University collaboration improves Mimic condition monitoring

Researches studied time-frequency patterns - such as the operation of a turbocharger here - in an attempt to better classify and predict faults Researches studied time-frequency patterns, such as the operation of turbochargers (above), in an attempt to better classify and predict faults
Industry Database

James Fisher Mimic (JFM) has completed a project to enhance its Mimic condition monitoring system in cooperation with Lancaster University in the UK.

Mimic condition-monitoring software allows ship operators to base maintenance decisions on condition and performance rather than on recommended time basis. The company sought to expand its monitoring capabilities across the whole ship, with a particular focus on fuel use.

The result of the collaboration is a system that the partners say could “revolutionise fuel efficiency” and offer major improvements in maintenance planning for Mimic clients. The technology can be retro-fitted to most ships, meaning a very broad potential impact from the research.

The company, part of the James Fisher & Sons group, provided the university’s engineering department with operational data from ships in its own fleet. The university analysed the data with a focus on three areas: fault classification using time-frequency patterns, early fault detection and the development of sensor systems and associated electronics for condition monitoring.

Martin Briddon, engineering manager, JFM, said: “This research has helped enormously with deeper signal processing than was currently undertaken and has resulted in a deeper understanding of machinery fault situations. We are now able to use the knowledge and information to develop new ways of searching for machinery faults amongst a clutter of normal operational data.”

Dr Xiandong Ma of Lancaster University’s engineering department added: “The team at JFM has been really helpful and provided particular requirements in investigating condition monitoring algorithms and systems within marine ships. The experience has greatly helped to confirm the viability of the proposed project. We are looking forward to our next collaboration with them.”

Monitoring and diagnostics of ships play an increasingly important role in optimal scheduling of maintenance activities. Condition monitoring has previously only been used for specific aspects of a ships system. Recently, there has been a growing interest in the monitoring of fuel usage and conditions of the whole ship which JFM seek to develop and include in their software – Mimic.

The £20,000 project received funding from the Impact Acceleration Account of the UK’s Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, as well JFM and the university.


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