An Australian company that developed autonomous robotic blast technologies to remove paint from the Sydney Harbour Bridge has demonstrated how the same innovative equipment could be used on the Hunter Class Frigate and other maritime programs.

Using two replica steel ship blocks built specifically for testing new processes and technologies on the Hunter Class Frigate Program, Sydney-based Burwell Technologies demonstrated the capability of its blast and paint robot to work in a confined, shipbuilding space while performing abrasive blasting.

Abrasive blasting is a hazardous process that involves propelling steel grit at speeds of up to 675 km/h to remove contaminants such as rust and paint, which creates a surface profile that allows for easier and more effective application of paint.

Burwell Technologies’ tested the equipment on replica ship modules built by Adelaide-based company MG Engineering. The tests will be used to inform planning on the Hunter program as well as suitability for other programs.

Burwell Technologies Chief Executive Officer, Damian Williams said:

“We’re extremely pleased with the results and outcomes of the second round of trials of our robotic blast technology with BAE Systems for the Hunter Class Frigate Program.

“Having proved our robots’ capabilities for this application gives us great optimism of seeing our technology used to reduce human exposure to abrasive blasting and increase productivity.”

BAE Systems Australia – Maritime Business Development and Continuous Naval Shipbuilding Director, Sharon Wilson said:

“Through its investigation and trialling manufacturing methods of the future like these, BAE Systems Australia is introducing new technologies to the Defence sector and developing a sovereign shipbuilding capability.

“We are always looking for ways to improve safety and implement new ways of working at the Osborne Naval Shipyard.

“Working with companies like Burwell Technologies to test technology like this means will help us remain at the forefront of modern shipbuilding techniques.

“The Osborne Naval Shipyard is a proving ground for Australian innovation before it is used on BAE Systems programs, either here in Australia or overseas.”


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