Publication: SA Shipping News Issued: Date: 2003-11-01 Reporter:

Siemens at the Heart of the New Craft



SA Shipping News

Date November 2003

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Entrusted to handle the turn-key order for these locally sourced systems, the Siemens Frigate Consortium's (SFC) technical involvement extends from design, engineering ,project management and project engineering through to QA, configuration control, manufacture, extensive workshop testing and simulation.

Siemens was the first company to electrify a ship back in 1879, and today supplies shipboard electrical engineering technology to 30 navies and 130 shipping companies and shipyards around the world. As the South African partner, Siemens Southern Africa has a history of shipbuilding since the mid 1960's in South Africa.

"This exposure enabled us to be in a position to fulfil the South African requirements for Industrial Participation (off-set) - a requirement in terms of the strategic defence procurement contract. The potential positive effects of the proposed industrial participation (IP) offers investment, job creation and growth in the local defence-related industry and the national economy," says Ian Morris, Regional Manager of Siemens Industrial Solutions and Services in KwaZulu-Natal. Siemens Southern Africa took on the challenge of three sectors of the Industrial Participation (IP) programme, namely the Direct Industrial Participation (DIP) which relates to local content participation on the South African Navy vessels; the Indirect Industrial Participation (IDIP) which refers to South African participation on foreign navy projects; and the T-DIP concerning the transfer of know how and technology from the overseas principals to local individuals. The total obligation was several million Euros.

This worthwhile programme has provided many opportunities for South African workers and their companies, as Siemens Southern Africa - as a part of the IP - are obliged to involve Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs). Electrowave (Pty) Ltd, for example, provided four competent persons for training leading up to supervisory posts in Germany on the South African project. They have spent 24 months overseas and now hold senior posts on the electrical installation team.

Siemens Southern Africa has sent four engineers to Germany to handle the IPMS (Integrated Platform Management System). At present three remain in Germany and they are now on the commissioning team setting the vessels to work.

To prove the success of the transfer, one of them is sailing with the vessel from Germany to South Africa and will care for the IPMS as guarantee engineer alongside the South African Navy engineers.

Many other SMME's were brought into the project, such as FabBox cc in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal who supply specialised steel work, while locally designed and manufactured transformers and chokes are supplied by Electrical Manufacturing Marketing in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal.

The Siemens scope of delivery to the project is extensive and includes, amongst others, the main switchboards forward and aft, main group panels, fan group panels, shore connection boxes, emergency (casualty) power systems, motor starters, electrical/electronic test panels, valve and flap boxes, lighting, electrical heaters, alarm and safety warning systems, de-gaussing systems, shore supply boxes, bridge wing panels, installation and commissioning.

Integral to the functioning of the corvette is the Siemens Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS). Data acquisition and control functions are complemented by integrated management applications like Battle Damage Control Management, Stability Computing, Advisory System and Situation Killcards. An easy-to-operate Human Machine Interface completes a very open and expandable system. The architecture of the IPMS is completely modular and decentralised and effortlessly supports individual sections and the zoning philosophy of the Navy.

Special features such as the Multiserver concept and a redundant data bus system ensure a high level of fault tolerance, reliability and survivability. The IPMS system provides the user, partly on a modular basis, with functions such as control and operation of the propulsion system, power management, control of the ship's services, source destination control (bunkers, tanks and cells), degaussing, stabilising, course control, alarm-shower suppression, harbour / neighbour ship interface, On Board Training System (OBTS), advisory system, Battle Damage Control System (BDCS), and Situation Killcards.

With acknowledgement to the Shipping News.