The ability to deliver Bureau Veritas classification services without a surveyor being physically present on the ship is now a reality. The organisation’s first remote survey centre is part of the marine operations team in Rotterdam.
‘The remote service delivery is led by a team of experienced surveyors and follows eight years of development experience,’ says Herman Spilker, Vice President of the North Europe Zone for Bureau Veritas (BV). ‘In 2012 we started developing the procedures allowing administrative verifications to be conducted remotely, BV is now able to offer a comprehensive range of survey items which can be performed remotely. The applicable survey items include classification surveys and specific statutory items which can be agreed by flag administrations.’
Technology is mature enough
Good technology is vital for confidence in remote surveys. Bureau Veritas has conducted a full program of tests and proof of concepts confirming that the relevant technologies are now mature enough to enable remote surveys. Technologies used include: optimised live-streaming solutions; connected devices (smart phones, tablets, Go-Pro cameras, smart glasses, augmented reality); and connectivity on board – with improvements from 4G networks and 5G yet to be realised.
During the development process different operating modes were tested in different modes of connectedness: offline, partly online, and fully online. In the latter mode – the fastest and most comprehensive – the onboard client uses connected devices to show the ship’s condition in real time to a remote surveyor and this means a survey in real time can be closed at the end of a call.
Benefits of remote surveys include: speed of response and no travel or waiting time; optimisation in the decision making process thanks to live-streaming solutions; continuous improvement in the quality of service; and cost control through overall reductions in travel time and arrangements.
‘This remote capability is really just starting to make an impact on our clients. It is a vital development for the future of classification,’ says Laurent Leblanc, Senior Vice- President, Technical & Operations.
Picture: The remote survey centre is located in BV’s Regional Head office in Central Rotterdam.