DNV Doubles Down on Infection Protection
As the global cruise industry returns to service, DNV delivers a project for a UVD Robot from Green Instruments and prepares for further demand increase of its Product Assurance service tailored to infection prevention and control for the maritime industry as the benefit of the service is realized.
COVID-19 hit the maritime industry hard, in particular, the cruise sector. Since the start of the pandemic, DNV had been called on by vessel owners and operators to support their efforts to address the safety of their passengers, crew, and destinations. In response, through the cooperation of experts from the company's Maritime, Healthcare, and Product Assurance businesses, DNV created a suite of infection prevention and control services for the maritime industry. As cruise ships return to service around the globe, the demand for services from that portfolio, including expert assessment of products, equipment, and technology, is increasing. One of those assessment results has been delivered to Green Instruments USA, Inc (Green Instruments) for the maritime UVD Robot, Model C.
COVID-19 and the technology impact
The role of technology in the modern maritime age is ever-increasing, so the pandemic’s ushering in rapid development and repurposing of infection prevention and control technologies in the market came as no surprise.
“The pandemic brought with it many uncertainties and presented ship owners and operators with a broad set of challenges. Before COVID-19, infection prevention and control were topics limited to few people in the maritime world and, consequently, the industry reached out for assistance," said Mariana Fortes, Maritime Senior Consultant of DNV. "We started seeing the application of new technologies and the intent to repurpose those not previously used in a maritime setting. We had manufacturers seeking to get their products onboard, while vessel owners and operators were simultaneously trying to make smart decisions on the proper technology application. It was clear that a third-party structured assessment would bring confidence to all stakeholders, and our cross-industry domain expertise would address this need," she added.
This same demand brought Green Instruments to evaluate its portfolio for use by the maritime industry and determine that the UV-C (ultraviolet light in the 254nm spectrum), which has been utilized effectively as a disinfectant in various industries, including healthcare, life science, and water treatment, could be applicable in a maritime setting. Green Instruments partnered with the Danish company, UVD Robots to introduce an intelligent and self-driving UV-C disinfecting robot for the maritime industry. As part of their go-to-market activities, Green Instruments sought out DNV for their Product Assurance service.
“The robot’s superpowers, such as simultaneous non-chemical disinfection of air and surfaces, and the fact that the UVD Robot requires no underlying logistics for consumables, are the obvious benefits of its’ technology in a maritime environment. The UV lamps used have a lifespan rated at 12,000 hours and can disinfect 9,600 square meters per hour: it’s fast, efficient, and with minimal disruption. In addition, each self-driven cleaning cycle can be validated and is automatically documented for protocol compliance,” said Jeppe Moller, President of Green Instruments.
Product Assurance for the maritime industry
DNV began offering Product Assurance for the application of infection prevention in the maritime industry in 2021. The deliverable includes a “Verification Statement”, a "Product Assessment Report" and a "Product Rating Sheet" based on the evidence provided along five performance dimensions. Product Assurance is designed to help owners and operators in their procurement of equipment, systems, or device(s) with the increased confidence that they are selecting a proper product for the intent. The service also provides manufacturers with the opportunity to have their product's application assessed for their target market.
The evaluation process involves the screening and categorization of a product's performance claims, operational risks, and which external parameters are important for proper functioning, followed by a critical review of existing evidence for the product's performance. A risk-based gap analysis is then carried out to assess the uncertainties associated with the application of the product in the maritime environment, including an assessment against the relevant Regulatory compliance where applicable. The satisfactory completion of the assessment activities includes the specification of approved service conditions as well as any maintenance, testing, and inspection regime that may be applied.
Supporting safe return to service
As the world continues to address challenges related to COVID-19 and other infectious disease pathogens, the top priority for the maritime industry continues to be the health and safety of passengers, crew, and the communities visited by vessels. "DNV is committed to promoting and supporting safe vessel operations. Our third-party assessment provides trust that the proper measures have been taken to protect people, work transparently, and increase the confidence of passengers and other stakeholders involved," said Michael D. Norman, Director of Product Assurance at DNV. "To achieve success, many actions must satisfactorily come together. It is an honor to be viewed as a trusted partner by our clients, and work together with the team from Green Instruments USA, Inc in these challenging times towards a sustainable future," he added.