Objectives and content: The title of the proposed project is: "OCTOPUS" Remote Control Maintenance of Ships' Hull and Topside. It aims at the development, manufacture and experimental testing under real conditions of a prototypal system together with the cost/benefit analysis of its use. The project takes into account the recommendations given by the Maritime Industry Master Plan, Sector 1 - The Maritime Transport Chain of 2000. In fact the cooperation among two ship-repairs, one equipment manufacturer, one industry leader in robots manufacturing, one industrial organisation skilled in computational fluid dynamics and two research organisations will contribute to gain productivity and competitively to shipping industry.
It is well known how in the maritime transport industrial sector the ship's "aspect" is strictly correlated to its efficiency; in general a good appearance of the ship's hull is a good indicator for the potential customer to judge the reliability of the carrier. It is worthwhile to mention that the aspect of surfaces is not only a matter of aesthetic impression, in fact the normative of Registers of Shipping imposes to the ship owners the regular maintenance and repair of the hull's panels and of topside to guarantee the safety and the efficiency of the carrier. The operation for the maintenance and repair of hulls and topsides is quite expensive, time consuming and has to be performed manually, at the ship yards, only by specialised teams with proper equipment. At the end of the 20th century, rust removing, high-pressure water cleaning, scraping, sanding and painting of hulls and topsides remains a tedious, repetitive, harmful and unhealthy and sometimes dangerous work.
Most of ship owners chose South East Asian shipyards to perform the maintenance of their vessels because the low cost of man power; the proposed project, fostering the competitiveness of the European organisations dealing with ship repair, will contribute to maintain and create occupation in EU. Moreover, it has to be emphasised that the proposed robot will also improve the safety and health at work of the people that, at the present, to carry out the maintenance of ships, are obliged to repetitive, tedious, harmful and dangerous functions.
Till now, the technologic development had been addressed toward the improvement of the tools which are used for this kind of intervention, but currently, these tools are still manually operated by workers. The proposed project aims at an innovative technology to overcome the above problems by the use of a remote control system capable of moving itself along the vertical walis of the ship and of performing the above-described operations of maintenance.
The device will bring the following benefits to the shipyards involved in maintenance and consequently to the ship owners:
- Lower the cost and reduction of the time requested to carry out the maintenance;
- improve the safety and health at work. At European level, the successful completion of the project will contribute to improve the competitiveness of EU Waterborne Transport Industry. Foster the competitiveness EU ship repair industry and its related occupation. Provide the EU industry with a new concept of climbing robot, faster and more powerful which benefits to several sectors such as naval, nuclear and building cleaning and maintenance industries. In general, to improve of the competitiveness of EU Industries of the naval sector BE97-4385
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
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