The rise of ROV service providers in class surveys

Friday, March 10, 2023 / The Blueye office

In recent years, Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) have grown significantly, and their capabilities, applications, and demand have expanded, making them widely utilized in various underwater environments. With the ongoing digitization of operations, ROVs have emerged as a practical and cost-effective solution to a variety of traditional challenges across a wide range of industries, including aquaculture, oil and gas, shipping, research, and security.

In this article, we dive deep into a Blueye customer, the Faculty of Maritime Studies in Rijeka who received Bureau Veritas approval to carry out in-water surveys using ROVs.

Class inspection using ROVs

The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) oversees over 90% of the world's cargo-carrying ships. These ships need regular surveys to meet the required standards and stay in the class. The surveys are done in the water by certified people to check the ships and ensure they are safe and following the rules.

The Blueye drone inspecting a propeller on a vessel.
The Blueye drone inspecting a vessel. Photo: Blueye Robotics

Many believe the ROV used for surveys needs certification, but this is false. It is the person doing the survey who needs to be certified. However, the person who controls the ROV (the pilot) must have enough training and know how to use it.

Faculty of Maritime Studies in Rijeka approved for in-water surveys

The latest approval for in-water surveys among our customers are the Faculty of Maritime Studies in Rijeka who has achieved a significant milestone by gaining approval from Bureau Veritas to carry out in-water surveys using ROVs for non-propelled and offshore units. The journey to attain this accreditation began in March 2022 by preparing essential documentation and developing procedures that met the BV's requirements. In October, the team successfully conducted an underwater inspection demonstration at the Dalmont shipyard, which a BV inspector and representatives observed.

University of Rijeka with Blueye ROV
The Faculty of Maritime Studies in Rijeka with Blueye ROV. Photo: University of Rijeka

Their hard work and dedication paid off, and on January 12th, 2023, the Faculty of Maritime Studies in Rijeka was authorized for In-Water Surveys (IWS). This achievement is a remarkable feat and underscores the faculty's commitment to excellence and quality service.

The Blueye ROV is used in all our main areas of activity: scientific research, education and training, and collaboration with our business partners. We are very proud to be one of the leading institutions in Croatia in promoting and applying this new technology in the field of the maritime industry.
- Lovro Maglić, Associate Professor, Faculty of Maritime Studies in Rijeka

University of Rijeka with Blueye ROV during inspection
University of Rijeka with Blueye ROV during inspection. Photo: University of Rijeka

First ROV only class inspection using Blueye ROVs scheduled for April

In 2021, Stein Maritime Consulting became the first ROV company in Germany to receive certification from Lloyds Register and Bureau Veritas (BV). This means these two class societies authorize Stein Maritime Consulting to conduct surveys using Blueye ROVs.

Recent developments are that, leveraging their expertise and certification, Stein Maritime Consulting will be conducting first ROV only class inspection in April using Blueye ROVs.

Inspection by Stein Maritime Consulting
Stein Maritime Consulting in the field. Photo: Stein Maritime Consulting

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.

In conclusion, while it may be too soon to claim a significant shift in the norms of class inspections, it is evident that new technology can challenge traditional methods. With the approval of organizations such as the Faculty of Maritime Studies in Rijeka, it is clear that the Blueye ROVs have the potential to enhance class inspections. As we continue to develop tools that benefit inspectors, we look forward to the future of class inspections and ROVs' role in this field.

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