Case Studies | Remote Survey
Lloyd’s Register (LR) is a global professional services company, specialising in providing classification and compliance services to the marine and offshore industries. Harvest Technology Group engaged LR to conduct the annual survey of its DP2 offshore support vessel “VOS Shine”.
An annual survey of a vessel is a general inspection of the hull, equipment, machinery and systems including electrical and instrumentation to confirm that the vessel complies with the relevant requirements and has been satisfactorily maintained, to minimise risk and ensure safe operation.
LR is a world-leading class society with a global network of specialists and surveyors who provide trusted advice to ensure ships are built to the highest standards, operate effectively and safely, comply with strict maritime and environmental regulations, and prolong their working lives.
Due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and scheduled offshore projects subsequently delayed, the VOS Shine was on standby. Unable to secure sufficient berth space in WA, the vessel transited to South Australia.
Typically, an annual survey is carried out by classification society appointed surveyor(s) who physically attend a vessel for 2-3 days, depending on the size of the vessel. When due for its annual survey in April 2020, the VOS Shine was located in Adelaide, South Australia. Given the impact of travel restrictions, the LR senior surveyor assigned to the vessel was not able to travel to Adelaide from Perth.
Without a completed survey by the due date, the vessel would be deemed unseaworthy and thus unfit for any future project work.
With government-imposed travel restrictions preventing the assigned senior surveyor from attending the vessel, Harvest proposed an innovative solution that would enable LR to conduct a remote survey trial using livestreaming technology.
As this was the first instance where video and audio livestreaming technology would be used for a remote survey by LR, an Adelaide based surveyor was present on the vessel to conduct the majority of the survey, ensuring quality and preventing any delays. This was followed by a number of scenarios that formed the basis of the remote trial that was recorded in a formal report.
Onboard the VOS Shine was Harvest’s vessel manager and the local LR surveyor. In Harvest’s Perth office, the vessel-assigned senior surveyor was joined by the LR operations manager and another LR senior surveyor.
On the VOS Shine, the vessel manager conducted the physical component of the inspection with a Wearwolf™ wearable headset. Instructions and comments were provided by the LR senior surveyor in Perth via the Nodestream™ Mini decoder. The vessel manager and LR surveyor were able to communicate live and respond to video cues to confirm equipment condition and demonstrate functionality.
Wearwolf™ is an encoding software application that delivers reliable video and audio communications over satellite at ultra-low bandwidth. The Nodestream™ Mini decoder received the video and audio and allows for audio to be transmitted back to the Wearwolf™ headset. The headset is voice activated and settings are adjustable on the fly.
The solution enabled the vessel manager to conduct the survey remotely, accompanied by the local LR surveyor to validate the physical inspection, streaming video of the vessel including the steering compartment, the engine room, the deck and various levels of accommodation.
The aim of the trial was to conduct a class survey from a remote location, witnessing sufficient information to support the survey without the need for all surveyors to be physically present on the vessel.
Harvest’s solution enabled LR to remotely conduct a portion of the VOS Shine annual survey.
Necessitated by COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the trial enabled business continuity for both Harvest and LR. LR was able to continue to perform surveys when relevant personnel were not available onboard. Similarly, for the VOS Shine, a timely survey ensured compliance standards were met before the vessel was reinstated for its next project.
Performing a remote survey meant reduced travel costs for personnel, the ability to utilise expertise remotely and utilising the vessel manager to carry out the physical survey whilst livestreaming it in real-time to LR stakeholders in multiple locations. It also created a new audit trail through recording of the video, and collaboration between multiple surveyors in real-time as well as the vessel manager through quality two-way audio feedback.