Wärtsilä announced the launch of a unique Propulsion Condition Monitoring Service (PCMS), designed to provide customers with real-time data and advanced analytics on the condition of a vessel's propulsion equipment. Ship owners will have access to information and analysis needed to ensure that propulsion systems operate at peak efficiency throughout their lifecycle.
PCMS allows ship operators to prevent damage and lower life cycle costs, as well as limit their vessel's environmental impact by keeping propulsion systems operating at high efficiency. The need for periodical inspection of propulsion equipment can be eliminated by successfully integrating PCMS in the maintenance program.
The new system, adapted from the remote monitoring architecture Wärtsilä developed for its successful engine monitoring service, is the first of its kind in the marine propulsion market. Wärtsilä's system combines sensory data such as vibrations, pressures, and temperatures with the operational parameters of the propulsion equipment, such as pitch, steering feedback and set points. In addition, it takes into consideration the nautical parameters like vessel speed, rate of turn and draught, thereby giving the customer the unique ability to accurately relate sensory data to the actual operating conditions. The system has been developed to detect the operational states of the propulsion equipment through real-time comparisons of parameters from multiple sources. It is also the first commercial product to measure vibrations on the inside of thrusters using sensors located right next to bearings and gears.
"Wärtsilä is the first company with a propulsion monitoring product that is able to measure up to 16 accelerometers continuously and simultaneously. This enables us to capture all events that may lead to problems, and to know exactly when and why they occurred," said Frank Velthuis, System Development Expert, Propulsion Services at Wärtsilä.
A PCMS Advisory Monitor is included in the onboard equipment. It gathers and provides information from all the PCMS cabinets on the vessel. Data collected from a variety of onboard sensors is collected by the PCMS Advisory Monitor, and then transmitted daily to Wärtsilä Propulsion Services, where the information is analyzed. In the event of irregularities, the system immediately notifies a Wärtsilä propulsion specialist as well as the owner. Service recommendations are written by the appropriate Wärtsilä product specialists, who are all ISO-certified in vibration analysis. The new data will also contribute to Wärtsilä's already extensive database of propulsion knowledge, and over time, will become an important resource for further marine propulsion innovations.