We’ve been grinding away at this Maintenance/Modernisation business, making incremental progress. We face many challenges. We commissioned a deep and comprehensive report on Ship Readiness & how surface ship Maintenance/Modernisation efforts contributed to that.
We were tasked to go in and understand, start codifying, addressing the gaps & issues. We have made progress in our ability to understand the business from end to end.
The one modification is that we started out with several main Blocks, but as we started to apply whatever heat and light we could to an organisation that includes about thousands of civilians and sailors, many more private sector Wrench-turners. There was a missing piece that we need to get at – Alignment/Oversight.
Alignment/Oversight is probably the single biggest challenge before us as we consider how many different organisations that have some effect on whether we plan, implement and stabilise it right as to requirements, flowing money into the process at the right time to do proper planning and execute to a schedule/plan that we all agree to at the beginning. We are challenged in that area.
We have mentioned that there is a lot of interest in that area, and NAVSEA is going to take the lead in getting that right.
A Quick update on the Main Rocks: First, Assessment, Planning a and Policy. We have a programme called “Total Ship Readiness Assessment.” This is a term pulled right out of the Submarine Playbook, which is funded to the mandate of conducting assessments for every ship in the programme. We plan for it to not be under resourced by one minute or one dime for execution
The challenge is that we’re working w/ the commanders [RMC side] on this—to make sure it is aligned with the ship schedules and the “Ship Readiness Manual [SRM]” – some early learning ground for us.
The programme was challenged a several years back when we slowed down funding on the Operations & Maintenance Side, putting some perturbations in to the full implementation, but, again, but we have seen an increase in levels of Resourced programmes.
We have a lot of resources or process to go out and do assessments, and as we know –assessments done right, and at the right time inform a work package that is very important.
Not as much progress on sustainment programme as we would like but maybe it just took as much time to become operational, to move this one a little further down the road.
This one is about grouping or aligning all the resources for life-cycle assessments of systems/equipment and how they perform in common platforms that looks across all surface ships, all systems and that we’re doing the right life-cycle assessments & activities to fight our way through obsolescence & readiness system & how they are designed, and how we go and approve that.
Our intentions are to single it all up so when we talk diesels, for instance, it’s not just amphibious diesels, that it’s diesels across all surface ships. So that’s the sustainment programme.
We have made great strides in engineering requirements for maintenance, to be able to deliver on an expected service life at the right time on the platform that we envisioned at the time we engineered it at the beginning so it gets 35-40-45 years.
Even if we change a platform, we now have the ability to go look hard with the right engineering rigor at exactly what it’s going to take to get 5 more years out of the ship—these are bedrock requirements.
Nearly every ship in the Surface Navy is in the programme, but there are some exceptions—lack of investments early on in LCS left us with with problems coming in on the left hand side, but by it became an easier path to get every ship that can be in the programme in the programme.
Many ships have completed their first engineering maintenance period, or planning for the process of having that availability. This is one where we just need to stay the course—the leadership is solid.
Again, much of the process is lifted right out of the Submarine Playbook & these requirements are flowing into the budget process. Every ship’s requirement is treated equally and most requirement for engineering maintenance that we have asked for we have gotten the budget to go & execute that.
Another debate is what a year of execution looks like in the flow-down. We are succeeding in this area, meeting requirements & the budgets are moving right along with that so we can go and execute.
The challenge for us--we are working very aggressively on this—is taking what we know about the requirements & aligning that with modernisation requirement that’s coming together for the same availability and telling the fleet early on exactly how many days & weeks that is going to take to accomplish all that work.
The Navy is projecting a significant increase in ship maintenance and modernisation work , and we’re concerned private industry does not have the capacity to keep up.
We’re concerned in the out-years we will not have the private yard capacity we need to handle all the force maintenance requirements. Private yards have done a good job absorbing work that has come their way during the force reset, but the prospect of a still greater maintenance workload in the out-years, with additional LCS coming online and a potentially larger force overall causes concern.
“This concern extends beyond dry dock capacity shortfalls, which still loom large. Forward Deployed Naval Force is at capacity, for example. There is simply more work than the current workforce here can accomplish. We’re pushing to expand the set of yards capable of and familiar with performing Navy work.
At the same time, the Navy is trying to boost its sailors’ ability to perform more maintenance work on the ship without outside assistance. While this wouldn’t make much of a dent in the looming surge in workload, it could cut down on contractor maintenance costs, and it would lead to a more self-sufficient fleet capable of operating in complex environments.
In the case of LCS, the ship concept was designed around a minimal crew, with the bulk of maintenance activities being conducted by contractors. Though the crew size has been increased over time, the LCSs have come back to port about every 25 days for a contractor-led maintenance availability, which includes basic tasks such as monthly system checks
LCS crews will begin taking on more maintenance responsibilities themselves.
“It’s clear what the operational fleet’s demand is for us, which is to make sure the ship can be maintained, and the sailors where possible can do that. So we are focused on training for the sailors, and making sure they had the equipment, the spare parts, the technical documentation and more to help the ship’s crews and sailors at the Regional Maintenance Centers conduct more LCS work themselves.
“The key is to increase sailor ownership and decrease the reliance on contractors and original equipment manufacturers. The Littoral Combat Ship manning does not support shifting the entire maintenance workload to the crew, as their capacity is limited. But we’re still committed to maximising the amount of planned maintenance that we perform by the LCS crew.
One of the frustrating things for the crew was, it was just kind of the way we set it up, but contractors would come aboard and do the work but the sailors would have to hang all the tags … so it was kind of like, rather than having the sailors do the work, we would just have the sailors do all the setup and teardown, and then the contractors would step in and do the work and the sailors would watch them do the work. It’s crazy. There’s some maintenance items that are appropriately done by the depot – reset and safety … but the day-to-day weighing of CO2 bottles or, we just had to get after that.”
There’s still an ongoing conversation on the division of labor between sailors on the ships’ crews and the Regional Maintenance Centers, along with the role of contractors.
Beyond LCS, though, we have concerns about the declining ability of ships’ crews to take care of their own ships. Sailors today have fewer opportunities to become proficient at ship maintenance during shore duties, meaning sailors going to sea bring with them less knowledge about how the ship and its systems work.
In a contested operating environment with denied communications, he noted, “you are not going to have the ability to phone home.”
Navy operational and maintenance communities have to find a way to get sailors more proficient at fixing downed systems and repairing their ships while underway. While a complex challenge to address, part of the solution would be ensuring that crews can begin pre-deployment training on time – without delays from ship maintenance availabilities going long – and ensuring that that training time includes an emphasis on maintaining and repairing the ship.
“That’s years of constrained funding that have taken risk on things like tech manuals, Engineering Operational Sequencing System, Planned Maintenance System, and resourcing maintenance, to where what has been the risk-taker has been compressing that training timeline.
“We’re in an environment now where that risk is unacceptable.”
Data is everywhere. Used effectively, data can help you spot trends, track performance and drive evidence-based decision-making. Unfortunately, not everyone can access the data they need. Here are sample report examples you can use to help you understand your product development processes and use this information to make improvements, reduce overheads and manage the Navy Fleet like never before.
1. Leverage Data Forecasts
Well led teams can leverage data to understand what customers buy and why. Marketing teams can use automation tools to track website activity and email click-through rates, improve prospects and measure campaign effectiveness. This type of data is plentiful and can help businesses gain a deeper understanding of their target markets. They can then use these insights to forecast sales more accurately and tailor their branding and future product offerings with greater success.
While this data enhances the customer-facing side of your business, there is very little data available to improve your core functions, namely product development. Sure, you can get 3D models and 2D drawings, assembly instructions and other collateral which tell you how good your products are and how clever your engineering teams are, but you have no data, statistics or evidence that can be used to make process improvements or cost reductions.
2. Design History
Design teams, project managers and executives only really connect at design reviews, where each stakeholder can review the current status of a project, discuss problems and brainstorm ideas. If a project appears to be off track or behind schedule, more resources can be thrown at it. This may solve the immediate problem, but it doesn’t address the issue at its source. Without hard data, your only evidence is anecdotal evidence. “Why is this maintenance availability taking so long?” may elicit a number of unwanted responses.
Enterprise Tool is designed to address this shortfall. In addition to the complete design history captured in each Shape Update detailing who made what changes and when. Shaped Update Enterprise Tool records project details, duration, release status, team activity, supplier access, and more. In short, any activity that touches your data is logged and presented in easy-to-read graphs, tables and charts. This gives you complete visibility into who did what and when, how engineering efforts are trending over time, and who is contributing in what ways
3. Activity Overview
Every report in Enterprise Tool contains links to more detailed reports, so a good place to start is at the top level with the Activity Overview. Although it’s called an “overview,” there is lots of very useful information that can be drawn from here. You can see the total number of hours spent on each project, project activity on a daily basis and which Documents have been worked on the most. You can also see which engineers are actively working on which projects and use this information, along with more detailed reports, to see if you need to allocate more resources to get a project finished on time.
Activity is detailed for every design project in your organisation. For auditing and security purposes, “Exports” is a report of great interest. Unless you assign export permissions to a specific role, team or individual, no data ever leaves Shape Update; nobody is able to share designs externally and everyone must sign in to your domain to access your data. This adds an extra level of security and a full audit trail.
4. Access the latest revision of a part
Another huge benefit is ensuring that the correct part is being made a supplier must first sign in to your domain before they can export the data you have given them access to. Every export, just like everything else in Shape Update Enterprise Tool , is logged and presented as a detailed list of who did what and when. This enables you to check that you’ve set the right permissions and data access for the right people and that everything is above board.
Additional security is provided by the Login Locations map that logs the network address of every computer that signs in to your domain. This map shows you each user’s approximate location so you can keep tabs on where your data is being accessed from. Clicking on one of the dots tells you the number of sessions run from that location and you can get a detailed list of each user’s name and on what date they signed in. This is very useful if you are working with many outside suppliers. Any outliers can be checked, just to make sure that your data is being used as intended.
For managers, the number of pending releases could indicate either a flurry of activity in release submissions or a bottleneck in the approval process. Any delays here could have serious consequences, so this chart is invaluable in helping to keep everything running smoothly. To find out exactly what is going on, simply click on the Release Status pie chart and drill-down .
5. : Release Dashboard
The Release Dashboard lists all the Parts, Assemblies, Drawings and other project-related data that have been submitted for approval. Since each release must follow an approval workflow, the pending status indicates that a release is waiting for somebody to review and sign-off. The details of each release candidate, including the actual design data itself, can be interrogated from here to see which project it belongs to, who submitted it and how long it has been in a pending state.
A submission may be pending for any number of reasons: an approver may be on the flight line waiting for more information, or it may have simply been overlooked. You can then follow up with each worker, or override the approval process if you have the right administrative permissions.
This dashboard enables you to follow the progress of each project and ensure the approval process runs as smoothly as possible. Monitoring the number of releases gives you a good indication of where a project is in the design cycle.
6. Project Dashboard
Shape Update is unique in how it stores design data. Rather than using files for each part, assembly and drawing, a single Shape Update Document can contain any and all project-related data and an entire team of engineers can work on the same Shape Update Document at the same time. However, in practice, most engineers or teams of engineers will work in their own Documents and link them together in a master assembly. These Documents are then organized into Projects, which are unique to Shape Up Enterprise Tool. Projects make Document management and data access much simpler using Role-Based Access, and easier to monitor using the Project Dashboard.
The project Dashboard gives you details such as modeling time for the entire project, the most active users and the most edited Documents. You can also check permissions and role assignments, which can show you at a glance which users are able to access your project data and what they can do with it.
7. Feature Activity Metrics
One metric that is often overlooked is in the Feature Activity chart. This chart breaks down user activity into actual design activities within all the Documents in a project. As a project progresses, it is reasonable to presume that the number of drawing activities should increase and the number of design changes should fall. If this does not appear to be the case, this could indicate a serious problem – especially if a project deadline is looming.
There is enough information on this page and the subsequent detailed drill-down reports, to find out exactly which areas of a project are causing delays and get a good idea of where the problems lay before further investigation. This enables you to be proactive in your project management tasks, identify problems early and resolve them before they escalate.
8. User Dashboard
The User Dashboard details all activity associated with a particular user. This report can be used to review which projects and Documents a user is working on and which design activities are taking up most of their time.
Resource allocation becomes very important when there are many projects on the go at the same time. If some projects are more important than others or are in danger of overrunning, you can use the User Dashboard to see which projects each user is spending most of their time on. This makes it easier to understand everybody’s workloads and ask them to lend a hand where needed.
If it appears that some Documents are being worked on more than others, there may be several possible reasons. If it’s a particularly difficult design problem, that could be one reason. If there’s too much to do and not enough help, that could be another. Training may also figure into this equation, too. New users naturally take longer to achieve the same results as seasoned users, so maybe more training is required?
Finally, since everybody must sign in to your domain to work on your projects, activity by external contractors and suppliers is also recorded. This enables you to negotiate contracts based on hourly rates rather than flat rates if that suits your business better.
9. Document Access
You can look at the Document Access report. For security review purposes and overall Document activity information, this fancy report shows you the information in a concise manner. The graph displays all the information from the table at the bottom of the report with a color-coded node for each Project, Document, and User. Each node is then connected with either a dotted line to signify assigned access permissions or a solid line for Document activity.
You can click on a node to filter by Project, Document or User, search for a specific item, and hover over a line to see modeling times and access permissions. Each node can be clicked to jump straight to any of the Project, Document or User Dashboards, show a detailed audit trail, or in the case of a Document, open it for viewing or editing. This makes it an ideal way to quickly navigate your engineering data.
10. Improving Your Business With Onshape Enterprise
Shape Update Enterprise Tool is not an add-on or a separate system, it’s all part of the same product development platform. Each report is driven by a unique network, so you can easily bookmark them in your web browser for quick access. Shape Update Enterprise Tool reports and analytics are also available via mobile app too, so you can access this data from anywhere at any time.
Having this level of detail about your design processes is totally new and may seem difficult first. You will soon start to notice patterns and trends in the data and it will become easier to recognise, helping you to be more proactive and manage your teams, your projects, and your business better. Ultimately, Shape Update Enterprise Tool will help you make informed business decisions backed by real data, enabling you to reduce costs and use resources more wisely.
Companies that are able to unearth these nuggets of information buried deep within their design processes have a significant competitive advantage over their rivals, as they can gain important insights and react quickly to expand their business in a way that is simply not possible without detailed engineering analytics.