The CTMA Program has been the perfect venue for launching the digital modeling and simulation initiatives for optimizing shipyard infrastructure. In addition to that ongoing effort, the NAVAIR Fleet Readiness Centers (FRCs), partnering with Siemens Government Technologies, are creating a digital model and simulation plan that will make an impact at the equipment and process level.
On-time performance for aircraft completed at the Navy’s three aviation depots has met with scheduling challenges. Repair equipment is being used well past its expected service life, resulting in inefficiencies, safety hazards, and maintenance delays. With an 80% readiness goal for several aircraft platforms, it is more important than ever to evaluate, validate, tailor. and assess the value of best-in-class commercially available analysis tools that will automate the identification of beneficial equipment upgrades and simulate the impacts of the industrial equipment and facility layout variations.
Using lessons learned from the modeling and simulation initiatives at the shipyards, the Siemens team can apply them to the FRC environment.
“The sustainment activities supporting aircraft maintenance are vastly different than the work required for ships and submarines,” says Matt Brennan, Federal & Marine for Siemens. “There is longer lead time and planning cycle for ship maintenance, where only a couple ships or submarines are on-site at a time. When supporting the Navy’s aircraft, the timeline is much faster, and the range of work varies from having a few components replaced to a complete refurbishment. The as-is digital model itself will offer the Navy a host of options to manage this level of complexity and the justification for optimized processes and equipment.”
The first FRC to be evaluated is the FRC Southwest. The CTMA team is gathering data from disparate business systems as well as the invaluable information from maintenance supervisors and artisans. Data has been collected and the analysis and interpretation are underway. The full digital model is planned to complete in March 2021, which will open the door for a full optimization plan. When finalized, this model will assist the Navy in maximizing the allocation of resources, allow for supported decisions on production, logistics, energy optimization, equipment upgrades, shop-floor connectivity, and workforce allocation among others.
This initiative will illustrate how engineering modeling, simulation and management tools can help modernize aging manufacturing and maintenance infrastructure for U.S. industries struggling to forge their growth roadmap.
“Once this as-is digital model is fully constrained, COMFRC will realize a self-sustaining improvement capability,” says Brennan. “The goal is to leverage the current model to gain some immediate benefits while continuing to develop the “as-is” to identify optimization opportunities well into the future.”