Engine company launches propulsion condition monitoring

06 Sep 2010
Wärtsilä propulsion systems should benefit from the new condition monitoring system

Wärtsilä propulsion systems should benefit from the new condition monitoring system

Wärtsilä has announced the launch of its propulsion condition monitoring service (PCMS), designed to provide real-time data and advanced analytics on the condition of a vessel's propulsion equipment.

The company says that ship owners will have access to information and analysis needed to ensure that propulsion systems operate at peak efficiency throughout their lifecycle, and the system will help prevent damage and lower life cycle costs, as well as limit their vessel's environmental impact by keeping propulsion systems operating at high efficiency. PCMS can be integrated into the ship’s maintenance program, reducing the need for periodic inspections.

The new system, adapted from the remote monitoring architecture Wärtsilä developed for its successful engine monitoring service, is claimed to be 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 ability to 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.

A PCMS advisory monitor gathers and provides information from all the PCMS cabinets on the vessel. Data collected from onboard sensors is collected by the PCMS advisory monitor, and then transmitted daily to Wärtsilä Propulsion Services, where the information is analysed. 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 ISO-certified in vibration analysis. The new data will also contribute to Wärtsilä's database of propulsion knowledge, and the company expects it to become an important resource for further marine propulsion innovations.


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