• Credit: BAES
    Credit: BAES

BAE Systems Australia’s shipbuilding business has selected four Australian companies to help fast track manufacturing processes following the first ‘innovation challenge’ to support the Hunter Class Frigate Program.

Formerly known as ASC Shipbuilding, the business has also been renamed BAE Systems Maritime Australia.

The company is running progressive ‘innovation challenges’ as the Hunter Program ramps up so that the best Australian technologies will support and deliver efficiencies to the program.

The winners from the first challenge are Datanet (SA), Lamson Concepts (NSW), Cohda Wireless (SA) and Dematec Automation (SA). 

Over the course of the projects’ life-span, each of the selected Australian companies will showcase their logistics Track & Trace technologies at the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide. At Tonsley, BAE Systems Maritime Australia has partnered with Flinders University to establish Line Zero – Pilot Factory of the Future, to collaborate with researchers, academics and technologists to test and trial advanced manufacturing technologies and techniques in a factory environment, before adapting them to the shipyard.



Datanet will install its Track and Trace solution at Pilot Line Zero to demonstrate a 3D enabled Real Time Location System (RTLS) to track assets moving around large metal structures. Aimed at demonstrating workflow automation, advanced productivity initiatives, enhanced staff safety and real time asset visibility the solution also aims to provide direction of travel and 3D location capabilities.

Lamson Concepts will configure stocktake automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) at Pilot Line Zero whereby offering Track and Trace of geo-locations using robotic scanners. This allows tracking of items efficiently across the facility.

Cohda Wireless will install and demonstrate its Real Time Location Services (RTLS) system to track assets and improve worker safety by enabling the sub-metre accurate 3D location of people and tools, through Wi-Fi tags, in the complex shipyard environment.

Dematec Automation will demonstrate a connecting platform that acts as the enabler for digital integration into manufacturing systems (connecting people, machines, instructions, performance) at the shipyard. Dematec will create examples of integrations for part identification and tracking, assets tracking and condition monitoring (including IoT sensors), and digital work instructions.

“The immense size of the Hunter Class Frigate Program provides a great focus on the ships that will be manufactured at Osborne and not necessarily the smarts that will go into them," BAE Systems Maritime Australia Managing Director, Craig Lockhart, said. “Through these Innovation Challenges we have the potential to revolutionise the way the ships are constructed from the ground up, significantly improving efficiency and productivity.

“It’s the development of local technologies for this program that will underpin the development of sovereign capabilities needed for an enduring Australian shipbuilding industry.”

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