Belgo-Dutch cross-border port area North Sea Port conducts inspections to ensure it has a clear insight into the condition of the quays in the port. But on Wednesday 26 June, instead of sending down divers to carry out these inspections, a test was conducted using an underwater robot from VolkerWessels subsidiary Asset.Insight.
The high-tech underwater robot is equipped with various sensors, including ultrasonic, laser, PEC and sonar, as well as a high-resolution camera. The measurements taken during the inspection are highly accurate and are displayed on a dashboard in an easy-to-read format. Needless to say it is safer to use a robot for underwater inspections than divers. An added advantage is that shipping traffic can continue unhindered. In this way North Sea Port is taking advantage of innovative developments in port infrastructure management.
Mitigating quay-related risks
Quays are constantly under pressure as a result of propeller movements and ships turning. As repairing and restoring quays is often costly it is crucial to know what the condition of the quays is before it is too late. If it is not detected in good time whether cracks are likely to form, economic and safety risks are the result.
Continuous availability of shipping lanes thanks to digitalisation
“Gaining an insight into the thickness of the quay walls, cracks and defects without disrupting shipping traffic is a huge added benefit of
getting to work with this innovative method of quay inspection,” said North Sea Port CEO Jan Lagasse.
Gathering data by underwater robot
The underwater robot is used to gather data. Asset.Insight. commercial director Kars Quist: “The most valuable aspect of this underwater robot is that it gathers data which we then make available to our clients. This enables asset managers to take data-driven decisions, so that management and maintenance can be planned efficiently. This saves a great deal of time and money.”