GL Maritime Software, the software and systems integration unit of classification society Germanischer Lloyd (GL), in cooperation with SKF, has installed the first prototype of its GL MachineryManager software onboard the CSAV Rio Blanco, a car carrier owned and managed by German shipping company F. Laeisz.
GL MachineryManager is a single monitoring platform for onboard equipment, which combines visual inspection results with online and offline condition measurements, to warn crew and superintendents when the condition of any equipment has deteriorated - not only on individual vessels but across an entire fleet.
The installation on the CSAV Rio Blanco took place during a voyage from Vladivostok (Russia) to Pyongtaek (South Korea). During the voyage vibration monitoring measurement locations were prepared onboard for 40 fans. The data from these locations is collected by handheld vibration monitoring equipment, which is then downloaded into the onboard GL MachineryManager system for further analysis.
GL and SKF began cooperating on the development and implementation of this joint solution for condition monitoring of rotating auxiliary machinery onboard ships in May 2011. GL and SKF experts also trained the crew in the use of the maintenance management software and the handheld unit, which was provided by SKF.
"Owners are looking for ways to optimise their maintenance schemes. GL MachineryManager enables them to avoid unnecessary open-up inspections, to lower the risk of unexpected break-downs, and to increase operating efficiency and performance through properly maintained equipment. The system will also improve the availability of their ships and save money, by allowing them to base maintenance work on the actual requirements of the individual piece of equipment - reducing unneeded maintenance and equipment replacement costs," said Dr Torsten Büssow, head of GL's Maritime Software business.
GL MachineryManager is a software and service package that supports ship owners, managers and operators in the implementation of condition-based maintenance processes. It allows for all of the information generated from online, offline (for example SKF's handheld units), and visual inspections of machinery and equipment to be integrated into a common platform - irrespective of manufacturer. An early warning system alerts superintendents and fleet managers to potential problems, both in individual vessels and across the fleet. Measurements and recordings from the system can be transferred and collated in a central database onshore. This information can then be utilised to provide an overview of the status of a fleet, allowing for the easy comparison of vessels with the same equipment and the creation of maintenance performance benchmarks.
"We believe in the advantages of meaningful data acquisition and its analyses to support maintenance strategies," said Harald Schlotfeldt, Managing Technical Director of F. Laeisz. "We see the GL HullManager, which already runs on a number of our vessels, and now the GL MachineryManager as logical add-ons to the GL ShipManager software package, which we have had in fleet wide use for many years already. This was the motivation for us to work with GL on the prototype installation onboard CSAV RIO BLANCO, one of our new 5000 unit Pure Car Truck Carriers (PCTCs)."
Manfred Zimmermann, Superintendent of F. Laeisz, commented on the installation of the prototype: "My first impression of GL Machinery Manager is that it fits well into our systems. I am curious to see how the readings will develop over time and how large the effect will be on our maintenance and uninterrupted in-service periods."
The prototype test will soon be expanded to include online data from sensors monitoring the bearing condition of the CSAV Rio Blanco's main engine. GL offers a survey arrangement "Condition Monitoring" which uses the condition information in the survey process and F. Laeisz already qualifies for this arrangement. F Laeisz can also use the system to generate annual reports for both internal, class and regulatory purposes. F. Laeisz was one of the first users of GL ShipManager and is now also utilising GL HullManager onboard of several vessels of their fleet.
GL MachineryManager can work alongside GL's HullManager system and interlinked with a planned maintenance system, such as GL ShipManager,