K Line to Develop Drone Inspection Tool


Japanese shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) has announced a partnership with Technos Mihara Corporation to develop an innovative method for ship hull inspection and maintenance.

In order to maintain the quality of its fleet, K Line had implemented a ship management policy named “KL-QUALITY”, which helped to design a high-level and systematic ship inspection programme conducted by professional superintendents.

According to a statement, this initiative still struggled to ensure that parts of the ship more difficult to access, such as top side of the cargo hold and the ship hull under water, were inspected and maintained regularly.



With the support of Technos Mihara, which conducted multiple on-site trials of its technology for drone operation and image analyzation, K Line has experienced an improvement in the efficiency, safety and effectiveness of its inspections, including automated maintenance conducted by drones.

The two companies have now asserted their readiness to move to a next phase, reaching a mutual agreement to develop a new system for ship hull inspection and maintenance by combining the drone and digital analysis technology of Technos Mihara with K Line’s ship management expertise.

Chris Mason, Rajant, discusses how drones can be used to future-proof seaports in a recent Port Technology technical paper

In January 2019, K Line established an “AI/Digitalization Promotion Division” to facilitate the introduction of new technologies, improve its transportation services and boost the satisfaction of its customers.

A further statement from the shipping company read: “K Line is dedicated to continue seeking the best and safest services through strong cooperation and alliances with various businesses partners across different fields.”

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