Marine & Offshore
BUREAU VERITAS PROVES VALUE OF INSPECTION TECHNOLOGIES ON OCEANBULK SHIP
Jun. 15 2021
An Oceanbulk vessel was the Bureau Veritas testbed for different types of remote inspection technologies and techniques (RIT) as BV, Oceanbulk and Glafcos take the lead in using robotic solutions for ship inspections
Bureau Veritas (BV), a world leader in testing, inspection, and certification (TIC) has directed and supervised the testing, establishing ‘proof of concept’ and operational purpose, for remote inspection technologies and techniques, including an aerial drone, a miniature remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and magnetic crawlers, on an Oceanbulk double-skin supramax bulk carrier, built in 2008 and classed by BV.
The remote tools were supplied and operated by Glafcos Marine, a Greek technical services specialist, which has been developing and refining the marine application of these technologies for many years.
Vice-President for the Hellenic and Black Sea Zone
Bureau Veritas M&O
The results were impressive. The quality, resolution and detail of the imagery are excellent. We also now have a better understanding for the potential to combine, for example, drones and crawlers. We can make an initial overall survey with a drone – even in harder to reach areas, such as cross deck penetrations, as we did in this case. In addition, if closer examination is deemed necessary a crawler can be used for more detailed imagery.
These technologies and techniques are important. They help with accuracy, speed and record-keeping in all conditions. Our surveyors and clients will increasingly be able to focus on analysing the information and data acquired – with greater safety, at greater overall speed and at less expense, rather than the challenges of acquiring what we need to know.
Commenting further, Laurent Leblanc – Senior Vice-President, Technical and Operations, Bureau Veritas, said: “This is another milestone for ‘digital classification’. Using digital technologies to transform the classification for client benefit, Bureau Veritas is now able to deliver operational surveys world-wide using drones to provide new levels of detail and safety.”
Glafcos Marine has participated in European Union funded projects for more than a decade trying, in collaboration with various agents in the fields of robotics and shipping (including BV), to fill the technology and regulatory gaps that still represent a barrier to a more extensive adoption of Robotics and Autonomous Systems in activities related to ship inspections. A current EU funded project called BUGWRIGHT2, under which this endeavour was exercised, aims to bring RIT technologies closer to the market.
Glafcos’ CEO, Mr Leonidas Drikos added: “BV’s initiative to organise and support the inspection on board Oceanbulk’s ship is a big step, actually the biggest so far, towards shifting ship inspections from purely human to combined human-robot execution.”
Leonidas Drikos added that BVs and Oceanbulk’s initiative is perfectly matching his vision to take humans out of hazardous spaces and hazardous jobs related to ship inspections.
Next steps envisaged are the establishment of specific regulations to be employed on board as well the related certification and training of the robotic operators.