Towards a digitalized classification sector


By Ralph Becker

Manager Business Development Maritime - Middle East

We are seeing a paradigm shift due to digitalization. The way we deliver value is changing, brought on by a revolution in information technology. We are starting to rely on new networks and new ways of working. As an example, digitalization is changing the way surveys are conducted on board the vessels in our class. Surveyors have been carrying out a number of surveys using camera-equipped drones to check the condition of remote structural components on board ships and offshore units. DNV GL is currently building a network of trained drone pilots based in Dubai, Piraeus, Singapore, Houston and Shanghai. This will allow us to offer drone survey inspections from any of these hubs. At the same time, we are working on developing guidelines and potentially updating our rule set to reflect the use of remote inspection techniques.

To provide worldwide access to class documentation, DNV GL customers will soon be able to use electronic certificates, starting in September 2017. Accessible through our customer portal My DNV GL, electronic certificates will eliminate paper handling, reduce the administrative burden on all stakeholders, and a validation solution will ensure that electronic certificates are just as safe as paper. In addition, electronic certificates are easy and convenient to share.

Towards the end of the year, DNV GL will also start using intelligent software agents to help customers find the best time and place to book a survey. The introduction of the “Simple Survey Booking” tool will simplify survey booking, fitting inspections into the customers’ schedule while saving time and costs. Its features include notifications about the best time to order surveys and audits and notified shortly before the due date of the next survey. It also proposes the scope of the survey and states how long a survey of this scope would take. A list of approved service suppliers in each port will help operators to find out whether an in-water survey can be performed in a specific port.

One of the most important projects for us now and in the next several years is our new industry data platform Veracity. It will bring industries together in digital eco-systems, enhancing the exchange of data, creating new insights and building new services. For DNV GL’s Maritime business unit, veracity is a tool that will play a key role in class services, especially in terms of quality assurance. Veracity will help us to deliver modern class services, first focusing on the operational phase of a ship. The key aspects of the platform are data quality assessment as well as access and security control, and it may give us the possibility of playing an extended third party role in the quality assurance of digital value chains.