RIMS is the first company who meets the requirements of regulations posted by IACS for remote inspection techniques (aka drones).
The IACS approval ensures a certain quality standard to service suppliers who want to use drone technology during close surveys, and, RIMS is offering the market a full-service package of drone inspections. ClassNK previously released its Guidelines for Use of Drones in Class Surveys.
RIMS BV chief executive David Knukkel said “We are pleased that clear regulations have been defined towards the quality of inspections. It acknowledges the scenario of many hobby pilots applying for certification, who may have failed, due to lack of knowledge of the assets and experience to reach the required output. This diluted the market for professionals and did not install much confidence with end-users and classification societies to adopt the technology on a more widespread scale.”
He added “Given our extensive maritime experience, we are investigating how we can set standards towards inspection quality in the oil and gas industry also, as this is a sector we are currently active in, and who are yet to fully embrace the use of drones for inspection purposes.”
“This current process of working leads to surveyors still working in unsafe conditions to carry out procedures, as well unnecessary costs to the shipowner. We think this situation is not sustainable, and eventually the regulators will force the market to use the latest technology to ensure safe working practices for their employees.”
Speaking to Tanker Shipping & Trade specifically about tank inspections, he said “Yes, we do those kinds of inspections too, as long as the tanks are certified gas free.”
Although being recognised by the classification societies globally, drone inspections can be a complex business. Local permits to fly drones can vary from country to country, with restrictions on outdoor flights in some areas, but this is something RIMS is able to address due to its experience and knowledge in the industry.
Tank vetting and inspection is the subject of session four on the first day of the Asian Tanker Conference in Singapore on the 26th of February. Would you use a drone to inspect a tank? If not, why not?