Are Remote Surveys the Answer?

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technologies for the shipping industry.

25 March 2022

Coastal Infrastructure Commercial Maritime Energy and Resources Marine Insurance and Underwriting Shipyards and Boat Builders

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technologies for the shipping industry. The use of innovative tools and technologies can overcome border restrictions, for instance, with remote surveys and inspections, surveyors do not have to be physically present on site or on board a vessel, but instead, surveyors can now provide support, anytime, anywhere, with the use of online connection, video streaming and other digital tools. But is remote survey the answer for every situation? Let’s hear it from our expert surveyor, Hittesh Gupta.

What are the pros and cons of remote survey, and do you think they will play a bigger role in the overall marine survey business in the next few years?

Remote survey can be a cost-effective way to gather initial information from the scene of an incident.  It helps to establish the baseline conditions especially those that are visible. However, ground truthing requires SMEs to visit the site to better understand the interaction between machine and the human element. Such intangible interactions and causative factors cannot be easily established by remote survey.

Apart from drones, what other technological innovation has been introduced in the marine survey business and what other innovations do you want to see developed in the next few years?

High-definition and camera-equipped drones are becoming more commonly use for external vessel inspections. This is highly efficient as vessel downtime for inspection is greatly reduced. However, drones cannot fully replace the experience and expertise of a subject matter expert. Depending on the situation, a consultant like BMT can tap into its global network of surveyors and a wide range of innovative tools for asset review, monitoring and training purposes, providing consistent quality to its clients 24/7, 365 days a year. For instance, the use of navigational simulator to train, plan and prepare users on how to manoeuvres at sea or other restricted waters; or a cloud-based solution to track your vessels real-time and gives you the power to make informed decisions.

How has data analytics, machine learning and AI changed the role of marine surveyors and has it led to an increase in operational productivity?

Like Internet of Things (IoT) for smart cities, technology can be deployed to collect, store, manage, integrate, process, analyse and present vast data in a short span of time to help you monitor and manage your assets.  BMT has its own data analytics and machine learning tool called BMT DEEP. By harnessing the benefits of Digital Twin Technology, BMT DEEP captures data from tens of thousands of data points anywhere in the world transmitting these at speeds of up to 10 thousand Hertz/second, enabling you to visualise and track your most valuable physical assets in near real-time manner, getting up-to-the-minute status reports to help you make informed decisions. While BMT Deep has proven its mettle for offshore Oil & Gas installations, the application is being now extended to serve ports and marine surveys.

Which region do you see the biggest potential growth for the marine survey business and what are some of the factors contributing to their robust/potential growth?

In an independent ranking of the performance of 43 cities offering port and shipping business services done by Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development (ISCD) Index, Singapore emerges as the top maritime centre, for the eighth consecutive year. In the release issued by the Baltic Exchange, it elaborated that Singapore is the top location in the 2021 ranking due to the size of its port, number of internationally focused shipbrokers, financiers, lawyers and insurers based here and its supportive government policies.

We see Singapore as a regional hub to support its global clients by extending its expertise and experiences in marine surveys and other marine consultancy services (such as vessel design, maritime engineering, risk & safety and investment support) to the rest of Asia.

How does marine survey contribute to the marine industry’s drive to attain sustainability?

The adoption of digital solutions in mainstream shipping and surveying acts as proof towards companies seeking management and business efficiencies and aiming for economic sustainability or proving that they are at least trying to be future proof. As a science, technology, and engineering company, BMT uses its wealth of knowledge and expertise to help our customers in their response to global challenges across renewable energy, climate resilience, resource use, biodiversity, and emissions reduction. We are also supporting organisations transform their approach to sustainability, so they can be more responsible, competitive, and better positioned for the future.

 

BMT INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS

REMBRANDT: high integrity ship simulations 

REMBRANDT is the benchmark simulator for fluid dynamics accuracy and provides a realistic experience of larger vessels to support safe operating procedures.  From design and evaluation studies to marine incident investigation and bespoke training for maritime professionals, we continue to lead the market.

BMT DEEP

At the cross-section of cloud computing, big data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is BMT DEEP - the cloud-based platform that stores, manages, integrates, post-processes and displays vast data sets fast using AI.

By harnessing the benefits of Digital Twin Technology, BMT DEEP captures data from tens of thousands of data points anywhere in the world transmitting these at speeds of up to 10 thousand Hertz/second, enabling you to visualise and track your most valuable physical assets in near real-time, getting up-to-the-minute status reports to help you make informed decisions.

BMT Mate

MATE™ is the only cloud-based tool that translates the results of physical inspections into scoreboards and graphs, highlighting risk areas.

  • We capture and track any aspect of a vessel's condition and visualise its development over time.

  • MATE™ is a fully managed service - we coordinate all the work.

  • We collect and enter the data during actual physical inspections. Our highly qualified and experienced Global Surveyor Network executes vessel inspections according to globally standardised guidelines.

  • The data collected feeds into reports and digestible score boards, which can be benchmarked against fleet performance figures.

  • All reports can be customised, based on vessel type(s) or specific client needs.

 

Credit to RX Global, March 2022

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