Page 58 - Australian Defence Magazine November 2019
P. 58

Downer looks to fleet management
DOWNER is more than the sum of its parts, with those parts now including as- pects of the old Spotless business, acquired in 2017. Working across markets including transportation, infrastructure, mining, en- ergy and industrial engineering, utilities, communications and facilities the company can draw lessons learned from all these mar- kets into their Defence business, according to Downer’s Doug Main, Head of Through- Life Sustainment in their Defence business.
“We support complex assets through their entire life cycle,” Main explained to ADM. “Whether that’s front-end capability plan- ning or what kind of asset to do you need through to the concept design, the engineer- ing, construction, manufacture, operations, maintenance and disposal. We can do this under various ownership models depending on the customer.”
Adjacent industries
In July 2015, Downer was the first organisa- tion to achieve certification to ISO 55001 in Australia and NZ, for Utilities Asset Man- agement Services at the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) water treatment plant.
Since then, Downer has achieved certifi- cation to ISO 55001 across multiple indus- tries, including rolling stock and rail infra- structure, road network management and integrated facilities management.
It’s their partnership with Microsoft for smart management of Sydney trains that
the company is most keen on bringing into Defence. Downer Group deployed a Micro- soft Azure-based solution to capture and store data from Sydney’s fleet of Waratah trains and use advanced data analytics and visualisation tools to make sense of the in- formation received.
Specifically, the solution allows Downer engineers to make data-driven decisions about train maintenance.
In 2017, Downer entered into a strategic alliance with Microsoft to co-cooperatively develop and market cloud-based solutions and services for specific industry sectors. The alliance, which sees both parties bring their technology and sector specific know- how to the table, was designed to help ac- celerate the rate at which transformational value could be unlocked for business.
Downer has over 5,000 pieces
of mobile equipment that we are supporting across multiple industries under various arrangements.
Downer’s Rollingstock services business is one of the first adopters of the Azure based solution.
Downer designed and manufactured the initial order of 78 trains in conjunction with CRRC Changchun, with through-life support managed by Downer at the pur- pose build Auburn Maintenance Centre under a $3.6 billion program.
Downer has further delivered another 24 trains, taking the fleet to 102 with future growth to 119 trains on the back of addi- tional orders from the NSW Government in February 2019. They also maintains a further 35 four-car Millennium train sets that were designed, built and commis- sioned almost two decades ago.
As each Waratah train pulls in and out of a Sydney station, more than 300 Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and almost 90 camer- as are silently capturing data and recording video. Every 10 minutes, 30,000 signals are sent from the train to Downer, which holds a 30-year contract with the NSW Govern- ment to manage and maintain the existing fleet of 78 trains.
Those 30,000 signals represent the train’s digital DNA. This allows the mapping out the risk of a failure, anticipating any main- tenance required and scheduling downtime required for that maintenance ahead of time; what in defence terms would be seen as condition-based maintenance.
Machine learning and intelligent data analysis means that Downer can predict the likelihood of failures, sometimes months in advance, and schedule preventive main- tenance before a failure takes place. It can also place early orders for replacement parts which may need to be shipped from overseas.
The XDNA program was a joint effort between Downer, Microsoft and Deakin University and is being rolled out into other parts of the Downer business.
Defence application
Downer sees a logical fit with this technol- ogy being applied to Defence given their work in sustainment and through life sup- port capabilities.
When you think of Downer, the company probably springs to mind in an infrastructure or MSP context. But they’re looking to branch out into Land domain sustainment, leveraging their work in adjacent industries.
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