RIMS, which supplies drone inspections in the maritime industry, has launched Global Drone Inspection to focus on the drone and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) element of the business. The new subsidiary also introduces the use of ROVs for the inspection of in-water ship assets.

GDI will exist alongside RIMS (Robotics in Maintenance Strategies), but with a different service portfolio offering. GDI will provide all the services around inspections of assets by drones and ROVs, including 3D modelling, while RIMS will continue to support clients with the development and integration of new technologies within their maintenance strategies.

With GDI, we aim to provide a centre of expertise in remote inspection technology which can be easily found by clients who need a specialist in this domain,’ says David Knukkel, CEO, GDI & RIMS. ‘In last five years RIMS has brought the drone service to a professional level, and were the first maritime class approved service provider, supporting surveyors with the inspection of ship structures, mobile offshore units and confined spaces using Remote Inspection Technology, and it is our intention to replicate this level of success for GDI.’

GDI will be looking to strengthen its portfolio in line with future trends through partnership creation with recognised partners and service suppliers, offering a total solution for inspections, NDT-measurements (non-destructive testing), presentation of information and repairs.

Also read: Classification societies see value of drone inspections

ROV inspections

At the same time, GDI has introduced the use of ROVs for the inspection of in-water ship assets, including stern tube seals, bow thrusters, hull land markings, as well as in use tanks, which are often unable to be emptied for inspections.

The condition of the coatings, anti-fouling, deformations, damages, leaking seals, rudders and propellors require regular inspections, so there is a real need for fast, real-time, safe, and cost-effective inspections of floating assets and the inside of tanks. GDI will operate the ROVs safely following the same procedures used currently for RIMS unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) inspections.

High definition and live footage

Using leading technology from Blueye Robotics, their small ROV provides high definition video recordings and images. This high-tech equipment is also able to stream live video, enabling real time decision making with regards to repairs and future maintenance.

‘In water inspections present significant challenges and safety concerns, with incidents and accidents occurring during diving, in what have appeared to be straight forward inspections,’ states Knukkel. ‘These challenges are similar to that of confined spaces, so this was the natural next step for us to add this service for our customers through our new venture, GDI. Our policy is to only use divers when there is no other alternative and leave the humans safely onboard or ashore, while the ROV is in the water taking the risks.’

Also read: RIMS Teams up with Dutch Drone Company

Picture by Blueye Robotics.