Bureau Veritas (BV), Nokia and Sembcorp Marine, have successfully completed remote surveys that pave the way for establishing a new class procedure for the remote inspection of vessels under construction.
The new solutions enable remote surveys to be performed at multiple locations, with feedback transmitted to a single monitoring station. This optimizes the waiting time between surveys and increases operational efficiencies by providing connectivity between all stakeholders involved, while minimizing inspectors’ and workers’ exposure to onsite safety risks, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a pilot trial last month, BV, Nokia and Sembcorp Marine test-bedded remote surveys on a new-=build vessel under construction at Sembcorp Marine’s Tuas Boulevard Shipyard. Various checks were carried out to assess the integrity of the hull components, which were in various stages of construction. The checks included material verification, panel fit-up, as well as visual inspections of the sub-assembly block.
Using Nokia’s cloud-based collaboration platform and FastMile 4G Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), the remote monitoring center at Tuas Boulevard Shipyard communicated effectively with Sembcorp Marine’s quality control (QC) inspectors located at the vessel’s fabrication and assembly sites. The QC inspectors were equipped with rugged head-mounted cameras with high-definition video streaming and voice communication functionalities that enabled the BV surveyor at the remote monitoring center to verify production quality and spot defects.
“The pandemic situation has led to an acceleration of remote survey techniques,” said David Barrow, Bureau Veritas Vice-President – Marine & Offshore, South Asia and Pacific. “As we now move forward in our ever complex digital world, and manage new norms of working post COVID-19, we feel that true success is often about working collaboratively with stakeholders.”
He noted that Bureau Veritas, Sembcorp Marine, and Nokia had clearly shown in the trial that technology provides both efficiency and quality gains. And, he added, “one major benefit of digitalization and remote survey that must be emphasized is that of increased safety. This benefit must be recognized. This technology reduces the risk for all involved.”
“We are delighted to be part of a collaboration with Bureau Veritas and Sembcorp Marine that promotes digital automation in the marine industry,” said Stuart M Hendry, Head of Nokia Enterprise, Asia Pacific. “With our Fastmile 4G CPE solution and cloud-based digital collaboration platform for remote tools, both BV and Sembcorp Marine teams working in the shipyard can communicate and work seamlessly together. Taking a lead in the digital transformation of Industries is Nokia’s focus. We are proud that both BV and Sembcorp Marine share this drive in bringing the use of technology to achieve their productivity and operation goals.”
As part of its innovation and sustainability strategy, Sembcorp Marine has embraced Industry 4.0 technologies including digital design, advanced manufacturing and the Industrial Internet-of-Things (IIOT) to boost its production capabilities and capacity.
Sembcorp Marine Head of Research & Development Simon Kuik said: “The collaboration with BV and Nokia is in keeping with our ambition to achieve project execution leadership through continuous improvement in our production and process innovation. This will enable Sembcorp Marine to deliver safer, faster, and more efficient project turnaround.”
With the successful pilot trial, BV, Nokia and Sembcorp Marine have reinforced the feasibility of complementing remote surveying with specific traditional surveys without compromising personnel safety and survey quality. They believe this type of remote service delivery will likely become the new normal in vessel surveys.