RINA Warship 2016 – International Conference – Technical Paper

Paper Presented at the RINA Warship 2016 International Conference in UK


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ArshadTK Warship

Ship’s Life Cycle Management Matrix

The demand for increasing the operational availability of the naval ships is at its peak due to the increasing mission commitments across the world. The exponential cost of building complex naval ships coupled with the global economic slowdown has constrained even the most powerful governments from venturing in to the programs for fleet expansion at a rate proportional to the existing demand. LCMMThis situation has forced the world navies and leading naval ship builders to focus on optimizing and strategizing the maintenance aspects of the naval platforms and the equipment onboard in order to provide enhanced availability and a robust Through Life Management of the assets.  The requirement is to increase the operational availability of the existing assets through the implementation of efficient maintenance strategies and to optimize the life cycle maintenance of the future assets through the application of logistics engineering right from the design and construction phase up until the disposal phase.
The engineering decisions taken during the various phases of the life cycle of a naval platform is not only relevant from an overall cost perspective but also has the potential to make serious impact on the efficiency and availability of the platform to deliver the role and functions envisaged during the conceptual stages. Life Cycle Management Matrix has been developed to focus on identifying the key elements and areas of logistics engineering which needs to be considered during the life cycle of a naval platform for optimizing the maintenance requirements and to establish an efficient and cost effective maintenance program.

(Abstract of article)

Estimation of Maintenance Cost of Naval Ships

Reasonable estimation of the Maintenance Cost of the ships is one of the important requisites for preparing the fleet Operation and Support (O&S) budget of any Navy. The O&S cost would mainly include the Personnel, Fuel and the Maintenance cost  and normally the yearly maintenance cost of commissioned Naval Ship would consist of the following:

1. Afloat Maintenance Cost – Man-hours of the ship’s crew involved in the Level 1 maintenance activities. EMC1
2. Intermediate Maintenance Cost – Man-hours of the Base Maintainers involved in the Level 2  maintenance activities.
3. Workshop and Depot Maintenance cost – Man-hours for the Level 3 maintenance activities, Cost of Docking, Refits, Planned Additions & Alterations, unscheduled maintenance costs etc.
4. Material costs – Cost of spares, consumables etc. including material handling costs.
5. Industrial Service Costs – Cost of optional and mandatory service support availed from industries, including the OEM assistance.
6. Maintenance Training and quality costs.

While the calculation of the maintenance cost based on the historic data for the fleet and organization shall give a more accurate estimation, this is often tedious and time-consuming; especially in cases where the availability of reliable historic data is a question mark. In such situations the alternate solution is to go for a high level estimate using the Life Cycle Cost thumb rules.

EMC2According to the thumb rules of Life Cycle Costing the procurement cost of a ship amounts to 40 percentage of the total Life Cycle Cost and the balance 60 percentage amounts for its sustainment and disposal. Further break down of the cost of sustainment shows that the cost of maintenance amounts to 20 to 30% of the procurement cost and it varies with the size and complexity of the ships.

Selecting the right Project Team

The success of a project is mainly determined by the quality of the human resources. In large organization the selection process of the key project team members normally starts before or during the final stages of a tender closing. PT1More often than not, one of the key positions for which the resource is identified for the Project would be the Project Manager or a Technical Lead for the project. The association of key members during the pre-project phase not only facilitates the smooth transition of the project to the Project Team from the Sales Team but also provides the much-needed continuity in taking forward the project from a technical and management perspective.

Once the Project is confirmed, the selection process of the project team commences on priority to ensure that the required resources are mobilized to kick off the project in accordance with the resource mobilization plan envisaged during the project conceptualization stages. The success of the resource mobilization process greatly depends on the quality of the mobilization and sourcing plan envisaged during the tendering stages and the support extended by the organization to materialize the same.

The roles and quantity of the team members are decided during the tendering stages based on the requirements of the project and this estimated manpower is also used to do the costing and budgeting for the project. The details of the roles shall be elaborated through Job Description documents produced during the initial stages of the recruitment process. The resource mobilization plan may be materialized through a sourcing strategy which leads to the formation of a project team constituted through a combination of existing resources of the organization, new recruitment or sub contractor personnel. The formulation of the sourcing strategy depends up on the availability of suitable internal resources, the time frame available for the recruitment and cost considerations.

All the above mentioned activities lead to the recruitment and mobilization of the Project Team and the key part of the recruitment is the selection of the right candidates. PT2Personnel with the right qualifications and experience are to be shortlisted and thereafter interviewed to verify their capability and suitability for the project. Apart from the qualification and experience, the important factors to be considered while selecting the project team is the attitude and the inter personnel skills of the candidate which plays a major role in the successful integration of the project team. Honesty, reliability, flexibility, discipline and team spirit are few the qualities to be given utmost consideration while selecting a project team member.

The capability of the interviewers to identify the suitable candidates also plays a major role in the selection of the right project team. Therefore the panel of interviewers shall be carefully chosen by the management and the panel shall ideally consist of the management and lead technical representatives of the project, subject matter experts and HR representatives.

One of the most common mistakes which is committed while recruiting the project team members is the selection of over qualified personnel for positions which do not demand  the higher level of qualifications possessed by the candidate. PT3Such candidates once selected and inducted in to the team, find it difficult to integrate in to the project team leading to poor cooperation and communication among the team members. Another mistake of similar proportion is the selection of under qualified candidates which may happen due to nepotism and organizational pressures to select the available internal candidates. It is the duty and responsibility of the management to support the project by eliminating the factors which may lead to such mistakes leading to the selection of the wrong candidates in to the project team.

Choosing the right Project Manager and Project Team is extremely important and the criteria for the selection are much beyond the qualification and experience of the candidates. It is equally important to continuously improve and strengthen the team by organizing an efficient induction plan for the selected team members followed by training programs and team building activities.

Commercial and Naval Ship Building

Naval and Commercial Shipbuilding have many similarities which has enabled the commercial yards to embark on challenging Naval Shipbuilding programs to take advantage of the huge business opportunities associated with it.INS The cost of building a Naval Ship is normally huge and so are the risks associated with it. There are several elements of construction and design aspects which are similar and complementary in the construction of a Commercial and a Naval ship. However it is necessary for the commercial yards to understand the critical areas of differences which needs to be focused to mitigate the risks which are normally associated with the Naval Shipbuilding.

The areas of differences in Naval and Commercial Shipbuilding can be identified right from the conceptual stage to the commissioning stage of the ship building program. Commercial ships are normally build based on a patented or approved design of a particular class of ships meeting the requirements of the customer. These designs may be reused as it is or else it may be used with some minor changes. This approach not only reduces the cost of acquisition of commercial ships but also enables the ship’s construction to be planned and progressed with a mature design, meaning no or very little re-work with very small possibility of schedule and cost overruns. On the contrary the Naval Programs are characterized by customer demands for ambitious functionalities which are predominantly based on the state of the art technology emerging out of the research and development stages. More often than not the warship production and the system development runs concurrently which eventually leads to the implementation of an under developed system or increased acquisition cost and schedule delays in the final commissioning of the ship.

One of the general misconceptions about the Commercial ships is that they are weaker in less durable as compared to the war ships. IMSFrom the current industry standards and practices for Commercial Shipbuilding, it can be seen that some of the Commercial ships are now built with capability to operate in much severe weather and risky conditions to meet the operational requirements. However the amount of redundancy which is imbibed in the designs of a commercial ship is still lesser as compared to that for the warships. This not increases the weight of a Naval ship but also makes it very much expensive as compared to a Commercial vessel.

The life expectancy of a Commercial ship is normally lesser as compared to that of a Naval ship. A Naval ship is built to serve for several decades more than that of a merchant vessel. Periodic Refits are planned throughout the life cycle of the Naval ship not only to strengthen the structure but also to ensure that the equipment systems onboard are upgraded to keep pace with the advances in the technology.

Another key area of difference is the decision making process involved in the building of these ships. In the case of commercial ships the power to make important decisions rests mainly with a small group of owners/ owner’s representatives and hence the process of decision making is generally quicker. Whereas in the case of a Naval ship, the key decisions are taken by the empowered group involving uniformed personal, bureaucrats and the politicians. As the warships are built from the tax payers money, a lot of time is spend in deliberations and for following the procedures associated with the government machineries.

The opportunities and business volume in Naval shipbuilding is huge and steadily growing to certain extend. However the global financial crises have forced the governments of many countries to implement measures to reduce the cost overruns in the defence programs- especially that of warship acquisitions.  It is therefore more prudent for the commercial yards embarking in to the Naval Shipbuilding to understand the differences in the commercial and Naval ship building practices and come up with solutions which are not only economical but also meets the specific requirements of these programs.

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