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Your Guide to Buying or Renting an ROV

13 Jul 2020 | Posted By Planys Technologies

The rising demand for underwater inspection has undoubtedly brought to light the importance of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs). Various asset-oriented sectors such as Maritime, Infrastructures, Energy & Power act as the driving force for the innovations in the marine robotics arena.
ROVs have come a long way since their inception; the first relatively basic unit was created in the year 1960. The functional scope of this ROV was limited to military usage. Originally ROVs were engineered to substitute divers in hazardous situations and reach depths that are beyond human reach. In many respects, ROVs of the modern era still accomplish this primary requirement but, the advanced capabilities of these precisely engineered vehicles are unmatchable in comparison to human effort.

Many asset managers out there tend to believe that all the ROVs have the same aim which is to collect data underwater. While this may be true to some extent, there are several factors to consider before you commit to buy or rent an ROV. They are available in a number of sizes, have varying competencies depending upon their specification and design. Going through all these technical specs could be gruelling for a layman with a non-technical background, hence Planys brings to you the perfect guide that will help you make the right choice when selecting a conventional ROV.

The first step is to determine the scope of work and the underwater depth required for the work. Common operations may be as follows:
• Visual inspection & survey
• A Geophysical survey using sensors such as SONAR positioning aids, bathymetry profiling, metrology, etc.
• Cleaning of underwater structures.
• Normal intervention procedures using manipulators.
• A combination of the aforementioned or other industry-specific activities.

Once the task to be carried has been decided upon and the action plan is set out, the technical and operational aspect assessment needs to take place before beginning the selection process.

Technical Aspects:
Propulsion:
Is the ROV powered hydraulically or electrically? Hydraulic offers more power but is expensive. It is always advisable to choose electrically powered units for conventional, non-complex operations.

ROV Depth Rating:
When choosing, you need to keep in mind not just the depth rating but also the suitability of LARS to meet the exact depth requirement.

Tether Management System (TMS) or Free-Swimming mode:
ROVs can operate with or without a TMS. Deeper and more complex operations require a TMS.

ROV Payload Requirements:
The payloads on the ROV will be in accordance with the scope of work and will also determine the buoyancy needs.

Launch & Recovery System (LARS):
The deployment system must have the ability to safely deploy and retrieve the ROV from its working depth.

ROV Multiplex Capability:
The ROV needs to have a decent multiplex capacity of the control system as it will be a deciding factor for the sensors and tooling that can be mounted on the unit.

Operational Aspects:

Weight & Dimensions:
What is the space requirement of the ROV spread? Is the host installation deck sturdy enough to support all the functions during the operations?

Navigation & Deployment Crew:
Is the ROV easy to operate? You will be required to hire trained personnel who can operate the ROV and acquire data for you.

Is the ROV installation permanent or temporary?
You need to ask the provider whether the ROV will be installed permanently on a host vessel or platform or will it be mobile.

Host installation:
How will the ROV operate? Will it require a host installation?

Conveyance & Complexity Cost:
Shifting, setting up & deploying an ROV is a tedious job; hence you need to ask upfront about the mobilisation costs of the ROV.

Input Power:
What is the power requirement of the ROV? Will the host installation have an adequate supply available when the need arises?

Environmental Conditions:
Can the ROV withstand extreme weather conditions? Most ROVs can operate only in specific environmental conditions and you need to inquire about the same beforehand if you are planning for contractual operations at regular time intervals.

The Verdict:
An ROV is a huge financial investment; due to improper planning if the wrong ROV is sourced you might have to incur a huge loss. Hence, it is always advisable to try out hiring before deciding to buy an ROV.

The Planys Advantage:
Planys indigenously manufactures ROVs that are capable of highly advanced marine robotics. These come fitted with high-tech instruments that can perform several tasks such as HD videography, GPS mapping, ultrasonic thickness inspection, bio-fouling spot cleaning & acoustic surveys. They come packed with features like unlimited endurance, depth access of up to 120m – 200m, sturdy, compact and portable design and a high degree of maneuvrability which makes our ROVs your ideal choice for inspection and survey operations.
In order to know more about our services, get in touch with us; write to us at sales@planystech.com or give us call on +91-8448188507

 

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