Hull Inspection Hempel.jpg Photo: Hempel

Hempel launches underwater hull inspections using ROVs

Coatings manufacturer Hempel has launched an underwater Hull Inspection service using Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs).

initially available at key ports in China and Korea, the new service will be rolled out across key maritime hubs worldwide in the near future, says the company. 

Under the new inspection service an ROV controlled by a specialised coatings advisor will navigate around the vessel’s hull using remote-controlled thrusters, capturing high-resolution video footage and still imagery of the hull for real-time assessment.

Hempel experts will then combine results with information on the vessel’s trading activity to compile the final report which includes recommendations to optimise hull performance.

Klaus Moeller, Hempel group vp and head of services, calls remote inspections using purpose-built ROVs “a significant step-change in the ability to create advanced hull maintenance plans.” They not only provide “tangible, accurate and consistent evidence” upon which clients can base their operational decisions, he says, but also “proof of hull condition for relevant industry authorities.”

Use of ROVs also simplifies the hull inspection and typically only takes two hours or less, according to Hempel, meaning the process can be carried out during cargo loading or discharge. Since no physical divers are involved there is also no need to shut down vessel systems, leading to further savings in time and cost as well as reduced safety risks. 

“All prudent owners and operators are moving toward evidence-based performance monitoring across all their systems and asset,” comments Christian Ottosen, group vp and head of Marine Business, using all the tool at their disposal to understand factors that impact vessel performance. 

Hull fouling can lead to a 20% reduction in speed over a five-year period, according to Hempel. The company therefore advises clients to make use of its new remote hull inspection service in conjunction with data collection readings from SHAPE, its existing System for Hull and Propeller Efficiency, to produce optimised maintenance plans and best operational results.

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