Increasingly in the service mix are the digital technologies which support greater remote oversight of assets and ensure that the right equipment is in place at all times to uphold safety requirements, says Luise. Today, for example, a digital portal in set up for onboarded clients to check on the compliance status of their equipment at all times and establish whether equipment coming up for recertification is booked in via VIKING’s central planning system.
The extended service economy
Another variable she identifies as increasing in significance has been growing owner preference for 30-month service intervals for liferaft, in line with class certification which is acceptable to an increasing number of IMO flag states.
VIKING supplies and services liferafts on both standard 12-month (S12) and extended 30-month (S30) service interval liferafts in all types and sizes.
First formalized by IMO in 2009, the 30-month service provision remains a guideline for approval by individual administrations, with liferafts certified on the extended basis after they have been serviced at an approved servicing station. Initially, it is limited to the first 10 years of a liferaft’s time in service, although this may be extended if real time verification justifies acceptance by the Administration.
While some administrations continue with the previous regime, where the service interval is 12 months but extensions can be applied for, Dorte says the 30-month regime makes planning ahead simpler for the supplier, its service stations and the owner.
The initial appetite for change came from the cruise and ferry sectors, she says, but all customer types are now making S30 liferafts part of their thinking.
“Getting liferafts off offshore rigs is a cumbersome business, for example, so if the service interval can be increased to 30 months, it’s a maintenance gain,” says Dorte. Some clients prefer to maintain a mix of S30 and S12 units, and this is also fully accommodated within VIKING’s servicing regime.
Upholding the 30-month service interval requires a supplementary annual liferaft inspection by certified crew members, she acknowledges. However, VIKING has also built simplicity into the check for CO2 and humidity within the liferaft’s sealed aluminum bag. A power-free, magnetic testing tool is inserted in the liferaft container’s transparent panel, which shows green - for compliant - or red.
“Where delivering safety and continuous compliance as a service is concerned, every effort should be made to ensure that the user is encouraged towards greater vigilance and more frequent checking of liferaft readiness for action,” says Dorte.