Maritime defense has always been a place for innovation. It’s not a sector that is afraid of change – although at times it is slower to embrace it.
But Covid-19 has created a catalyst for change that has impacted not just traditional time scales but traditional ways of operating, forcing the move to greater digital adoption in asset monitoring and maintenance.
ABS - one of the World’s leading providers of classification and technical advisory services to the marine and offshore industries – is helping the United States Navy Military Sealift Command (MSC) to reap the benefits of a transition to Condition-Based Class for five vessels in the fleet.
Patrick Ryan, ABS Senior Vice President, Global Engineering and Technology and Joshua Divin, ABS Director Government Programs, examine how Covid-19 has driven that change and what the benefits have been.
Q) Has COVID-19 Impacted the Way that Defense has had to look at Asset Monitoring and Maintenance?
Absolutely. What we are now seeing is greater numbers of early adopters happy to explore new technology solutions.
The attitude to change has evolved! We are seeing an attitude shift – a much greater openness towards the benefits of being able to fail forward.
As a result, digital developments are now being integrated into the industry quicker and the practical benefits getting absorbed on a wider scale.
Q) Can you Provide Examples of some of the ways COVID-19 has altered traditional approaches and some of the digital-led developments that have emerged?
Traditionally in class operations, we send surveyors to vessels in different locations globally. COVID-19 has clearly created barriers to international travel. We also have to factor in the safety and wellbeing of personnel across all aspects of our operations. This has dictated change. At the same time, the pandemic means access to vessels can be challenging and dependent on revised policies for exposure management.
Human interaction will always be critical but we have had to adapt to these restrictions. So, we have moved to using rich data sources on vessels in the absence of physical attendance, which in the right settings can sometimes provide greater insight than a pair of eyes.
The reality is that many vessels are already data rich. What we are doing is leveraging that to create data driven insights.
Some examples are the use of laser scanning and 360-degree imagery. These technologies have enabled us to fill the void where attendance-led surveys have simply not been possible.