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BAE down selects three Australian SMEs to innovate new safety equipment for shipyards

BAE Systems Maritime Australia has down selected three South Australia-based SMEs to develop innovative equipment to improve safety at the company’s shipyards.

BAE Systems Maritime Australia has down selected three South Australia-based SMEs to develop innovative equipment to improve safety at the company’s shipyards.

The engagement forms part of the company’s Innovation Program run via the Industry Capability Network (ICN), in which Australian businesses were asked to put forward enhanced safety technologies and equipment for three critical categories: manual handling, extraction and ventilation and safety wearables.

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After a detailed assessment from the company, BAE Systems Maritime Australia selected Cohda Wireless, MyModular and Electrocad to propose a solution to their nominated category.

Cohda Wireless was selected to undertake research into a threat detection platform, designed to protect employees from collision with moving plant equipment and vehicles.

Meanwhile, MyModular was chosen to execute the design of low voltage lights that will be integrated into the construction phase of the ship which include sensors that will notify employees in degradation of air quality or rising temperatures.

Finally, Electrocad has been selected to design wearable body sensors that alert users to manual risks including handling loads, poor body positioning or repetition of activities, which is expected to reduce the chance of injury.

The collaboration with BAE Systems Maritime Australia forms part of the Digital Safety Innovation Challenge Phase 1 at the company’s pilot Line Zero, Factory of the Future facility in the Tonsley Innovation District.

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Craig Lockhart, managing director of BAE Systems Maritime Australia, explained that safety of employees was paramount to the company.

“Safety is our number one priority, and any new technologies we can implement to keep our workers safe, reduce injuries and risk, is absolutely worth pursuing,” Lockhart said.

“At the peak of the Hunter program in the late 2020s, 2,200 employees will be based at Osborne, and we are absolutely committed to ensuring this busy shipyard will be as safe for our workers as possible, so I am looking forward to understanding the outcomes of the trials undertaken by three South Australian businesses, Cohda Wireless, Electrocad and MyModular.”

Paul Gray, chief executive of Cohda Wireless, welcomed the opportunity to partner with BAE Systems Australia to help make a safer workplace.

“Cohda Wireless is delighted to be extending the work it has completed at pilot Line Zero, especially as the ultimate goal is to make the naval shipyard a safer environment for people, which is ultimately what we are doing around the world to make road transport safer,” Gray noted.

“Cohda Wireless is a leader in connected vehicle technology and through pioneering projects like this one, we are proving that our Locate technology can be applied to just about any environment where people and vehicles share common operating space. We are particularly pleased to be supporting BAE Systems Maritime Australia in this globally-relevant project here in Adelaide, our home city.”

John Schultz, managing director at Electrocad, said that the partnership was an opportunity to grow the company’s defence capabilities.

“The decision by BAE Systems Maritime Australia to select our company and capability for the Innovation Challenge offers us an opportunity to grow our presence in Defence industry,” Schultz commented.

“The technology we will trial is a combination of technologies and includes ultra-wide band (UWB), bluetooth low energy (BLE) and micro radar. Some of the technologies used are very recently arrivals on the market and will allow us to produce a unique, leading edge solution, for combining indoor navigation and body wearable sensor networks.

Managing director of MyModular Mark Fahey outlined that the partnership enabled them to innovate solutions that have worldwide applications.

“We are ecstatic about being selected for the Innovation Challenge. This is another massive opportunity for our business and our people to continue to grow. It is potentially transformational for us with the chance to create a solution with Global applications in a growing market sector for Australia,” Fahey noted.

“The timeline is going to be a challenge, but the beauty is we have a dedicated Innovation team who will be focused on this supported by external advisors including a team from Flinders University made up of some of the smartest minds in this area, everyone is very excited to be involved.”

[Related: BAE Systems Australia tapped to support Joint Strike Missile program]

BAE down selects three Australian SMEs to innovate new safety equipment for shipyards
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