Remote inspections provided substantial contribution to the maritime industry resilience to the Covid-19 pandemic: as a matter of fact, up to the end of September 2020 RINA successfully completed more than 1,500 remote inspections, showing an exponential trend increase, not only due to travel restrictions, but also thanks to authorizations given from some Flag Administrations, first and foremost the Liberian Registry (LISCR), that acted as an accelerator.
RINA performed the world’s first statutory and associated class intermediate surveys using remote technologies on the bulk carrier Cielo di Gaspesie, owned by the d’Amico Group. The inspection, which was simultaneously witnessed by LISCR inspectors and Shipowner’s superintendents, covered all items required by the applicable regulations, including inspection of deck, cargo holds, ballast and other enclosed spaces, engine room, functional tests of ship’s machineries and systems, verification of emergency and alarm systems.
Following the completion of the survey, the ship was assigned the new class notation “REMOTE” by RINA. This new notation is built on a comprehensive regulatory framework that covers the ship’s arrangements and equipment, crew training, and is aimed at identifying ships deemed eligible to be surveyed remotely for the largest scope of class surveys. Same notation was recently granted to an OSV, the ship VOS Hestia (owned by the Vroon Group), for the very first time.
One of the key factors to the success of RINA’s remote inspections lies in the use of a dedicated technology: an advanced, narrow-band software application that allows RINA surveyors to operate in an environment that equals the quality of a survey with the surveyor on board. This technology is clearly not limited to ship’s surveys as extremely effective for testing and certifying products as well.
Thanks to the strategic partnership with the highly competent company VRMedia, RINA is bringing the development of remote inspection techniques to a higher level with the introduction of the KIBER Helmet: a fully integrated wearable hardware and software system.
The KIBER Helmet is equipped with a large FOV wireless camera, noise-cancellation headset, a high-quality audio microphone and a HD binocular visor featured by a Video-See-Through Augmented Reality technology. This smart device provides a high-resolution image capture, real-time mark-up of images or videos and easy document sharing between the field operator and the remote one. The KIBER Helmet is completed with a wireless handheld narrow FOV camera, equipped with thermographic capabilities and a borescope.
G. Vezzuto, EVP Marine at RINA, said: “The interest for remote inspections will continue to raise, as they help to guarantee the continuity of ship operations with no-delay, real time, cooperative attendance on board. Remote inspections grant unprecedented flexibility, high quality standards, cost saving and environmentally friendly solutions. RINA has worked to a comprehensive regulatory framework for remote inspections, as a solid and reliable scheme is fundamental for giving confidence to all shipping stakeholders in these techniques. The enthusiastic response we are having from our clients and the approvals we got from primary Flag Administrations just demonstrate we are on the right path."
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