Ship shape: vibration sensors improve onboard maintenance

Norwegian ship owner Solvang has introduced predictive maintenance to its fleet of tankers by investing in the new system for manual vibration monitoring, Enlight ProCollect from SKF.

Solvang, which transports a variety of petrochemicals, will use SKF’s QuickCollect vibration sensors and ProCollect app to monitor a range of onboard rotating equipment. This will allow the company to identify equipment failure early, helping it to reduce unplanned downtime and maintenance costs.

“This moves Solvang away from routine/time-based maintenance intervals to a predictive maintenance programme,” says Ole Vegard Ree, Business Development Service and Sales Engineer at SKF. “It gives the customer control over machine health, allowing them to predict machine failure and reduce costs.”

For companies such as Solvang, a carefully implemented predictive maintenance program will give the company the ability to reduce or eliminate unplanned downtime for repairs and allow each repair to be fully validated.  It will also improve the service life of equipment, help to optimise the management of spare parts, while contributing to operator safety and CO2 footprint.

Solvang has 27 vessels in its fleet, and the system will initially be implemented in nine of them.

The company carried out a two-year pilot of the technology, testing the vibration sensors with Enlight ProCollect and then adopting asset condition and maintenance recommendations.  Providing insight of each vessel’s machinery condition has been extremely valuable for Solvang, allowing the technical office to provide even better support for each crew.

The QuickCollect sensor is easy to use and does not require extensive training or diagnostic expertise. It collects data in real time, which can be viewed directly in the app or uploaded to the cloud for further analysis. Combining it with the ProCollect mobile app allows customers to identify machine conditions quickly and easily. The solution is suitable for use in hazardous environments (ATEX Zone 1, Class 1, Div 1).

The five-year contract, with automatic renewal of one year, includes access to SKF’s Enlight Centre, which helps to analyse and interpret data from the sensors. The full combination of sensor, app and remote diagnostics centre helps streamline the process of walk-around data collection.

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