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A Ballast Tank Coating Inspection Data Management System

The coating process has long been considered to have less importance than other engineering activities that go into the manufacture and maintenance of a ship. This is often reflected by the relatively slow development in coating and surface preparation technology in comparison to other shipyard engineering processes, and the lack of hard data about the installation and subsequent maintenance of the system.




Meeting the Ballast Tank Regulations. March 2008

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) regulation for the Performance Standard for Protective Coatings (PSPC) for Salt Water Ballast Tanks, Resolutions MSC.215(82) and MSC.215(84), comes into full effect from 1st July 2008 for new ship builds, bringing with it a number of challenges for the coatings inspector. The following simplified illustration indicates the extent of the issues facing the inspector.


Electronic Inspection Data Management for Salt Water Ballast Tanks

The requirement of the IMO PSPC regulations for ballast tank coatings includes the creation and maintenance of a coatings technical file containing inspection records for the ballast tank coating process from start to finish. To complete this file in a timely and cost effective manner, digital inspection data must be stored and retrieved during the painting process in such a way that it does not delay the build of the ship or leads to extra work on behalf of the inspectors. Electronic gauges are available for measuring surface profile peak-to-valley height, for monitoring relative humidity, temperature and dewpoint and for dry film thickness measurement. Some of these gauges now feature Bluetooth® wireless communication while others offer data upload via USB connection. Collating and archiving the data from these and other measurement and inspection tools is required to produce a coatings technical file.


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