Power to the Surveyor

By David Tinsley, technical editor

In a bold move to simplify and expedite the entire ship surveying process.

Germanischer Lloyd (GL) has implemented a new, information technology (IT) tool for use by its stations around the world. Heralded as a revolutionary step forward in surveying, the customer- driven initiative is known as TRON, and is intended to replace complicated, time-consuming correspondence with a largely electronicallybased surveying process linked to the GL intranet.

The value of TRON should be best realized when used in conjunction with 'fleet online', GL's Internet portal.

The powerful new instrument of service and operations enables the necessary survey information, such as status and timing, to be published on 'fleet online' within 24 hours, placing data at the client's disposal significantly earlier than was previously possible. The IT-based arrangements promise a more transparent and easier-to-follow survey process, as well as speedier execution at the requisite high standards.

Developments such as this cut both ways, offering an improved survey service contributing to the operational safety and efficient running of the ship, while potentially enhancing the society's own efficiency, routines and reliability.

Moreover, while TRON looks set to greatly facilitate and safeguard customers' planning processes, it also means that each surveyor will shoulder a greater share of responsibility in keeping with more decentralized arrangements.

The various technical reports in use up to now have been brought together in a single survey statement that focuses on the demands of the vessel type involved. The surveyor on the spot works his way through a catalog tailored to the specific scope of the survey in question, and which takes all the relevant survey parameters into account. From this, the technical report is automatically drawn up. At the same time, there is no longer any distinction between classification and statutory reports.

Benefits conferred by TRON through linking with the GL intranet include the capability for quickly communicating the latest GL and IMO rules and other edicts to surveyors in every location, and the means it provides for each surveyor to have continual access via his or her PC to the society's knowledge and information resources at the Hamburg head office. "In this way, we can offer the best possible decentralized survey process," observes the society.

GL claims that it was the first classification society to offer customers the chance to plan surveys on-line and order a survey on a specific date via the Internet. Launched at the beginning of 1999. 'fleet online' has been providing a survey order service since February 2001. More than 1.000 companies controlling over 3,800 vessels are now registered to use this free service.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 32,  Aug 2003

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First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.