LR pioneers the transformation of the class regime for the digital age with announcement of the first ever digital assurance framework.

LR announced today it has developed the first ever data-driven compliance framework for the marine and offshore industry: ‘Digital Compliance’.

The increasing use and advancement of digital twins1 presents a significant opportunity to marine and offshore operators in terms of improving aspects of their operational performance and maintenance regimes, as well as allowing for greater transparency and repeatability in demonstrating compliance with internal and external requirements.

LR has developed this industry-first digital assurance framework, ‘Digital Compliance’ in collaboration with leading industry partners and to respond to the growing interest within the industry.

The framework is applied through a series of defined levels with the system provider and the operator. This builds confidence in a digital twin that is used within a digital health management (DHM) system2. LR will assess and give recognition to, the capabilities of a system provider to create an asset-specific twin. This in turn provides confidence to the operator to trust the insight generated by the digital health management system through the physical asset’s operational lifetime.

LR will build the confidence level in the DHM system from the commissioning stage, to ultimately awarding of the descriptive note; ‘Digital Twin LIVE’ – which will grant credit for survey activity through demonstrated functioning of the twin over time.

The levels of Digital Compliance are as follows:

Digital Twin READY

(The DHM system provider receives approval as “Digital Twin READY”)

Ensures the DHM provider and/or service centre is capable of developing, deploying, monitoring and maintaining a reliable digital twin. This is a vendor level approval for a DHM system provider to demonstrate confidence in their processes and capabilities.

Digital Twin APPROVED

(The DHM system provider receives an approved twin under the “Digital Twin READY” certificate)

Ensures the digital model type to be used for a twin is capable of representing the specific physical asset with sufficient reliability and accuracy. ‘Digital Twin APPROVED’ is awarded to the system provider, for a specific digital twin they have created for a specific asset.


(A descriptive note “Digital Twin COMMISSIONED” is presented to the ship)

This is awarded to the operator of the asset when they begin using the approved digital twin from the provider. We use our Digital Ships ShipRight (previously named ‘Cyber-enabled ShipRight’) procedure to provide assurance that the system has been integrated into the ship, with regards to reliability and safety.

Digital Twin LIVE

(A descriptive note “Digital Twin LIVE” is presented to the ship, replacing “COMMISSIONED”)

Over time, the digital twin needs to demonstrate that it is producing reliable and accurate insights. ‘Digital Twin LIVE’ is the approval awarded to the operator when LR has reached this level of confidence and has handed over certain physical survey aspects to trusting the twin for compliance.

LR Marine and Offshore Director, Nick Brown, commented: “Digital Compliance is the framework that sets the foundation for what we call ‘Digital Class’. Digital Class is the vision we have, where advanced technology and data-driven techniques will allow our clients to demonstrate compliance with Class requirements in the future, remotely, periodically and/or continuously and we are actively engaging with flags to discuss how we can extend this to statutory aspects.”

He continued, “Demonstrating that Class requirements are met through data-driven techniques will allow us to better target Class services where they are needed most, by having a better understanding of an asset’s health over its lifetime. Digital Class will also allow clients to submit Class relevant data either continuously or periodically to demonstrate compliance, leading to a more targeted and focussed approach to physical survey.” 

1 A ‘digital twin’ is a multi-physics, data-driven representation (or model) of a physical asset, often residing in a cloud-based environment using data streamed from the physical asset. Pairing the physical and digital worlds allows complex analytical techniques to be applied in the digital twin that can generate insights into the asset health, find and test opportunities for optimisation in a digital test environment or predict the physical assets’ condition in the future - enabling better maintenance and operational decisions to be made. A digital twin will learn and improve its insight over time by gathering data on how an asset performs under certain operating conditions, supported by mathematical rules based on the physics of the real world.

2‘Digital Health Management’ is the term LR has adopted to describe digital technologies that are used to gather data and generate insight on an assets’ health. This could be in the form of a ‘Digital Twin’ of an asset. A Digital Health Management system can provide functionality such as fault detection (identifying faults in the asset), diagnostics (understanding the implications of fault(s) and its effects on asset health) or prognostics (predicting the assets future health based on the estimation of failure trajectory and the stressors).