A project part funded by the EU has developed software said to accurately predict the condition of a vessel's structure, coating and components. This enables ship owners and operators to schedule maintenance more efficiently and thus reduce maintenance costs while improving safety at sea.
The principal economic objectives of FLAGSHIP-HCA are to extend the life of the existing fleet of tankers and bulk carriers by up to five years, with a 10 - 20 percent reduction in ships' service repair costs throughout their life-cycle. A primary concern is corrosion of the ship's structure and this is the primary focus of FLAGSHIP-HCA.
Ben Hodgson, Project Manager at BMT Group and FLAGSHIP-HCA sub project leader commented: "Management of corrosion is being addressed through separate tools that meet the specific needs of the shipowner and the classification society."
The enhanced data exchange that these two tools will promote between class and ship owner will, he says, "quite possibly lead to the development of enhanced class rules which will ultimately lead to better maintained, more available and safer ships."
FLAGSHIP-HCA includes three primary tools that enable the shipowner and class to exchange hull data in real time, based on crew inspections and maintenance work as well as periodic measurement campaigns.
- The Survey Advisor Tool (SAT) which advises surveyors where individual ships are most vulnerable and where they should concentrate their investigations.
- The Hull Health Program Advisor (HHA) optimizes the survey and maintenance program taking in to consideration the vessel's work schedule and the predicted structural integrity of the vessel.
- The Corrosion Parameter Prediction Tool takes the results of a survey or set of surveys and updates a database of corrosion parameters associated with every aspect of a ship's hull - based on observed rules and results.
Mr. Herman de Meester, Coordinator of Flagship, commented: "FLAGSHIP has pursued the twin objectives of reducing still further both risk and the environmental impact of the world's commercial fleet whilst generating the opportunity for real commercial benefits. FLAGSHIP-HCA is a tangible example of the maritime industry collaborating to improve performance and efficiency in everyone's best interest."
The FLAGSHIP - HCA project was led by the BMT Group in the U.K. and was supported, delivered and trialed in conjunction with MARINTEK of Norway; Bureau Veritas and Sirehna of France, Germanischer Lloyd of Germany and PORTLINE - Transportes Maritimos Internacionais, of Portugal
FLAGSHIP is a consortium of more than 40 European maritime organizations taking part in a part EU-funded project focused on improving the safety, environmental friendliness and competitiveness of European maritime transportation.