Commercial-Off-The-Shelf Parts – COTS: Burial equipment manufacturers historically tend to incorporate proprietary parts into the construction of their vehicles. These unique parts can cost more to replace, as they are not mass-produced. This can also cause long lead times when ordering spares from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). There is also a risk that the part will not be available when necessary. The problem of discontinued parts can be crippling, especially with some electronics components. For example, replacement control boards are costly and hard to find if the technology is obsolete.
Most subsea components comprising an ROV have already been designed and mass-produced in some form by an existing manufacturer. Expensive design and engineering can be avoided by utilizing proven commercially available “off-the-shelf” products.
Using adequate system redundancies (backup systems) and off-the-shelf parts will enable operators to source replacement parts from various suppliers over time. Proven and well-tested vehicle components should be chosen, rather than proprietary equipment that may be unproven or difficult to sources. Vulnerability to scares or expensive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) critical parts can cause a bottleneck to an entire operation. Using off-the-shelf parts can increase versatility and be a key component in reducing overall operating costs.