Spanish ship design and engineering consultant SENER is participating in the management of the OpenHCM (Hull Condition Monitoring) Consortium, an initiative to increase ship safety through the transparent electronic processing of condition assessment data for the in-service operation of ships and offshore platforms.
The consortium has been formed to carry on the work started under the EC’s CAS project, which focused on improving the efficiency of the thickness measurement process on board ships in service, making it fully electronic. CAS created a neutral exchange standard to support both this process and the exchange of thickness measurement data. The consortium will retain the latest version of the exchange standard, called OpenHCM, manage its evolution, ensure its promotion, and update it where appropriate.
It is recognised that, now that the first version of the standard as developed by the CAS project has been in use for two years, new versions are required to consolidate its evolution. The standard addresses issues relating to plates, stiffeners, compartments, thickness measurements, cracks and coating conditions. It is mainly intended for shipyards, owners, classification societies and thickness measurement companies. The exchanged files are written in XML and can be visualised as 3D models. The partners have already developed commercial tools to handle the 3D models and the related data, including automated measurement data input from robotic systems.
In addition to SENER, the consortium initial members consist of IACS classification societies Bureau Veritas, Germanischer Lloyd and the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping, Dutch testing and inspection specialist Materiaal Metingen Europe and French robotics solutions provider Cybernétix. The consortium members believe that it is in the interests of the maritime industry for OpenHCM to be widely used, in order to provide reliable and efficient, seamless communication across all in-service operational processes. Following further practical implementations, they intend to apply to have the standard made official by IACS and other regulatory bodies.