VIDEO: K Line launches new drone inspection project

Written by Nick Blenkey
aerial drone in ship'scargo ho;

Drone inspection of cargo hold

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (K Line) has partnered with non-destructive testing specialist Technos Mihara Corporation to launch a ship hull inspection and maintenance project using aerial and underwater drones and an image analysis system.

K Line has been maintaining the quality of its fleet through its KL-Quality ship management policy, a high-level and systematic ship inspection program using a dedicated team consisting of professional superintendents.

However, says K Line, it has long had difficulties in inspection of hard to access areas, such as the top side of cargo holds and the ship’s underwater hull.

Underwater drone prior to deployment

Multiple on-site trials with aerial and underwater drones with Technos Mihara, which has sophisticated technology for drone operation and image analysis, have yielded notable improvement in the accuracy of inspections.

“In addition,” says K Line, “we have also enjoyed an improvement in efficiency and safety of the inspections by automation using the drones.”

K Line and Technos Mihara have now agreed to develop a new system for ship hull inspection and maintenance that integrates Technos Mihara’s drone inspection and digital image analysis technology with the long-time expertise and know-how of K Line’s ship management.

A new department, known as “AI/Digitalization Promotion Division,” was set up in January, to introduce new technology and K Line is now looking to cooperate and make alliances with various businesses partners across different fields.

Closeup video captured by aerial drone.

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