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Engineering Practice, Innovations

Taking the first steps

Key considerations for condition-based maintenance

Digitization is opening up new opportunities in the field of maritime repairs. Digital and remote solutions enable streamlined and optimized maintenance practices. However, some operators are reluctant to make the change. Here are some of the most common concerns and the solutions to address them.

1. Condition monitoring systems are disruptive: Condition monitoring is the first port of call when making the switch to condition-based maintenance. Without it, you cannot get the information you need. Many companies worry that the technology will be disruptive, but this really isn’t the case. Condition monitoring systems actually streamline the duties of engineers by reducing manual tasks. Such solutions provide a clearer picture of component health, resulting in more time to focus on core activities. Operators can rest assured that their equipment is being taken care of.

2. Analyzing data is complicated: While it is perfectly possible to analyze data in-house, this is time consuming and potentially challenging. There are remote diagnostics centers that specialize in deciphering vast amounts of vessel machine data. This option saves operators, engineers, and service technicians significant amounts of time. Operators don’t need to worry about training and assigning staff to do this task. Companies receive critical data in a clear and concise format and can make optimal maintenance plans based on this.

 

Shipping companies must adopt condition monitoring and condition-based maintenance to reduce costs and stay ahead of the competition. However, many operators do not realize just how easy they are to implement and how beneficial they are.

Andy Hoy, Marine Industry Director, SKF USA

3. Our current technology isn’t up to the task: One factor that is a possible deterrent to those considering implementing condition monitoring, is their actual onboard capabilities to relay data. However, many current systems use very little bandwidth to transmit information. Modern vessels easily have this capacity and transferring data to a remote site is not an issue. Furthermore, it is also possible to store data onboard for several months. The range of products on the current market provides options that suit the needs of a diverse range of companies and ships.

4. Managing new solutions is difficult: A condition-based maintenance strategy must be built on condition monitoring technology. To ensure high data quality, operators must correctly configure their monitoring equipment. Once done, the chief engineer will always have a clear picture of machine health and be aware of any developing issues. In this way, shipping companies can avoid unnecessary downtime and define a suitable maintenance strategy. Ultimately, this ensures that maintenance procedures are highly efficient and that downtime is minimized.

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