Stein Maritime Consulting achieves milestone with Blueye ROV inspection and LR certification

Monday, November 6, 2023 / The Blueye office

In June 2023, one of the Blueye partners, Stein Maritime Consulting, was awarded Lloyd’s Register certification for a fully accepted intermediate classification in-water survey without any diver using Blueye Pro ROV. This is a historic moment for commercial passenger vessel inspection and maritime digitalization. But why is Lloyd's Register certification so crucial? This article delves into this achievement and the path that led to it.

What is Lloyds Register certification?

Lloyd's Register (LR) certification is prestigious for any maritime operation, signifying adherence to rigorous safety and quality standards. This certification is awarded by Lloyd's Register, a renowned classification society. It demonstrates that the operation or vessel complies with industry regulations and practices, ensuring the safety and seaworthiness of ships and maritime facilities.

Stein Maritime Consulting ROV certification journey

Photo by Michael Stein.
From left to right: Michael Stein, Manuel Marting (Scandlines) Laurent Decu (Lloyds Register) during the first unmanned classification Photo: Michael Stein

In June 2023, Stein Maritime Consulting achieved a significant milestone when they conducted a successful classification survey in Puttgarden, Germany, using a Blueye Pro underwater drone.

The Blueye Pro all set to do the inspection. Photo: Michael Stein

Stein Maritime Consulting used the Blueye Pro underwater drone to inspect the vessel's outer hull and associated components to verify the seaworthiness of a pod propellor ferry operating between Germany and Denmark. As a result of the successful survey, LR has awarded an In-Water Survey (IWS) Statement for Passenger Ship Safety Certificate renewal, becoming one of the few classification societies to accept ROV inspections for periodical IWS and UWE (Under Water Engineering) surveys of commercial passenger vessels with non-conventional propeller systems.

This is a landmark moment for classification and maritime digitalisation and one that LR is immensely proud to be a part of.
- Wojtek Nazar, LR’s Senior Surveyor for Northeast Germany

Remote surveys enable ship owners and operators to certify their vessels, saving costs and time swiftly. He also added that LR envisions a future where these efficient ROV surveys are commonly employed alongside the traditional but time-consuming hull inspections conducted by divers for many years!

The acceptance of ROV class services for pod vessels opens a whole new market for robotic inspection in the cruise-, ferry- and service-ship market and reflects a huge step towards maritime digitalization.
- Michael Stein, CEO, Maritime Consulting and co-founder of Vesselity Maritime Analytics

Implementing ROV inspections presented a cost-effective and efficient alternative to traditional diver-assisted surveys. Using the ROV IWS took a little less than 4 hours. It saved 50% of the costs compared to conventional divers.

In September 2023, Michael Stein founded Vesselity Maritime Analytics to make the maritime industry more eco-friendly using smart data management. Blueye Pro ROV will be employed to collect data at various locations. This data is then processed through an online platform, where specialized AI, skilled in underwater image recognition, works its magic, ensuring a more sustainable maritime future.

The High Capacity battery
Image from the AI model by Vesselity Maritime
High Capacity battery swap
Image from the AI model by Vesselity Maritime.2

Benefits of using ROV for vessel inspection

Blueye X3 ROV with extra lights and camera inspecting ship. Photo: Blueye Robotics

Adopting ROV technology to inspect the quality of vessels can be beneficial as it helps identify potential disturbances before they negatively affect the energy efficiency of the vessels. It also makes ship hull inspections easier, safer, faster, and more cost-effective, allowing asset owners and managers to conduct more frequent inspections. These activities lead to lower operating costs, lowered emissions, and increased operational capacity.

It's too early to say that the norm for class inspections is changing. However, we recognize that it's possible to challenge the traditional methods by introducing new technology.

Your professional ROV equipment

Blueye delivers professional ROV equipment with live-streaming capability. This means the inspection can be live-streamed to external stakeholders and key decision-makers in real time as the inspection takes place. And documentation of findings through the Blueye reporting tool. The software allows the inspectors to generate and distribute inspection reports within minutes after the inspection is completed.

Inspection report using divedata from the Blueye App.

As we continue to develop tools that benefit inspectors, we look forward to the future of class inspections and ROVs' role in this field.