Safety mentality leads to innovation

Boskalis has developed a multi-functional cleaning robot as a safe and sustainable alternative for the underwater maintenance of the loading and unloading installations of Dow Benelux BV.

Even today, thinking about safety tends to bring to mind rules, procedures and PPE. However, these aspects are not at all what safety is about. In cooperation with Dow Benelux, Boskalis Offshore Subsea Services has proven that the new safety mentality can create economic opportunities and innovation. Specially for the maintenance of the mooring and foundation piles of their loading and unloading installations, Boskalis has developed a patented, multifunctional cleaning and inspection robot. The robot has eliminated the need to manually hose down mooring and foundation piles, a job which is particularly dangerous. The new approach is also more effective and therefore more sustainable.

Not a paper tiger
Boskalis designed a cofferdam for the robot, which can also be used to safely give the piles a new coating of paint. Both applications extend the useful lifetime of the piles by over 30 years. Divers will still have to clean areas of the piles that are difficult to reach, because there are parts that the robot cannot get to. For this purpose, an implosion blaster was developed, which removes waste substances using innovative cavitation technology. This approach is safer for the divers because a much lower water pressure is used. According to Pieter Raes, Project Manager at Dow Benelux BV: “What appeals to me is that safety is not just a paper tiger for Boskalis; it lies at the core of the company’s mentality. From there, new technologies are devised and applied in order to make the work intrinsically safer as well as more efficient.”