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Bureau Veritas deploys AI for corrosion detection

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Dry Bulk,

Bureau Veritas (BV), a leader in testing, inspection, and certification (TIC), has successfully proven the value of deploying its artificial intelligence (AI) solution for corrosion detection during a hull inspection of a water ballast tank on a bulk carrier by an aerial drone. The test was conducted in partnership with the RIT operator, MaDfly Marine Drone Services Ltd, in Dunkirk, France.

BV successfully tested the use of the AI solution in real survey conditions. During the hull inspection, BV confirmed the value of the solution to support the decision of the surveyor during his general visual inspection and close-up survey of the hull in a number of important ways:

  • Real-time information: capacity of the application to provide results on the video in real-time.
  • Offline: capacity of the application to run offline without any connection to internet.
  • Real survey conditions: capacity of the application to be deployed on the field with the computing capacity of a normal computer.

Corrosion represents one of the largest through-life cost components of ships. Ship owners and operators recognise that combating corrosion significantly impacts vessel reliability, availability, and through-life costs. Through periodic surveys, classification surveyors assess the severity of the corrosion on hull structure and monitor its evolution during the entire lifecycle of the asset to decide when some steel needs to be replaced in order to maintain the structural integrity of the hull.

This proof of concept is a first step for BV to enable the ship owners and ship managers to anticipate the necessary repairs. Moving forward, BV will further improve the solution and include new functions, leveraging its surveyors' experience and data collected from digital technologies such as remote inspection techniques.

With a more holistic perspective, this development is a continuation of BV’s Digital Classification programme that aims to transform its classification operating model through 3D-classification, remote and augmented surveys, and predicted and optimised survey schemes.

Laurent Leblanc, Senior Vice President Technical & Operations for Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore, said: “Digitalisation is changing our daily lives and the use of AI in the shipping industry can make a real difference, helping the industry to be more effective with improved inspection standards and maintenance techniques. The ambition for Bureau Veritas is to develop an end-to-end solution that will support ship owners and ship managers in anticipating repairs and better maintaining the hull condition of the ship. It will also support BV’s team of surveyors by building their collective experience and knowledge around corrosion detection underpinned by AI solutions.”

New technologies, and AI in particular, are disrupting traditional working practices. They bring new opportunities for the shipping industry as they further empower informed decision-making, optimise processes, and assist in vessel maintenance. BV invests in the development of innovative AI solutions, based on deep learning, for corrosion detection, and severity assessment.

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