Submarine builder goes digital, cements Adelaide as sustainment site

By Peter Roberts

ASC which built and sustains Australia’s Collins Class submarines in Adelaide has embarked on an ambitious project to fully digitise its shipyard operations.

It is not clear whether the investment in Adelaide and Perth will put an end end speculation that further major Collins sustainment work could be shifted to Western Australia.

The timing can hardly be a coincidence – WA was in hot contention to gain moore work from Adelaide until only a few days ago when the WA Labor government was returned to office in a landslide election result.

Certainly Adelaide will be upgraded and that should be a fillup to the Marshall SA Liberal government, which remains popular through its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

CEO Stuart Whiley announced ASC’s digital shipyard transition to streamline processes, enhance integration between systems, and the expand use of real-time data to drive optimised decision-making across the organisation.

ASC will strengthen its Enterprise Resource Planning system with partners Deloitte, IFS Australia, Novacura and BluePrism.

Whiley said: “This project will keep ASC at the cutting-edge of submarine sustainment innovation.

“It will ensure we maintain an efficient, cost conscious culture as we continue to deliver world-class service and value for money to the Royal Australian Navy.”

ASC’s move comes as BAE Systems continues to develop a new, fully digital shipyard at Osborne South adjacent to ASC which will build Hunter class frigates.

Meanwhile the first buildings are well advanced for a similarly cutting edge yard at Osborne North to construct Attack class submarines.

Together these investments cement Adelaide’s place as the builder and maintenance centre for the Navy’s largest and most sophisticated vessels.

Perth is the home of small naval ship construction, and also of Australia’s leading shipbuilder Austal.

Whiley said: “Our people will be better equipped to do their jobs by working with real-time data, integrative platforms and improved knowledge-sharing that will enable them to focus on the areas of their expertise.

“Aligning our digital systems with our suppliers will realise additional productivity improvements.

“The project will create approximately 35 new jobs, based across South Australia and Western Australia.”

Picture: ASC

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