The Royal Navy plays an essential role safeguarding the UK’s security and promoting its prosperity. To fulfil this role effectively, the Navy must manage its technologically sophisticated fleet in a highly efficient manner. This is no easy task, given the competing demands of operational availability and the need to update capabilities, conduct maintenance, and make necessary amendments and alterations over the lifetime of the vessels while in service.
Through KT-Box, a government-funded programme that takes leading-edge research from a consortium of UK universities, Clive Kerr and Simon Ford from the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Technology Management (CTM) at the Institute for Manufacturing, have worked with the MOD to produce a software tool that helps to meet this challenge. Their focus was on the maintenance and use planning for the 13 strong fleet of Type 23 Duke class of frigates - the backbone of the Royal Navy.
The tool they developed is currently configured for the Type 23 frigates. Potentially, however, says Clive, the tool could be usefully deployed in any organisation with a combination of a complex product service system, and assets of high value and long life, such as trains, for example.