Mandatory underwater inspection programmes are expensive and generate large volumes of report material. Computer based systems have been developed to provide more efficient and flexible planning of these programmes, to facilitate report production and, most significantly to programmes, to facilitate report production and, most significantly to allow the management of the results of such inspections including trend analysis, summary reports, defect or reading ranking and so forth.
This paper will briefly review current common inspection techniques used underwater and detail how a computer aided inspection planning and reporting system was designed to satisfy the needs of underwater inspection. The basic philosophy of the system has been incorporated into six systems which have now been specifically tailored to oil companies' requirements, including one system for pipeline surveys which incorporates automatic transfer of information from the pipeline survey data processing computer system.
Such systems, which are in use today, could lead to fully automatic inspection surveys, from sensors to finally assembled report and this potential is discussed, together with other applications such as above potential is discussed, together with other applications such as above water offshore inspection and inspection control during fabrication. The advantages of computer aided inspection reporting are explained, including the potential for cost savings during inspections and examples for where these have been achieved in reality.
The underwater inspection of offshore installations is an expensive exercise for operators. In the North Sea, and for most European offshore installations, underwater inspection surveys are mandatory requirements imposed by the appropriate Government Departments and the Certifying Authorities. The survey programmes must ensure the integrity of the structure, risers and pipeline etc. to provide assurance of safety to personnel and the environment, to allow continued operation of the personnel and the environment, to allow continued operation of the installations and to identify preventative maintenance measures that can eliminate or reduce future repair requirements. Many operators are also exporting such inspection surveys to areas where there is no mandatory requirement, having benefited from the information provided to the extent that they accept the immediate or future cost-effectiveness of underwater surveys. Also, underwater inspection has been finding significant defects and so there is no likelihood of any significant reduction in the amount of underwater inspections carried out for the immediate future.