Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K LINE) and Japanese firm Technos Mihara are set to launch a ship hull inspection and maintenance development project.

The project will adopt a new hull inspection and maintenance method using a drone and image analysis system.

K LINE noted that the company found an improvement in ship hull inspection accuracy after carrying out multiple on-site trials with aerial and underwater drones.

Technos Mihara provides technology for drone operation and image analysation.

K LINE said in a statement: “K LINE has been maintaining the finest quality of our fleet under a unique ship management policy named KL-QUALITY, designed as a high-level and systematic ship inspection programme by a dedicated team consisting of professional superintendents.

“However, we have continued having difficulty for a long time in the inspection of ship parts that are hard to access such as the top side of cargo hold, ship hull under water, etc.”

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“K LINE has been maintaining the finest quality of our fleet under a unique ship management policy named KL-QUALITY.”

The companies have now reached a mutual agreement for the development of a new system for ship hull inspection and maintenance.

As part of the agreement, Technos Mihara’s drone and digital image analysis technology will be integrated with the accumulated expertise and know-how of K LINE’s ship management.

K Line’s fleet includes dry cargo ships, container vessels, liquefied natural gas carriers, Ro-Ro ships, tankers, and container terminals.

Last month, the company established its new department known as ‘AI/Digitalization Promotion Division’ to introduce new technology and improve its transportation services.