• Hero_SKASouthAfrica​

    SKA South Africa, National
    Research Foundation

    MeerKAT Asset Information Management

    Carnarvon, Northern Cape, South Africa

Project Summary

Project

The ZAR 2 billion South African MeerKAT radio telescope project in Carnarvon, South Africa, is a precursor to the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) telescope, set to be the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the southern hemisphere. The structure’s array will consist of 64 unshaped offset Gregorian dishes, each with a projected dish diameter of 13.5 meters. 16 antennas were operational at the time of this award submission and all 64 are to be operational by end of 2017. This project involves many engineering disciplines, making it difficult to document, manage, and share all the asset information (including as-designed baselines) required to operate and maintain new assets.

Solution

SKA South Africa deployed AssetWise across all sites to capture and manage asset information required for construction, operations, and maintenance. The system ensures information mobility among its multi-discipline team, which includes civil infrastructure (including 160 kilometers of buried cables), structural design for the massive dishes, purpose-built housing (for all the electronic equipment), software development, and all network and communications. All employees of SKA are given access to asset and project information in context via AssetWise, and external users use a Web interface to securely view only the information that pertains to them.

Outcome

Using Bentley’s AssetWise software, everyone involved in the project has secure, controlled access to relevant, complete, and in-context information, enabling the right decisions to be made at the right time—without long consultations and delays. Moreover, the project team can model reliability at every step, ensuring affordable maintenance of the final asset over its 30-50 year life span with maximized uptime.

Software

Bentley’s AssetWise software reduced the time and cost associated with the project by ensuring availability of complete, accurate data, maintained baselines, and up-to-date configurations of serialized items. As the asset is handed over to operations and maintenance, AssetWise integration with other logistics and maintenance management systems will provide staff with a single view of the digital asset and control over the design and asset infrastructure, which will reduce maintenance time and maximize asset uptime.

Outcome/Facts
  • AssetWise centralized the asset information from all disciplines and made it easy for project participants to access what they need, when they need it.
  • Having access to complete, in-context asset information improved maintenance effectiveness and efficiency, and will maximize uptime and return on the new asset.
  • The project team can model asset reliability of the design and make changes as needed, ensuring that the final asset can be affordably maintained.
Quote:
  • “By ensuring that complete and accurate data was available at all times, that baselines were maintained, that engineering change procedures were completed efficiently and in a timely manner, and that configurations of serialized items where constantly maintained, we were able to reduce rework to a minimum, achieve our aggressive timescales, and exceed the user requirement.”

    Willem Esterhuyse MeerKAT Project Manager SKA South Africa