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Improving techniques for ship inspection and maintenance planning

Hifi, Nabile and Barltrop, N. D P (2012) Improving techniques for ship inspection and maintenance planning. In: Managing Reliability, Maintainability and Safety in the Maritime Industry. Royal Institution of Naval Architects, London, pp. 49-58. ISBN 9781905040957

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A good inspection plan is crucial in order to detect defects in time and to make decisions about how quickly they must be repaired. Inspection planning may be based on experience (determined by class rules) which will, by default, treat all ships with the same inspection program or on first principal reliability-based methods. In the first case, only some of the knowledge that could be used to predict structural problems in case of ship-to-ship variation (construction or use) is gained from the data gathered. In the second case, reliability models (methods) can deal reasonably well with individual part but they do not give a good estimate of the overall reliability of the ship and they lack the 'experience database' that the experience-based, methodology uses so the reliability models are not calibrated by reality. This work will attempt to develop a method to calibrate the reliability models using the data from experience-based methods. The expected outcome of this work is a methodology to calibrate the reliability models, which will be produced as a report and as a computer program. The system, which will target the critical structural details in the ship, is intended to be used by the inspection companies, class surveyors, ship managers and ship designers and for the calibration of the inspection planning and reliability models as a decision support system tool to improve the safety of the ship and make inspections cost-effective. This research is funded by EU Project RlSPECT part of the 7th framework program.