The Korean Register (KR) said it has completed its first hull inspection survey using both aerial and crawler drones for the intermediate survey of bulk carrier Pan Global.

The survey, which was completed Tuesday with the assistance of POSSM Co, Korea’s largest ship management company, and HST Technology, who provided the remote inspection technology.

KR’s surveyors have been using remote inspection technology such as drones for surveys since 2017. The equipment allows the surveyor to inspect the vessel without requiring direct access. Since the launch of the service, KR has increased the range of inspection tools used, offering customers a more efficient and safer inspection service, which complements the traditional ship survey system and meets industry requirements.

Ship surveys usually involve a close-up survey and a thickness measurement of the hull structures. But to complete the process, surveyors must climb scaffolding (poles and boards made into a temporary framework, used when working on the high parts of a ship) which can be higher than a five-story apartment building.

It has been possible to use drones to inspect the highest places, but a scaffold has still been required in order to complete the thickness measurement assessment, making the service inconvenient for shipowners. But now using a crawler drone, capable of climbing up and down walls, it’s possible to measure the thickness of the hull at any point no matter how high, without scaffolding, making drone surveys far more practical and profitable.

Yoon Boo-geun, EVP, KR Survey Division, said, “Remote inspection technology using such devices as drones and crawlers offer ship surveyors an exceptional decision-making tool, ensuring that the survey quality is equal to or higher than, that of a direct inspection. KR continues to apply new technologies to its services to increase the efficiency and simplicity of the survey work process and to improve the safety of the working environment for shipping company representatives and our surveyors.”

Park Hyeon-chan, head of the maritime technology department, POSSM, said, “We look forward to benefiting further from KR’s digital tools and processes which I believe will improve our price competitiveness and operational efficiency.”

(Photo: KR)

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