ClassNK Archive Center (NKAC) has stored the first Ship Construction Files (SCF) complying with IMO Global Based Standards (GBS) for the NACKS-built 311,000 DWT VLCC delivered on 26 October 2018, managed by MOL Tankship Management (Asia) Pte. Ltd.
To encourage design transparency and help ensure safety throughout the life of vessels, SOLAS regulation II-1/3-10 entered into force in 2012, requiring SCF complying with IMO GBS to be provided by shipyards on a new ship’s delivery and kept on board and/or ashore.
The SCF provides the vessel design and construction information needed to ensure the safety of the ship throughout its operational life. The regulations are applicable to bulk carriers and oil tankers of 150m or more in length for which building contracts have been placed on or after 1 July 2016. In the absence of a building contract, the regulations apply to keels laid on or after 1 July 2017, or delivery made on or after 1 July 2020.
According to the SCF guidelines, this information must be stored on board. Other information, including the high-level intellectual property (IP) drawings belonging to the shipyards such as the yard plan, lines and detailed structural calculations, is kept confidential and does not need to be carried on board.
To supplement the regulation, the Industry Standard was also developed by cross-industry groups including the Shipbuilders’ Association of Japan (SAJ) and other organizations such as CANSI, CESA, KOSHIPA, SCA, ICS, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO, BIMCO, OCIMF and IACS.
NKAC, launched in 2016, is a world-first onshore digital archive centre that fully complies with IMO-GBS requirements and the Industry Standard. To ensure confidentiality of intellectual property (IP), shipbuilders can set the desired IP security levels for each drawing. High IP-level drawings such as the lines plan are only stored ashore in NKAC and, as a rule, the shipowner is required to ask NKAC for permission to access these files. NKAC then notifies the IP-holder (shipbuilder and/or equipment manufacturer) of the request for their permission.
The shipowner can also access the onboard SCF via the internet 24/7, 365 days a year. Electronic access to all SCF documents stored onboard is logged by the operating system and recorded at the end of each session for secure storage, with the access log being encrypted and accessible only by the shipowner.
NKAC simplifies the storage of important files by offering a paperless, user-friendly way to manage drawings, thus enabling effective communication between shipbuilders, shipowners and ship management companies by bringing them all under one umbrella and providing a central resource through which files can be exchanged.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Toshiro Arima, ClassNK Corporate Officer, Director of Rule Development and ICT Division said, “ClassNK is pleased to store the first GBS-SCF data in its NKAC storage two years after launching the service. I would like to extend my appreciation to NACKS not only for their decision to outsource their important data storage to NKAC, making it the world’s first GBS-SCF stored in an onshore data centre, but also for their cooperation in providing an online system trial and demonstration. I wish to further draw the industry’s attention to this IMO requirement as ClassNK is ready to provide secured, convenient, and viable solutions for improving safety”.