BV opens first remote survey centre in Rotterdam

Drone carrying out ultrasonic thickness measurements inside the hold of a bulk carrier. Credit: Bureau Veritas

Classification society Bureau Veritas (BV) now offers remote surveyor services at its remote survey centre that opened in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on 10 March 2020.

“The remote service delivery is led by a team of experienced surveyors and follows eight years of development experience. 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,” said Herman Spiker, vice president of technical operations.

Given the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), such remote services are ever-more relevant. Ships will continue to need surveying and inspecting, and BV said its remote solution can provide this while minimising the risk of infection and spread of contamination. BV stated that travel to a vessel will no longer be a requirement, nor will waiting time, thus saving time and cost to ship managers. The survey centre is also located close to plan approval surveyors to sign off works, further reducing waiting times.

BV conducted extensive tests and proof of concepts, operating in different modes of connectivity, for example, offline, partly online, and fully online. The onboard client uses connected devices to show the ship’s condition in real time to a surveyor for the survey to be carried out. The decision process is thus streamlined, due to this live-stream solution.

BV maintains that the relevant technologies are now mature enough to enable remote surveys. Such technologies 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.