BSM trials predictive maintenance system for vessel engines

Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) has begun a trial of a new engine diagnostics system from Swiss marine power company WinGD on one of its managed vessels, which aims to support smart predictive maintenance for two-stroke engines.

The pilot installation, on an LNG gas carrier with two five-cylinder WinGD X72DF engines, will monitor five of the engine components crucial for reliable engine operation (cylinder liners, piston rings, exhaust valves, fuel pumps and fuel injectors), recommending condition-based maintenance intervals by using algorithms to estimate their remaining useful life.

“When we approached WinGD for the project we knew that the move towards predictable maintenance was an important element in our strategy using digital tools to reduce costs, improve safety and maximise availability for our customers,” said BSM Group Technical Superintendent Theodore Ioannou.

“We expect that this trial will point us towards operational improvements that could be rolled out across our managed fleet of WinGD-powered vessels.”

The new engine diagnostics system is an enhancement to the existing WiDE (WinGD integrated Digital Expert) monitoring and remote support platform, developed in association with Propulsion Analytics. Propulsion Analytics is also acting as a technology partner on the BSM pilot, with further support and verification to be provided by classification society Lloyd’s Register.

Through WiDE, crew on the vessel will be provided with possible causes to assist in diagnosing faults and will be prompted to add relevant maintenance tasks. The scheduling of the tasks will be calculated based on the predicted remaining useful life for the components affected.

The accuracy of the diagnostics will be validated through feedback from BSM on maintenance activities and subsequent monitoring and analysis.

“After the trial, maintenance interval changes will be automated, taking us from fixed time-based maintenance intervals to true condition-based maintenance. That will mean a dramatic reduction in unplanned maintenance and possible human error around scheduling essential tasks, translating to lower engine lifecycle costs for operators using WiDE,” said WinGD Operations Director Rudolf Holtbecker.

“Supporting our customers with the proactive tools and knowledge that their crew need to run vessels optimally for as long as possible is becoming more and more important, both to reduce costs and meet emissions targets.”

“This important step in engine diagnostics would not be possible without a bold ship operator like BSM willing to test cutting-edge digital concepts and the continued support of Propulsion Analytics in enhancing WiDE’s capabilities.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

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