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RIMS receives certifications for use of drones

Published by , Senior Editor
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

RIMS BV has received a further two certifications from DNV GL and the Indian Class Register for the use of Remote Inspection Techniques (drones) during surveys of enclosed spaces.

New regulations issued by IACS ensure a certain quality standard to service suppliers who want to use drone technology during close surveys, and RIMS is the first company to meet these requirements.

David Knukkel, CEO of RIMS BV, said: “We are pleased that clear regulations have been defined towards the quality of inspections. It acknowledges the scenario of many hobby pilots applying for certification, who may have failed, due to lack of knowledge of the assets and experience to reach the required output. This diluted the market for professionals and did not install much confidence with end-users and Classification Societies to adopt the technology on a more widespread scale.”

“Given our extensive maritime experience, we are investigating how we can set standards towards inspection quality in the oil and gas industry also, as this is a sector, we are currently active in, and who are yet to fully embrace the use of drones for inspection purposes ” added Knukkel.

Now with certification from nine Classification Societies, RIMS has been able to demonstrate that drone technology with skilled pilots reduce the safety risks and offer a cost-efficient solution for inspections of assets.

Although being recognised by the classification societies globally, drone inspections can be a complex business. Local permits to fly drones can vary from country to country, with restrictions on outdoor flights in some areas. Knukkel said: “For each location we have to investigate the local regulations. Regulations and costs involved can vary and it is so important to spend time to ensure safe and efficient operations. Thanks to our excellent network we have the knowhow on what is required and how and when to obtain the local permits.”

Ship owners, managers and operators currently choose how a surveyor gains access to the areas. The options for access will be dependent on the type of survey, as in some cases thickness measurements are required.

“It is the task of the Classification Societies and Service Suppliers, like RIMS, to explain when thickness measurements are really required and at which locations. We have seen so many clients spending unnecessarily on a variety of methods, when only one would be enough in their circumstance.

“This current process of working leads to surveyors still working in unsafe conditions to carry out procedures, as well unnecessary costs to the ship owner. We think this situation is not sustainable, and eventually the Regulators will force the market to use the latest technology to ensure safe working practices for their employees” Knukkel concluded.

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