Pioneering ABS and MSC Condition-Based Class Program Showcased at Mega Rust 2019

A digital Twin of USNS Spearhead

The FE Model component of the Structural Digital Twin of USNS Spearhead

(PORTSMOUTH, Virginia) The landmark ABS condition-based class program with the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) was the focus of a keynote presentation at Mega Rust 2019.

Rear Admiral Dee Mewbourne detailed progress on the pioneering project in a presentation to the American Society of Naval Engineers’ annual conference focusing on Navy corrosion issues.

As part of the condition-based class program, ABS has defined a digital asset framework that encompasses everything from data collection and pre-processing, to a digital twin that maintains and analyzes the data, to visualizations and outputs that support risk-based decision making.

“Condition-based classification will enable Operational Commanders to objectively assess risk and, in partnership with ABS, schedule surveys and repairs to better support operational commitments. By having a greater understanding of the condition of our vessels, we can better understand the maintenance they require, and perform preventative maintenance and repairs before failure occurs, reducing the number of unscheduled not-ready-for-tasking days,” said RADM Mewbourne. 

“This cutting-edge project highlights how ABS is leading class into the future and is a fantastic example of how we are able to harness the power of digital technologies to deliver enhanced services for the industry,” said ABS Joshua Divin, Program Manager. “The condition-based class approach allows ABS to tailor onboard survey activities based on the actual condition of critical structures and machinery, optimizing survey times relative to ship operations. Merging our extensive knowledge of marine and offshore assets with rigorous data science and advanced analytics, ABS can provide a comprehensive real-time picture of a vessel’s condition and state of readiness.”

The objective of the multi-year joint project is a landmark advancement in the classification industry—enabling the move from purely calendar-based surveys to a condition-based classification model, using digital solutions to increase MSC’s operational availability and flexibility.

ABS is working in an unprecedented degree of integration with both MSC and vendors to share data and enrich the digital picture of three vessels:

  • USNS SPEARHEAD, an expeditionary fast transport craft
  • USNS AMELIA EARHART, a dry cargo/ammunition vessel
  • USNS POMEROY, a large RO/RO vessel

At the center of the project, ABS has performed an in-depth baseline survey assessment for both structures and machinery and built Digital Twins for each vessel which utilize data from newly installed hull sensors and sensors on classed machinery. Combined with ABS’ advanced analytics, the Digital Twins provide an up-to-date source of information that provides decision-makers with the data they need when they need it. With this vessel-wide intelligence, ABS and MSC have a more holistic view of the vessel’s current condition and can better forecast future conditions to drive classification activities and support operational decision making.

About ABS
ABS, a leading global provider of classification and technical advisory services to the marine and offshore industries, is committed to setting standards for safety and excellence in design and construction. Focused on safe and practical application of advanced technologies and digital solutions, ABS works with industry and clients to develop accurate and cost-effective compliance, optimized performance and operational efficiency for marine and offshore assets.