Dematec Automation is developing technology that could be at the heart of the digital shipyard being established at Osborne by BAE Systems Australia, which will deliver the nine Hunter-class frigates to the Royal Australian Navy.

BAE Systems has collaborated with the South Australian firm to create a digital platform capability demonstrator that connects robots, welding machines, hardware subsystems, devices and sensors across typical workflows shipyards, where Industry 4.0 technologies connect workers, robotic facilities and equipment, and potentially Hunter-class frigates.

“BAE Systems’ goal is to make Osborne Naval Shipyard the most technologically advanced shipyard in the world, and our aspiration is for Dematec technology to sit at the center of a digital network that brings the compound together,” said said David Hart, director of Dematec Automation.

In early 2021, Dematec was selected as part of BAE System’s first “Innovation Challenge” to create an integration platform capable of providing connectivity, visibility and historical data capture for plants and production equipment and their sub -systems. At the home level, the capability is similar to that installed in a smart home where lighting, security, climate, appliances and entertainment systems are controlled by an automated system.

A “track and trace” system is needed at Osborne Shipyard to provide a window into every step of the shipbuilding production process, providing the data necessary for construction, future maintenance and improvement continuum of each element of a frigate.

Working within a production cell at the Line Zero test facility in Adelaide’s Tonsley Innovation District, Dematec has integrated its platform with collaborative robots, autonomous intelligent vehicles (AIVs), industrial sensors and industrial programmable logic controllers, each with a variety of industrial communication protocols.

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

The integration platform operated both a “control center” and a “shop operator” style app using iPads where teams could manage system access, drill down into collected data, and monitor in time. real.

“We believe this technology could play a key role in providing the connection between industrial equipment and associated production subsystems and the ‘higher level’ planning and maintenance software systems for use in the shipyard.”

Sharon Wilson, director of ongoing shipbuilding strategy at BAE Systems Australia, said working with industry and education organizations is crucial to boosting industrial capacity throughout the supply chain.

“Technology developed by Australian companies is key to helping us deliver our digital shipyard, and Line Zero provides exposure of Australian innovation to industry – large and small – in the defense and other sectors,” Sharon said.