Hull Inspection Techniques & Strategy (HITS) Joint Industry Project

The HITS JIP is an international initiative targeted at improving the way the Industry manages the integrity of marine structures such as FPSOs, Drillships, FSRUs, FLNGs, accommodation barges and other floating offshore assets.
HITS was initiated in 2011 and is widely supported by Operators, Regulators, Classification Societies and Service Providers.

HITS has successfully delivered  industry innovations and guidance related to improving hull inspection.

The Joint Industry Project is now in it's sixth exciting phase, which includes remote unmanned tank inspections and minimising the requirement for tank cleaning prior to inspection.

Latest News

The next HITS JIP meeting takes place on Friday 26th October 2018, during the FPSO Research Forum week, and is hosted by Boskalis.

Location: The Netherlands.

Venue: Apollo Hotel Papendrecht, Burgemeester Keijzerweg 100, 3353 CV Papendrecht, Netherlands. 

HITS JIP Meeting at the 40th FPSO Research Forum Week

The HITS JIP entered its fifth year with its biggest ever attendance at the recent FPSO Forum in Cumbria, UK, which was hosted by EM&I.

The meeting took place on Thursday 12th April 2018 and began with a presentation of and discussion around achievements in the previous year.  HITS 4 considered fundamentals required for eliminating man entry into confined spaces.  This included methodologies and requirement for thickness gauging.   Further consideration was given to cleanliness of tanks and their coating condition. 

Two demonstrations of technology were made during the meeting in the EM&I Technology Centre allowing participants to examine close up the effectiveness of UAV's (Unmanned Ariel Vehicles) and PEC (Pulsed Eddy Current) thickness measuring technique.

The results of the 2017 work are now allowing the HITS journey to enter an exciting new phase in HITS 5 with a thorough investigation of both inspection techniques and remote delivery techniques.  A plan for the current year was approved at the meeting.

Current JIP members include: BV, ABS, Lloyds, Shell, Chevron and Exxon Mobil.  However JIP is regularly attracting new interest with membership continuing to build and three new approaches made for membership in recent weeks, including BP.

HITS JIP Meeting in Galveston, USA

October 2017

The 39th FPSO Research Forum JIP week was held in Galveston, USA from the 2nd - 6th October 2017 which included the HITS JIP mid-year meeting.

The HITS JIP, now in its fourth phase, is increasingly being recognised as one of the leading events, with 23 attendees, including new representation from ExxonMobil and Petrobras.

Interesting presentations were made by James Henton of Lloyds Register who shared their experience of UAV trials and shone much light on the reasons for structural thickness measurements for an LR perspective.

The participants had a hands-on opportunity to try out the prototype web based Hull Inspector Competency training and certification software developed by EM&I and based on the HITS syllabus emanating from a number of work groups that involved the major class societies.

An interesting presentation was made by Appellix, a company who have developed tethered drones and which may have an application for tank inspections.

Reports on tank cleaning standards and an update on other studies on coating and thickness measurement methods were also presented by Ray Caldwell, noting that these were on target for completion by December 2017 and issue in early 2018.

The financial report presented by Danny Constantinis indicating that HITS was operating within budget and had the finances to carry out some site trials in 2018 that had been deferred in 2017.

EM&I are now developing a scope and budget for 2018 and 2019 where a lot of the focus will be on site trials of remote tank inspections and in particular the challenges of taking remote thickness measurements.

HITS is now widely recognised as a successful and long running JIP and will feature strongly in the next FPSO forum, the 40th anniversary of the event, which will be hosted by EM&I at their Cumbria R&D centre.