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7. Oct 2020 | Coatings Technologies

Underwater hull inspections powered by Remote Operated Vehicles

Coatings manufacturer Hempel has launched an underwater Hull Inspection service using Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs), to provide complete hull coating inspections while a vessel is at port or anchorage.
According to Hempel, using ROVs for hull inspections simplifies the process. 
Image source: hectorgalarza - Pixabay (symbol image).

Under Hempel’s Hull Inspection Service, inspections are conducted by an expert Coatings Advisor operating an ROV which is navigated around the vessel’s hull using remote-controlled thrusters. The ROV captures high-resolution video footage and still images of the hull for assessment in real-time.

According to Hempel, using ROVs for hull inspections simplifies the process and allows for more frequent and less costly hull inspections. As no divers are required, inspections can be conducted without the need to shut down vessel systems. This makes it possible to complete hull inspections in two hours or less even alongside cargo loading or discharge.

Key ports across the Asia Pacific region

The service is being rolled out at key ports across the Asia Pacific region and will be extended to key maritime hubs worldwide in the near future.

Klaus Moeller, Group VP, Head of Services, comments:   "The ability to utilise remote hull inspections through the deployment of highly sophisticated and purpose-built ROV’s is a significant step-change in the ability to create advanced hull maintenance plans. The inspection is conducted by highly trained ROV experts who combine their unique expertise with information on the vessel’s trading activity to compile the final report which includes recommendations to optimise hull performance. This provides operators with tangible, accurate and consistent evidence upon which to base their operational decisions, while also providing proof of hull condition for relevant industry authorities.”

Christian Ottosen, Group VP, Head of Marine Business, adds:  "All prudent owners and operators are moving toward evidence-based performance monitoring across all their systems and assets and are utilising a growing range of tools and applications that enable them to understand all of the influencing factors which have the potential to impact vessel performance. Hull fouling is a significant contributor to speed loss and at its worst, has the potential to increase engine power requirements by close to 20 per cent over five years. Being able to routinely and consistently monitor hull condition between routine dry-dockings with ROVs enables shipowners and operators to implement an appropriate maintenance schedule which optimises vessel performance.”

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