Norway: GL Announces Condition Monitoring Key to Hull Lifecycle Management at NorShipping


Condition monitoring for hull and machinery can generate great advantages for shipping lines. Switching to need based maintenance schedules can reduce downtime and increase vessel profitability by preventing unnecessary maintenance, offering early warning of equipment failure and avoiding misguided maintenance. Germanischer Lloyd presents the latest version of its Hull Manager software at the NorShipping trade fair this week.

A well-chosen and effectively implemented hull maintenance strategy not

only reduces the risk of incidents but insures hull integrity and safeguards the environment. Ship owners, managers and operators need to monitor their vessels’ structural condition continuously, in order to detect deficiencies in the hull structure as early as possible and initiate the necessary maintenance.

Typically, monitoring is done by appointed crew members through periodic visual inspections. The location and extent of coating breakdown, defects or corrosion are documented, using only text descriptions and photos. Because of the size and complexity of the tanks and cargo holds, however, expressing the location of breakdowns reliably and with sufficient accuracy can be challenging.

Planning, preparing, executing, reporting on, and assessing hull structure inspections are a crucial process that requires utmost diligence. The latest hull integrity software systems use 3-D models of the vessel to visualise the shortcomings within the structure. The ability to present findings visually is particularly helpful when shipping companies need to prove to charterers that their ships are maintained to high standards.

3-D imaging with integrated reporting results in greater levels of accuracy in examining the integrity of a vessel’s structure. GL HullManager uses a 3-D computer model of the particular vessel to support the complete hull condition inspection and assessment process. This model can be used throughout the entire hull integrity process, from inspections, to reporting and assessment of the conditions of tanks, cargo holds, and coatings, as well as visualisation and assessment of the hull’s structural condition. A dashboard overview of the entire ship helps crew or third party inspectors to pinpoint any critical findings.

Systematic and comprehensive data collection is supported and information on the condition of hull structures can be made available to

any company employee once the inspection results have been approved and synchronised. Once stored in a lifecycle database the hull condition

data for each individual vessel can then be traced over time. Sister vessels from the same fleet can also easily be compared.


Source: GL Group, May 26, 2011.