5PMB provides comprehensive in-service support of its products to ensure the best possible performance for the customer. PMB is fully engaged in the Collins Class Submarine Program through the following means:
- Involvement in the collaborative management of the Main Storage Battery as part of the High Power Electrical Integrated Product Support Team;
- The provision of engineering Technical Support Services directly to the CoA, including maintenance and operational advice, equipment
inspections, data analytics, reviews and other services;
- Upgrades to operating parameters and manuals;
- Stock Item Owner (SIO) on behalf of the Commonwealth, including obsolescence management and equipment refurbishment;
- 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; and
- 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. PMB’s main product is the Main Storage Battery for the Collins Class Submarine, which includes both the battery cells and associated auxiliary equipment such as monitoring probes, connector bars, agitation equipment, and various support and test equipment. 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 its 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
- Training 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 and use of its products. This body of knowledge, shared across its technicians and engineers, is then 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) for each product manufactured.
- Integrating new products into the Manufacturing Team.
- Providing technical and engineering support to the Manufacturing Team.
- Developing, assessing and implementing improvements and updates to both product(s) and procedures.
- Ownership and maintenance of PMB’s battery charging and testing facilities.
The key customer for the Product Support Team is the Manufacturing Team. The Product Support Team comprises engineers and technicians in the following domains: Metallurgy, Chemical, Mechanical and has access to Electrical engineering support.