BAE holds laser pipe scanning trials at shipyards


BAE Systems Australia has conducted successful trials at the Osborne Naval Shipyard and Henderson shipyard utilising laser scanning technology to create 3D models of pipes to be installed on the Hunter class frigates now under construction.

The weeklong trials, which followed initial testing at the Line Zero – Factory of the Future facility in Adelaide’s south and BAE Systems Australia’s Henderson shipyard, proved the capability of the technology in a real manufacturing environment.

Working together with both the production and dimensional control teams, BAE’s research and technology team identified potential efficiencies in time spent checking the quality of product produced by specialist pipe bending equipment, according to a statement.

“Each Hunter class frigate, requires thousands of pipes with unique dimensions and using a hand-held scanner, the pipes – of varying sizes, some up to three metres long – can be scanned and a 3D model created in as little as five minutes.

“The equipment, and software, are precise up to 100-200 microns.

“The 3D model can be stored to create a digital twin of each individual pipe used in construction, resulting in a more accurate digital representation of the Hunter class frigate.”

BAE Systems Australia’s Business Development and Continuous Naval Shipbuilding Director Sharon Wilson said the technology would not only help to streamline production processes, but had the capability to reverse engineer, produce and then replace pipes and connecting pipework.

Wilson said: “We are working with cutting-edge technology to drive as much efficiency as possible in the shipyard.

“This is yet another example of adapting commercially available equipment, which we have tested in the open environment at Line Zero – Factory of the Future, for use in the shipyard.

“The insights gained from these trials have huge benefits not only for our Hunter Class Frigate Program and the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program, which we are delivering with our partners in the Warship Asset Management Agreement, but also for continuous naval shipbuilding here in Australia.”

Picture: BAE Systems Australia

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