Today is a very exciting time to be involved in the naval shipbuilding industry with major shipbuilding programs kicking off in Canada, Australia and the UK. These programs not only have goals to provide the ships for our Navies, they are also key Government strategies to build modern innovative shipbuilding infrastructures. They will be creating long term job opportunities and supporting a sustainable cost-competitive industrial base for continuous shipbuilding and subsequent in-service support. BRONSWERK Group is thrilled to contribute to these great opportunities.
As a global leading provider, BRONSWERK brings complete Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Solutions (HVAC-R) for the military, merchant marine and offshore industries. They have the ability, with their know-how and expertise, to manage the entire process from conception to commissioning and through life support. They also generate, create and support jobs as well as procure, design and manufacture equipment for small and medium sized businesses as they integrate local products into their locally manufactured and supported solutions.
Change and innovation are not limited to shipbuilding programs; shipyards are also faced with major transformation and upgrades, including substantial investments done by Canada’s programs to support modern Canadian fleet. Behind the excitement, a new world rises in Halifax and Vancouver around shipyards where mega-blocks are being erected, joined and assembled and ships becoming visible, all amazingly made from flat steel stock, entering the build halls.
Behind the scenes, ship equipment is also requiring transformation and upgrades to meet the needs of major Canadian programs. Equipment needs to be innovated as it serves as a platform that enables Canadian crews to travel anywhere around the world. It fills almost every nook and cranny of the ship to allow them to be as versatile as possible for a long lifetime which is typically over 40 years.
When asked, how BRONSWERK would contribute to the continuous improvement on systems and equipment as a Canadian supplier, BRONSWERK’S CEO, Francis Fontaine explained: “As a key supplier, we believe in continuous improvement and part of our strategy is to revisit our manufacturing processes and partnerships, in order to be able to provide equipment and systems made in Canada that meet the needs of the Canadian Navy and Coast Guard.”
In order to meet this objective, the company is employing a three-pronged approach:
- Developing equipment in-house by investing in engineering, manufacturing and testing engineers
- Partnering with other Canadian companies to jointly develop equipment for these programs
- Expanding their portfolio of partner companies which complements their business and supports their growth
DEVELOPING IN-HOUSE SOLUTIONS
Direct investment has been made by BRONSWERK to develop and acquire inhouse expertise. They hired and developed managers and engineers to design equipment that has flexibility for physical interfaces and capacity of a truly versatile portfolio of equipment. This ensures minimizing the number of variations of equipment that the new ships need whilst maximising versatility and ensuring high Canadian content. This flexibility and capacity benefit the shipyard as supplying a higher volume of versatile equipment also means achieving economies of scale in manufacture, training and spare parts. In order to support these requirements, BRONSWERK is investing in in-house equipment development such as air handling units, fan coil units, modular chillers and refrigeration units.
In parallel, they enhanced their CAD modelling and design software and revised and optimized their processes to offer a greater efficiency in designing equipment in Canada. Through process standardization and software optimization, BRONSWERK also increased its capability to export this model around the world.
JOINTED DEVELOPMENT WITH CANADIAN COMPANIES
BRONSWERK also enhances its equipment development by partnering with another Canadian company. They collaborate in the development of magnetic chillers to meet the market requirement such as extreme efficiency and its very low levels of acoustic and vibration emission signatures into the water. This equipment, amongst others, serves the research vessels well such as the OOSV (Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel) Non-Combatant Vessel which will be using acoustic signals to map the ocean floor and conduct fish population research. By teaming with a Canadian company, which specializes in magnetic chillers, BRONSWERK ensures they are providing state of the art equipment to Canada and share the economic benefits of the ship building program.
One of the key challenges in supporting these new programs, after a time of relatively passive naval shipbuilding, is the availability of specialized resources such as design engineers, specialized manufacturers and qualified solutions for systems that require full shock and vibration tested equipment. In order to provide their clients the best HVAC, refrigeration and CBRN solutions and to address this skills gaps, BRONSWERK is pleased to announce the acquisition of SNORI.
This new acquisition made up of diverse and complementary skills and experiences enables BRONSWERK continuous support of these long-term build programs.
When asked how this acquisition would benefit BRONSWERK, Mr. Fontaine said: “This acquisition is an important milestone for our company. We live in exciting times by combining BRONSWERK and SNORI’s collective know-how to support our desire to gain additional international expertise in these rapidly growing naval industries.”
SNORI is located in Normandy, France and they provide refrigeration OEM solutions for the French Navy and French Army on platforms such as; Charles de Gaulle Aircraft Carrier, Lafayette Frigates, Barracuda & Scorpion Submarines and FREMM Frigate. In addition to the French market, they also support additional international Navy markets.
Once again, BRONSWERK continues its rapid growth expanding local content and employment for projects in Canada, Australia, EU and the USA. The access to a full range of supplied HVAC-R equipment, highly knowledgeable and trained staff and European Union based manufacturing allow them to mobilize collective intelligence.
The security of work provided by the Canadian National Shipbuilding Strategy combined with the requirement for local content from all major programs lead the company to continue its Canadian and international business seamless system integration approach.