The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) has published ‘Guidelines for installing ROV systems on vessels or platforms’ (IMCA R018). The new publication is aimed at vessel and platform owner/operators and designers; ROV contractor representatives; client and contractor staff who prepare bid documents and contracts; installation and rig managers; vessel and ROV managers; and vessel designers and builders.
The purpose of IMCA R018 is to provide guidance on the installation of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) System, or Systems, on to vessels and/or platforms. It is not intended to be a definitive guideline; instead it is intended to assist vessel and platform owners to understand the outline requirements of installing and mobilising an ROV System, i.e. to highlight some of the questions that may need to be asked. It can also be utilised in discussions with ship and platform owners, designers and fabricators/builders when build specifications are being prepared.
“There are wide variations in the complexity and requirements of ROV Systems, ranging as they do from small observation class ROV Systems weighing perhaps 10 tons, through to large and complex trenching ROV Systems which might weigh hundreds of tons. Therefore it is important to discuss ROV installation issues with all the relevant stakeholders at the earliest opportunity, ” says Jane Bugler, IMCA’s Technical Director.
“Every time you pack a suitcase or a car boot (‘trunk’ for our US colleagues) you’re practising spatial awareness – try fitting an ROV System on board a vessel, and you really realise what spatial awareness is all about! You are looking not just at the ROV itself, but at the whole ROV System with all its required equipment such as the launch and recovery system (LARS), the tether management system (TMS), the control cabin, the workshop cabin, the umbilical winch as well as the ROV (the vehicle) itself.
“In the new guidelines we state that the term ‘ROV System’ defines all the required equipment, and use a lower case ‘system’ in the new document to refer to sub-elements of the System as a whole, such as the hydraulic system or electrical system.”
Whilst the main body of the new document describes the issues that may arise during the installation for a work class ROV System on to a vessel or platform, the principles outlined are applicable to all classes and variants of ROV.
Sections of the 20-page document encompass ROV Classification; ROV System Layout; ROV System Services; Operational Requirements, and there is a useful appendix -Suggested ROV System Checklist.
Like all IMCA guidance it is free to download from the IMCA website for members and non-member alike. Printed copies can be purchased at £5.00 for members and £10.00 for non-members via the IMCA website at www.imca-int.comand from firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMCA is an international association with well over 900 members in 60 countries, as at May 2013, representing offshore, marine and underwater engineering companies. IMCA has four technical divisions, covering marine/specialist vessel operations, offshore diving, hydrographic survey and remote systems and ROVs, plus geographic sections for the Asia-Pacific, South America, Europe & Africa, Middle East & India and Central & North America regions. As well as a core focus on safety, the environment, competence and training. IMCA seeks to promote its members’ common interests, to resolve industry-wide issues and to provide an authoritative voice for its members.
IMCA publishes some 200 guidance notes and technical reports. These have been developed over the years and are widely distributed. They are a definition of what IMCA stands for, including widely recognised diving and ROV codes of practice, DP documentation, marine good practice guidance, the Common Marine Inspection Document, safety recommendation, outline training syllabi and the IMCA competence scheme guidance. In addition to the range of printed guidance documents, IMCA also produces safety promotional materials, circulates information notes and safety flashes