Classified military project for a Polish Armed Forces combat vehicle design and manufacturing organization.
A design and manufacturing office of a Polish organization responsible for manufacturing combat military vehicles is the recipient of the project. The company aims at land forces of the Polish military, adressing the requirements of modern armed forces.
Challenges and needs
Polish Armed Forces for many years have bet on innovative technological solutions in order to address the requirements of a changing world. Research-and-design organizations introduce new methods and tools for manufacturing of new products as well as improving existing ones. It has become clear over time that computer simulations are insufficient in terms of providing satisfactory data needed in order to improve reliability and efficiency of equipment. The learning process for manufacturing of prototypes was simply too lengthy for the dynamics of changing requirements. R&D units required systematic and digitalized information on product performance as soon as it has left a production line in order to ensure that the next generation of the product is better, more reliable, suitable to end-users and has a longer life time expectancy.
The challenge set before Transition Technologies PSC was to propose and provide the means to create a digital feedback loop and a digital equivalent of a product (Digital Twin) inside the design office. Retrofitting of a combat vehicle included creation of a prototype for remote diagnostics of a land vehicle for exploitation and operational performance data aggregation, analysis and archiving, as well as monitoring the usage of the vehicle. TTPSC has delivered a design of a physical layer of the solution, covering a military-grade central processing unit, wiring and sensors. Software, communication and data exchange layers have been implemented on top of that. As a result the design office received large amounts of data thanks to combat vehicle sensor implementation, such as monitoring of equipment operational effectiveness in real usage conditions and details on how the vehicle was operated. The vehicle Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) has been set up with 3 alternative communication mechanisms in order to ensure communication security under any circumstances.
Existing components’ diagnostic subsystems were utilized in the vehicle Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) in combat vehicles and a new system bus architecture was designed for data acquisition and archiving based on mobile programmable logic controllers. The HUMS ICT solution is fitting perfectly into the worldwide trend of systematic increase in the number of connected devices, implementing the concepts of Connected Products and Digital Twin in order to achieve a synergy co cyber-physical systems. The sheer possibility to remotely see the data flowing in real-time enables introduction of a scenario in which an experienced staff can react extremely quickly and inform the vehicle crew on the need to abort a given operation immediately, thus resulting in prevention of a failure. Such a scenario is especially important for key validation and tests of designed vehicles. The implementation of the Closed Digital Feedback Loop concept and creation of a Digital Twin have resulted in a significant improvement in the process of designing and creating new products and improving those currently existing in our Customer’s portfolio.
Remote monitoring and management of devices in order to significantly improve diagnostic operations is possible based on IoT (Internet of Things) systems. Intelligent devices are able to predict failures and inform about their possibility on their own, without human interaction. Monitoring of multiple various parameters provides us with a clear understanding of what is happening to our equipment and therefore we are not exposed to unexpected service costs. This would not be possible without IoT – Comment on the project by Konrad Dróżka, Chief Operations Officer (COO) and IoT and PLM market lead for TTPSC