22 July 2013

James Fisher Mimic supports pilot trial of new marine safety and reliability technology.

James Fisher Mimic (JFM) has partnered with Netherlands-based condition monitoring specialist Oliveira, marine control expert CSI Control Systems and fleet operator Wagenborg, to provide a Platform Shore Support interfacing system using a reliability software application installed on the dry cargo carrier MV Lauwersborg.

Platform Shore Support is a network of ship-owners, suppliers, shipyards and the Dutch government that aims to increase the operational availability and capability of commercial vessels. JFM designed and developed the program along with Oliveira, based on JFM’s Mimic condition monitoring software. The system consolidates and analyses specific condition data, identifying potential failures and recommending corrective actions. CSI Control Systems provided a cost-effective solution to interface with the existing sensors and supply the signals to the new software without interrupting current systems on board the vessel. Wagenborg chose the MV Lauwersborg to be the first vessel to receive this Shore Support project, which will run for six months as a pilot trial. During the trial the system will provide reliability data to the on-board crew, the shore technical office and to third party analysts.

An example of the potential applications of the system being piloted on the MV Lauwersborg is in the proactive management of main propulsion engine turbocharger maintenance. Each turbocharger has a full service maintenance interval of around 12,000 hours engine operation, at which point the unit needs to be removed, stripped down and inspected so that its worn parts can be replaced prior to reassembly.

During this time the vessel has to be taken out of service and in order to avoid the consequent disruption and cost of unexpected failures, all parts likely to be subject to wear are typically replaced irrespective of their visible degradation or deterioration in performance.  By capturing sufficient operating data to allow an accurate real-time assessment of the condition of the turbocharger leading up to its scheduled 12,000 service interval, the pilot aims to be able to assess its condition and proactively plan maintenance according to the condition of the unit. Maintenance intervals and replacement parts inventories would thus be managed to maximize vessel availability and reliability while potentially saving significant cost if implemented on a fleet-wide basis.

“We are extremely pleased to be participating in this important pilot project,” commented Martin Briddon, engineering manager at JFM. “The safe and efficient use of sea-going vessels is high on today’s agenda for ship owners and managers. The demand for reduced energy consumption and overall operating cost makes the installation and use of new technology systems such as that developed by JFM and our partners, and being piloted on the MV Lauwersborg, highly desirable.”

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