class Amphibious Assault Ships.

Challenges

The LHD is the largest and most advanced vessel ever to serve the RAN. It will be core to Australia’s response to natural disasters, humanitarian operations, peacekeeping, and the staging of combat forces ashore. Its immense stats are summarised in an article here.

The myriad of systems required to sustain the through-life capability of this ship’s sea-air-land operations are complex. Therefore, when it comes to ensuring the technical integrity and high-availability of these mission-critical assets, the quality, currency and accessibility of the data that is held about them is critical. This scale [in terms of assets and distances] also places greater importance on the efficiency of rounds, which must be discharged at sufficiently frequent intervals to ensure safety, compliance and operational readiness at all times. Traditional paper-based methods would not be ideal under these circumstances.

The solution

To help meet these challenges, Relegen has deployed its fully-integrated software-tagging-mobile asset intelligence technology – assetDNA – to automate the collection of real-time data during inspections and watch-keeping rounds of its onboard assets.

A key differentiator of assetDNA is its serialisation capabilities. Global unique identifiers [GUID’s] can be assigned to any ‘thing’ to provide item-level visibility through workflows and lifecycles such as purchasing, supply, issue, receipt, transfer, inspection and servicing, part-rotations, retirement, asset disposal, and more. This GUID also acts as the primary key for passing and correlating data across multiple applications and ADF-wide systems such as supply or maintenance or analysis/decision-making/reporting tools, to enable real-time insight and eliminate multiple versions of the truth.

In this project, hi-viz ruggedised barcodes, pre-coded with the GUID, were applied to all assets to be inspected during rounds. Compartment locations were also tagged with HF RFID to provide additional Proof-of-Presence [PoP].

Staff then carried a PDA with the assetDNA mobile inspection app running, which they used to scan tags and collect data about each item and location. This also enabled technicians to have access to the pertinent data on location, when needed, so they could work to resolve issues quickly, and store a record of that action automatically.

Outcomes

assetDNA is currently operational on the two LHD vessels – HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide. Early indications are that the project has been successful and well received by ship staff and management, with user-adoption high and training and support requirements low.

The combined assetDNA software-tags-mobile solution will deliver many benefits including improved asset visibility and utilisation, and reduced costs associated with audits. Just as importantly, decision-makers will have greater intelligence about their assets for managing technical integrity and operational readiness of the LHDs.

Other benefits of this system include:

  • Productivity improvements – Guide and enforce efficient inspection routes, faster data collection, elimination of manual data entry processes
  • Real-time status and alerts – Asset inspection status can be determined at-a-glance – e.g. assets are green post-inspection and red when due for their next
  • Efficient data collection – Scanning an asset immediately brings up the fields required for inspection data entry
  • Better data quality – Immediate feedback is provided if data entered is outside expected parameters, all fields need to be complete before the next asset can be inspected
  • Auditable trial of who, what, where and when – Provides assurance that data has been collected by appropriate personnel for compliance
  • No time lag between data collection and availability for analysis – Accurate data can be fed directly to other applications for improved supply and maintenance planning
  • Reporting – Enables users to overlay attributes on assets and compare against similar assets to assess system performance
  • Potential cost savings – By triggering maintenance based on condition rather than time can potentially result in significant cost savings
  • Increased operational availability – Better quality and timely data ensures better planning providing vessels with the foundation for technical integrity, which underpins seaworthiness

Learn more

If you’d like to learn more about the ways asset intelligence technology can transform your asset inspection programs, or to receive a free product demo, please reach out to us on +61 (0)2 9998 9000 or sales@assetDNA.com.