In 2006, KPMG Crimsonwing was commissioned to develop a new application called Hull Integrity which assists owners and operators to manage of the structural integrity of vessels in their fleet. Fleet operators conduct hull inspections as part of their own routine maintenance regimes however the intention was to simplify the process, thereby increasing efficiency.
KPMG Crimsonwing’s client is a global independent risk management and safety assurance organisation. Their expertise and activities cover shipping, railways, other land-based industries and oil and gas. A major part of the risk management and safety assurance organisation is the marine business, which involves the classification and registration of ships. This includes the setting of standards of quality and reliability during their design, construction and operation.
Background and Requirements
The risk management and safety assurance organisation wanted to create a business solution that would provide operators with standard guidance combined with past records that could be accessed on ship and on shore. What was required was an effective solution which enabled owners and operators to move away from manual hull inspections to more systematic and auditable ones.
The new system was designed to help clients assess and reduce risk throughout the lifespan of a ship. They are aligned with the key stages of strategic planning, through design and build, to in-service operation. This new solution has enabled ship owners to view the current status of any ship in their fleet via the Internet and also allows for stand-alone operation to be deployed on ship where there is no Internet connectivity other than for transmission of data once in port. This approach provides for a single application code base that can be deployed in either ship or shore mode.
The advantages of the award-winning Hull Integrity are apparent for operators of tankers and LNG vessels, due to the particular regulatory and commercial third-party requirements that they face. In practice, however, the service is applicable to all ship types, existing or newly built. The service is not a class requirement, so it can also be used by owners and operators of non-company classed ships. Hull Integrity has enabled the risk management and safety assurance organisation to compete against similar products from competitors thereby maintaining and enhancing their core classification business. It has also enabled them to utilise its existing engineering expertise to offer a service linked to traditional survey but which offers business benefits in addition to regulatory compliance. In May 2007 Hull Integrity won the prestigious UK Seatrade Award in the category of Innovation in Ship Operations. Entries were judged on originality and imagination combined with the perceived practicality of the idea. Hull Integrity was judged to have the potential to significantly improve the efficiency of ship operations and cargo handling. Marine Director from the organisation mentions some of the Hull Integrity business benefits “By encouraging more effective inspection and recording procedures, Hull Integrity can lead to a reduced risk of structural failure and this, in turn, can help to improve safety and structural confidence. It can also help to increase fleet availability by reducing downtime, both planned and unplanned.”