PMB provides comprehensive in-service support of its products to ensure the best possible performance for its customers.
Examples of PMB’s engagement in customer programs are:
- The provision of engineering Technical Support Services (TSS) directly to the end user, including maintenance and operational advice, equipment inspections, data analytics, reviews and other services
- Upgrades and updates to operating parameters and manuals
- Stock Item Owner (SIO) on behalf of the Commonwealth of Australia (CoA), including obsolescence management and equipment refurbishment
- Supplier of ancillary equipment such as connector bars, vent plugs, agitation and cooling equipment, battery monitoring probes, and battery management systems (BMS)
- Supplier of support and test equipment such as Digital Density Meters, Ohmmeters, Float Chargers, insulated and specialty tooling, water filling kits
- Involvement in the collaborative management of the Main Storage Battery for the CoA as part of the High Power Electrical Integrated Product Support Team
- Exchange of complete Main Storage Battery systems, including removal & installation of cells, where we significantly improved the productivity standard in our first attempt at this task
- Engineering advice and support during abnormal situations
- Sub-system refurbishment during major docking cycles
Technical Support Services
PMB’s Technical Support Services (TSS) team is focussed on supporting the Royal Australian Navy and the Commonwealth of Australia in the use and maintenance of its products. As the product manufacturer, PMB is able to offer specialist technical advice relating to all aspects of its products through its strong relationship with crew members and key Navy and Commonwealth stakeholders, and the Navy’s main maintenance contractor, ASC.
In addition to on-site support, the TSS team conducts a number of data analysis and enterprise support functions. Some of the other services the TSS team offers include:
- Physical inspections of battery sets on operational submarines, providing an assessment of the battery physical condition and any subsequent recommendations
- Data analytics of real-world submarine data, focussing on the use and performance of the main storage battery. These data analytics have allowed a number of gains for PMB and its customers such as:
- Improved methods for managing the Main Storage Battery to gain optimal real-world performance
- Periodic monitoring and analysis of boat Main Storage Battery performance, allowing detection of any fault conditions and an electrical ‘health status’ of the Main Storage Battery
- Test and analysis of cells post-service, leading to improved technical understanding of aged cell performance and subsequently improved real-world management methods for ageing battery sets
- Input to configuration management items, and Ships Information Management Systems
- Development of new products, such as PMB’s Battery Interface Unit and Float Charging units
- Assistance in rolling out and communicating new or updated PMB products
- Familiarisation sessions and development workshops for crew and other enterprise members on submarine battery related material
- Assistance with spare parts and related items, which is also supported by a dedicated team in Adelaide
Through its Technical Support Services, PMB gains a very valuable insight and appreciation of the real-world application of its products. This body of knowledge, shared across its technicians and engineers, is fed back organically to other parts of the business, such as PMB’s design and manufacturing engineers, quality, and other professionals, so that PMB’s overall services through design, manufacture, logistics and support are optimised for its customers.
Product Support Team
The Product Support Team is responsible for supporting in-service products from an Engineering perspective. The core responsibilities of this team are:
- Ownership and maintenance of the Technical Data Pack(s) and Configuration Baseline for each product manufactured
- Integrating new products into the Manufacturing Team
- Providing technical and engineering support to the Manufacturing Team and Procurement teams
- Developing, assessing and implementing proposed improvements, updates, or changes to products, procedures, or suppliers
- Ownership and maintenance of PMB’s battery charging and testing facilities
The key customers for the Product Support Team are PMB’s Manufacturing and Procurement Teams. PMB’s Product Support Team comprises engineers and technicians with expertise in the metallurgical, chemical, mechanical, and electrical domains.