Classification societies must invest in digitalisation to survive in a fast-moving maritime and offshore sector that is embracing digital innovation. Class needs to develop digital applications to improve ship inspections, 3D ship modelling, drone technology for remote surveying and cyber-proof IT systems.
This was a key conclusion made by Bureau Veritas’ newly appointed executive vice president for maritime and offshore Matthieu de Tugny during a presentation in London on 22 January.
He highlighted how shipping needs digitalised classification services to optimise operations and improved 3D modelling of newbuildings to reduce discrepancies between ship design and construction.
“If we don’t invest in digitalisation we will not survive as this is part of the industry’s transformation,” said Mr de Tugny.
He outlined how Bureau Veritas had developed an end-to-end digital platform for shipowners, surveyors, shipmanagers and vessel operators to use for multiple class applications and services.
For example, shipowners can use a mobile device application to request class surveys and use smart checklists to prepare vessels for port state control inspections. Owners can use Veristar to managing fleet readiness and compliance. Surveyors can use another Bureau Veritas' digital application for producing class reports and issuing e-certificates.
Mr de Tugny explained how Bureau Veritas had developed cyber-related vessel notations and guidance and invested in advanced 3D modelling and computational fluid dynamics software to test ship and offshore vessel designs against expected wind forces.
These 3D models can include class comments and be used by shipyards to improve vessel construction. “Clients can benefit from these models for better visualisation of ships as there can be discrepancies between 2D design drawings and shipbuilding,” said Mr Tugny.
Bureau Veritas is also developing methods of using drones with cameras and sensors to inspect ships. They are already widely used for inspecting offshore installations, such as flare stacks and platform topsides, Mr Tugny told Maritime Digitalisation & Communications.
He explained how digitalisation and cyber security developments in maritime and offshore had led to Bureau Veritas recruiting teams of IT and cyber security experts. The class society has introduced notations for ships it considers cyber secure and safe. These are required for cyber performance, which includes having remote access and control for condition-based maintenance, measuring fuel consumption and optimising routes and uptime of vessels.
Future developments will include adopting blockchain programs and further levels of vessel autonomous operations, said Mr Tugny.
Digitalisation and cyber security will be discussed in depth at Riviera Maritime Media's European Maritime Cyber Risk Management Summit, scheduled to be held this year on 25 June in London. Book your place now.