Impact of PLCs on Saturation Diving Systems

Monday, May 17, 2010

A new generation of diving support vessels (DSVs) is providing challenges for inspectors. The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) recognises that certain new-build DSVs, some of which are on, or shortly due to come onto, the market, have diving systems using programmable logic control (PLC) technology to control applications of their saturation diving systems.

“The introduction of these new control systems could have a significant impact on the application of ‘Diving Equipment Systems Inspection Guidance Note (DESIGN) for Saturation (Bell) Diving Systems’ (IMCA D 024),” explained Jane Bugler, IMCA’s Technical Director.

“We have engaged consultants to help take this issue forward and to help produce IMCA guidance for use by both contractor and client members. This may result in an additional section to IMCA D 024 or the issue of specific guidance for the inspection of such systems.”

In 2009 IMCA issued a warning of its concerns over PLCs in marine operations when publishing a safety flash following a tragic accident suffered by a member company which resulted in four fatalities and four injuries.

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