Drones, remote inspection technologies and insights on cybersecurity were some of the main topics discussed at the DNV GL Innovation Day in Singapore. Some 120 representatives from shipowners, managers, manufacturing companies, yards and other stakeholders participated in the event held this week. Aimed at providing insights into the latest value creating digital solutions, the Innovation Day included ten presentations and drew upon DNV GL’s expertise in the maritime, software, energy and oil & gas sectors.
“At DNV GL, we are constantly looking to collaborate with our customers to accelerate the delivery of innovations that address major challenges of the maritime industry. The Innovation Day is an ideal platform to present our successful ideas and introduce our partners to new technologies which can help them optimise their operations,” said Steen Brodsgaard Lund, Regional Manager for South East Asia, India and Oceania, DNV GL – Maritime, in his opening of the event.
The Innovation Day kicked off with a presentation from Dr Pierre Sames, DNV GL Group Technology & Research Director, on DNV GL’s Technology Outlook 2025. This report, which is published every five years, offers insights into the technology landscape for the next decade and showcases the technologies and solutions, which could shape different industry sectors. For example, DNV GL expects an accelerated uptake of cyberphysical systems. These systems comprise of physical components that can be monitored, controlled and optimized by smart sensors, advanced software and actuators. “Modern ships are becoming highly automated and are increasingly dependent on software-based control systems. Advances are likely to be applied to machinery systems first and then move gradually to vessel navigation systems, which will increasingly rely on advanced software and sensors to alert the navigator of possible hazards and propose appropriate courses of action to maintain safety,” said Dr Sames.
The event also covered the following topics:
Drone Inspection Surveys
After successfully conducting ten drone surveys, Catrine Vestereng, Business Director Tankers at DNV GL, shared the classification society’s experiences with using drones to inspect ship tanks and cargo holds. The presentation also included a live demonstration of a drone in operation. “The success of these production surveys shows how our investment in developing modern class solutions to the benefit of our customers is paying off. This has given us the experience to develop our own tailor-made drones,” she said. Using camera equipped drones to check the condition of remote structural components can accelerate the survey process, eliminate the risk of damage to the coating, and significantly reduce the costs of as well as the time spent on erecting scaffolding and improve safety. The next steps for DNV GL include developing guidelines and training for drone surveys, as well as potentially updating the rules to reflect the use of remote inspection techniques.
Catrine Vestereng also presented DNV GL’s digital twin solution, which could help owners and operators significantly reduce their operational costs. A digital twin is a digital copy of a vessel, which synthesizes the information available in the digital world, virtualizing all of its systems..“The concept enhances information management and collaboration, where the experts can work together, preventing costly mistakes,” she explained. Sensor data, remote monitoring and analytics made possible by the digital twin enable more profitable, safe and sustainable operations. “Therefore, the consequences of any new solution, for instance a software update, can be tested well before physically introducing it on board,” Catrine Vestereng added.
Recommended Practice on Cybersecurity
With new communications technologies deployed in the shipping world, cyber security is a concern and needs to become an integral part of overall safety management in shipping, said Patrick Rossi, Senior Cyber Security Product Manager at DNV GL. He presented the company’s new Recommended Practice (RP) on Cyber Security to the participants in Singapore. Developed in cooperation with customers, the RP provides guidance on risk assessment, general improvements to cyber security, and the verification of security improvements and management systems. It covers some of the most common threats to maritime assets, such as vulnerabilities in the electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS), the manipulation of AIS tracking data, as well as jamming and spoofing of GPS and other satellite-based tracking systems. Importantly, the RP provides practical guidelines for vessel owners to assess current readiness, propose and implement solutions and train staff and crew to attain the appropriate knowledge to reduce cyber security risks.
Hull Integrity Management
Kevin Brunn, Head of Clients and Markets, Maritime Software at DNV GL, explained how the smart hull integrity management software ShipManager Hull, which uses a 3D-model of a vessel, could help customers manage hull inspection information over the lifecycle of their vessels and use this information more effectively to derive benefits. The benefits include increasing the operating lifetime of a vessel, decreasing the total cost of ownership and achieving better transparency of hull condition and any anomalies as well as ensuring more accurate drydock planning.
The Innovation Day finished off with a presentation on VERIF-EYE, one of DNV GL’s latest innovation projects. This technology is currently being tested in several projects with customers. VERIF-EYE involves the use of cameras and distributed control systems (DCS) interfaces for surveyor-less surveys, remote inspections and real-time 24/7 support for customers. “This technology could be used for annual DP trials/sea trials, typical verification/inspection services and activity monitoring, leading to significant cost reductions, less service interruptions, safer inspections, quicker reporting and greater transparency during the inspection,” explained Charles Fernandez, Senior Engineer for Electrical & Instrumentation, Automation and Control Systems at DNV GL.