Remote Inspection Techniques (RIT) in Maritime Industry

Remote Inspection Techniques (RIT) in Maritime Industry

2023-12-09     17:44

A Close-Up Survey is a survey where the details of structural components are within the close visual inspection range of the surveyor i.e. normally within reach of hand.

On the contrary, Remote Inspection Techniques (RIT) offer a survey method that allows the examination of various structure parts without requiring direct physical access by the surveyor. These techniques may involve utilizing:

  1. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)
  2. Divers
  3. Drones
  4. Unmanned robot arm
  5. Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV)
  6. Climbers
  7. Other methods deemed acceptable by the Classification Society

With the development of remote inspection techniques (RITs), such as remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and real-time sensors which are carried by drones, the maritime industry is increasingly applying remote inspection techniques (RITs). There is no doubt that the new techniques offer a greater level of efficiency, a greater level of flexibility, and an increased level of reliability in the day-to-day activities associated with survey and inspection without impairing the findings of such surveys.

In order to permit the use of such techniques and to realize the benefits that they can potentially offer (safer surveys, decreased fault rate and reduction of cost of maintenance), IACS has updated its relevant unified requirements accordingly, i.e. IACS Unified Requirements (URs) Z3 (Rev.7), Z7 (Rev.26), Z7.1 (Rev.14), Z7.2 (Rev.7), Z10.3 (Rev.18) and Z15 (Rev.2).

Remote Inspection Techniques (RIT) should be employed with the presence of a surveyor in person. It is crucial to recognize that the utilization of RIT differs from the notion of "remote surveys," which may not necessitate the physical presence of a surveyor.

The use of RIT is to be limited/restricted in cases where conditions of class for repairs are imposed and where there is a record or indication of abnormal deterioration or damage. When a suspected area is found during inspections, the survey will be carried out without the use of RIT by the attended surveyor. It is as an alternative to close-up surveys, but rather to support surveyors in their survey activities without impairing the result of the surveys.

To permit the use of RIT in conducting surveys of existing bulk carriers and oil tankers, MSC is considering to add this topic to the 2011 ESP Code. 

  1. to include a definition of RIT in each part of the annexes of the Code, supplementing it with the reference to IACS Recommendation 42 on "Guidelines for the use of remote inspection techniques for surveys";
  2. to allow the use of RIT for close-up surveys; and
  3. to include specific requirements for RIT.
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