July 8, 2016 11:40
About classification societies for Marine & Offshore
What is the purpose of classification societies which seem to be so important for ship builders and maintainers?
When I started to investigate what´s required for maintainers on ships and offshore platforms, one of the most highlighted thing was ship builder approvals. I knew about a lot product approvals like UL, CSA or CE - but terms like Lloyds Register, Nippon Kaiji Kyokai or Bureau Veritas did not ring a bell immediatly. So I thought it might be good to find out a bit more about what it is and the purpose behind.
In essence what I found out is that the classification societies are to be considered as a service to ensure highest safety for the people working in the Marine & Offshore environment, but also to protect the nature as much as possible. To do so they have developed standardized rules which have to be met for essential products like steering systems or power generators. These rules are usually veryfied by national and/or international statutory regulations which I guess is one of the reasons why there are so many different classification societies existing around the globe. Most of them are members in the IACS - International Association of Classification Societies.
If you are interested in a more concise story about classification societies, I recommend to have a look at the attached document published by IACS. It explains the WHAT, WHY and HOW? of classification societies.
Do you know?: Many standard components like power supplies, connectors, relays or even cable ties meet at least the most common approvals, and the manufacturers of these products provide the appropriate certificates which are required for documentation purposes. I was actually surprised about the amount of ship builder certificates they store in the Product Data Library on DesignSpark. I see this really as a great service for engineers working on the maritime industry to have access to throusands of documents from many different manufacturers downloadable from one source.