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ARM MERCHANT SHIPS?
Should merchant ships transiting high risk areas carry small arms for defense against pirates?

Selected crew should be trained and have guns available
Professional armed security teams should be hired
No guns on merchant ships, ever

October 5, 2009

ABS and LR to use common software for Common Rules

ABS and Lloyd's Register have agreed to use common software for the assessment of scantlings of bulk carriers and oil tankers designed to comply with the new IACS Common Structural Rules. The new common software draws on the existing applications of both classification societies.The Lloyd's Register approach is used for the initial scantling evaluation (CSR Stage 1) and the ABS approach for the finite element assessment (CSR Stage 2).

The announcement comes after two years of detailed work by dedicated teams from both societies to identify and implement the best amalgam of the strengths of both societies' existing CSR software.

"Although shipyards, designers and shipowners have welcomed the adoption of the IACS Common Structural Rules, they have made repeated requests for a similar approach to be taken with the software needed for the application of the Rules," said ABS Chairman and CEO Robert D. Somerville. "This joint initiative by two of the leading classification societies directly addresses that need."

Richard Sadler, Chief Executive of Lloyd's Register emphasized that the goal of the Common Rules can only be met if, ultimately, the societies use a common approach to the software used for the evaluation of the designs.

"We have moved from ten sets of Rules for tankers and another ten sets for bulk carriers to a single standard for each ship type," Sadler said. "Yet the classification societies have developed multiple software programs for each of the new Rules. It is inevitable that such an approach will return different results and our experience to date has shown this to be the case. That dilutes the intent of the Rules and introduces an unnecessary element of confusion for the designers and shipyards."

Testing of the new joint software is being finalized and design review engineers from both societies are scheduled to begin intensive training on its application in early October. Once this process has been concluded, each of the societies will withdraw their existing CSR software and all new designs presented to either society will be evaluated using the new common software.

The two societies have also announced that, once the exhaustive testing of the new software has been completed, it will be made available to other IACS members. "At that time we will welcome any approach by our colleagues from the other societies to join this endeavor to introduce a standardized approach to the application of the Common Rules for these two ship types," Somerville stressed.

The IACS Common Structural Rules for Tankers and Bulk Carriers were unanimously adopted by the ten member societies in December 2005. They became effective for vessels contracted on or after 1 April 2006. They apply to all double hull tankers of 150 m in length and above and to single and double side skin bulk carriers of 90 m in length and upward, other than ore carriers.


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