Smart use of data is at the heart of innovation at Babcock International Group, and this is particularly true when it comes to digital twinning technology, explains managing director for technology Jon Hall
The technology landscape is evolving at a rapid pace and at Babcock, we’re geared up for that journey.
Engineering is in our DNA and our USP is the application of deep engineering knowledge and technical authority to support our often complex, and critical, client needs. As such, I view it as part of everyone’s job to put technical innovation at the heart of their thinking.
In a business that spans 26 countries with over 30,000 employees our customers trust us to manage their assets, often in highly regulated and challenging environments. Increasingly, they are seeking our expertise in supporting them on their own evolving technology journey.
To help facilitate this changing landscape we have established a team of our own experts ranging across innovation, partnerships and research, digitally enabled asset management and of course, data and analytics.
Data and digital technology is already having a significant impact on our business and also on how we do business. Predictive maintenance is one key area where we are really beginning to understand the impact digital twinning can have in helping us be better informed when it comes to making these critical decisions.
We see the ‘twin’ as a digital representation of a physical asset that is constantly updated using real-time data, and that data is vital when we need to understand the performance, efficiency and status of the assets we manage right across our four sectors: aviation, land, marine and nuclear.
Distinctively, Babcock equally sees the digital twin incorporating elements of the enterprise that surrounds those assets. The research we are doing with our academic partners, such as Cranfield University, is allowing us to optimise our resources and our supply chain as well as help us make decisions around safety.
Across Babcock we’re developing and integrating technologies across a wide range of activities from UAVs in emergency and aerial fire-fighting, designing mechanised weapon handling systems, right through to our in-cell decommissioning technology in our Cavendish Nuclear business.
And we couldn’t do this without our people. At Babcock, we are also proud supporters of STEM and because technology underpins everything we do, we need to ensure we have the right skills coming through that pipeline.
Over the coming week you will see just how we are making a difference with technology organically and through our partnerships. One exciting venture we’re involved in is FASTBLADE, a collaboration with the University of Edinburgh to create the first centre in the world to conduct large-scale, accelerated testing of tidal blades along with other composite structures and materials. We know we’ll need the best recruits we can find to support this project and the complex task they’ll have in understanding, analysing and manipulating the data generated. So we’ve already secured a new PhD in the asset management of composites in the marine environment to help bring that talent on board.
So, whilst we’re known for our proven ability to innovate, implement and integrate our technology solutions for our customers, it is our people that make it happen.
Jon Hall is Managing Director, Technology, Babcock International Group. Jon is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and holds a PhD from Bath University for research work in technology.
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Babcock is the partner of The Engineer’s 2019 Data Week