New cable tracking tool set to make savings

As cabling begins in earnest on the Type 45 destroyer programme a new application for the management of cables, developed under the IBS (integrated business systems) banner will come into its own.

The software package will bring together engineering, planning, stores, production and commissioning to manage the whole process of cable routing, installation and testing - potentially making significant savings in time, cost and rework.

Planning support manager Ken MaCrae said: "The system is fully integrated with ET and we can see the progress happening 500 miles away at Vosper Thornycroft in Portsmouth (where the bow section is being constructed) without having to send for overnight printouts."

Known as CMPIC (Configuration Managed Projects Integrated Cabling) the package plugs a crucial gap between engineering, who design the cable routings, and production who manage the installation and commissioning process.

Ken said: "We have had the previous version, ICEPIC, in here for 10 years. When IBS started Eddie Hislop (system support engineer) and others highlighted the fact that it didn’t cover cable management, to make sure you knew what all the electrical equipment was, what cables run between them and all the terminations that had to be made. Engineering used ICEPIC to define it all, but Operations couldn’t use it to manage it at all".

As part of IBS implementation Eddie, David Neill and Leanne McFall looked at all the requirements to plug that gap and worked with the software supplier CLOUDIS to meet those requirements.

Ken said: "CLOUDIS were prepared to take these requirements and build them into their standard product. As a result we ended up with a system that managed the whole cable process, from engineering to test and commissioning."

Ken said: "Type 45 is our first opportunity to fully use the system."

Reproduced courtesy of BAE Systems Surface Ships.

Originally appeared in BAE Systems Naval Businesses Wavelength publication June/July 2005