ExxonMobil Introduces Feed Rate Optimization Program

Tuesday, August 05, 2003
ExxonMobil has introduced a program to optimize cylinder oil feed rates in low-speed (crosshead) diesel engines, the most common power source used for marine propulsion. The Feed Rate Optimization program is designed to help minimize operating expenses by analyzing scrapedown oil as a way to detect changes in the condition of an engine¹s cylinders. The program, which is designed to help customers find a balance between the cost of cylinder oil and the expense of wear-related cylinder maintenance, analyzes scrapedown oil collected from the engine¹s scavenge space, a technique pioneered by ExxonMobil. It provides comprehensive laboratory testing and analysis of the oil sample, and offers onboard testing tools that enable ship¹s engineers to quickly detect substantive changes in cylinder condition. ”We have introduced this program to make it easier for ship operators to respond to recommendations from engine manufacturers to adjust feed rates,” says Mark Andreotta, vice president, ExxonMobil Marine & Aviation Lubricants. “At a time when new severe engine designs are operating in high-stress environments, we have developed a way to provide our customers with the data and knowledge they need to safely optimize cylinder oil feed rates and also to take preventive measures to reduce wear-related maintenance and operating costs. This initiative is another example of our leadership in the marine industry.” The new program features: . Signum Oil Analysis. ExxonMobil has extended its existing Signum Oil Analysis program, which can help forecast potential mechanical problems before they occur, to include scrapedown testing. This extensive laboratory analysis provides insight into engine wear via the condition of a vessel¹s scrapedown oil. . Onboard testing. Onboard testing tools include a proprietary Mobilgard Scrapedown Analyzer, a portable unit that enables a ship¹s engineer to quickly analyze the current wear rate of each cylinder. For customers who do not want to wait for a comprehensive lab report, onboard testing provides real-time readouts on the oil¹s most important properties relative to the engine's operating condition. . Quality oil. ExxonMobil recommends Mobilgard 570, a cylinder oil formulated at an optimized viscosity level with high quality base oil to provide excellent thermal and oxidation stability, and protection against engine deposit and wear. It is proven to provide low-speed, two-cycle crosshead diesel engines with these performance features even as lower feed rates are adopted. The new Feed Rate Optimization program was developed with the support of the major engine manufacturers, including MAN B&W and Wärtsilä. ”Changes in cylinder wear due to engine operation, ambient conditions and fuel sulfur levels can be detected as they are occurring, particularly if onboard sample analysis is employed,² says Kjeld E. Aabo, senior manager engineering services, MAN B&W Diesel A/S. ³Advanced warning of cylinder condition, as seen through scrapedown oil analysis results, allows the operator to optimize feed rates while ensuring optimum engine performance.”

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