Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore (BV), a world leader in testing, inspection and certification (TIC) services has opened its first remote survey center, located in the major maritime hub and port city of Rotterdam. The center is part of BV’s North European Zone head office and BV’s Zone Marine Operations Center.
Laurent Leblanc, Senior Vice- President, Technical & Operations, said: “This is a new and important milestone in the Bureau Veritas global strategy of Digital Classification using digital technologies to transform the operating model of classification for the benefits of its clients.”
Herman Spilker, Vice President of the North Europe Zone for BV, commented: “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, Bureau Veritas 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.”
Good technology is vital for confidence in remote surveys. Bureau Veritas has conducted a full program of tests and proof of concepts confirming that the relevant technologies are now mature enough to enable remote surveys. Technologies used include: optimized 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.
During the development process different operating modes were tested successfully in different modes of connectedness: offline, partly on-line, and fully online. These different modes reflect the need for different levels of connectedness. In the latter mode – the fastest and most comprehensive remote survey mode – the onboard client uses connected devices to show the ship’s condition in real time to a remote surveyor and this means a survey in real time can be closed at the end of a call.
Significant benefits to clients include: speed of response and no travel or waiting time; optimisation in the decision making process thanks to live-streaming solutions; continuous improvement in the quality of service; and cost control through overall reductions in travel time and arrangements.
The combination of remote surveyors, the marine operational center surveyors and management support as well as close proximity to plan approval surveyors will allow the Remote Survey Center, equipped with latest technology hardware and software tools, to deliver a high value service to clients.
Laurent Leblanc said: “This remote capability is really just starting to make an impact on our clients. It is a vital development for the future of classification.”