First Ship Online to Wartsila’s 24/7 Condition-Based Maintenance Service

The drill ship “West Navigator” operating off the Norwegian coast became in April 2007 the first vessel to be connected 24/7 on-line to Wartsila’s CBM (Condition-Based Maintenance) on-line service based in Vaasa, Finland.

Operated by the international offshore drilling contractor, Seadrill Offshore AS, the “West Navigator” was built in Korea in 2000. It is a dynamically-positioned drill ship able to drill down to 9000 m in water of 2500 m depth. It is powered by seven Wärtsilä diesel generating sets, comprising four 6-cylinder in-line Wartsila 46-engined sets, two 16-cylinder Wartsila 32-engined sets in V-configuration and one 9-cylinder in-line Wärtsilä 20 engine set, having a combined output of 37.53 MWe. It is currently operating on the Ormen Lange gas field which is about 100 km north-west of Molde, Norway.

Wärtsilä’s CBM on-line service is already well established with land-based power plants, today serving more than 60 power plants around the world.

Wärtsilä’s CBM solution provides on-line guidance to engine users to ensure installations are performing to optimum effect, while signposting any deviation to the engine’s normal operating parameters. It can spot fault sources and emerging operational trends well before any failure occurs thereby enabling proactive rather than reactive maintenance. It thus ensures an optimum balance between longer times between overhauls and minimising downtime to guarantee optimum engine performance under all conditions. CBM also helps keeping a close watch on the stock of spare parts, providing for ordering of parts in advance of coming needs. Overall it reduces unnecessary maintenance spending while extending times between overhauls.

The CBM on-line service uses a combination of on-line monitoring of mechanical and thermal condition (with in-built sensors, for example), system efficiency data and many other indicators to assess the condition of an engine. All this information in the shipboard system in real time transmitted 24/7 to Wartsila service engineers at the CBM Centre in Vaasa, Finland, Wartsila in Norway and the Seadrill office in Stavanger, Norway. The service team then accurately assess the overall status and condition of the plant – and ultimately the maintenance it needs, and make regular reports to the engine users based on established guidelines and specific operating conditions.

Marine installations use satellite communication to connect to the CBM Centre. An engine installation can be connected to the CBM Centre through the Internet using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection or through the e-mail server onboard the ship. There is also a manual alternative for data collection and e-mail sending which uses Wartsila’s special software.

Once connected, the CBM Centre receives operation data information about the specific engines including load and ambient conditions. The received data are automatically analyzed by the special Wartsila developed analyzing software.

The most common for marine installations is still to send a batch of operating data once a day to assess engine condition. In the future the 24/7 online connections will be more and more common because of the increasing satellite connection capacity and reduced data transfer costs.

In addition to the CBM solution Wartsila Services has other CBM related solutions and a wide range of different customized Service agreements and solutions.

Every customer gets at least one monthly report. The reports are made by a dedicated senior technical supervisor with broad experience of different engine installations and operations. This professional engineer would then be responsible for supervising the installation and operation data analysis including commenting, recommending action where necessary and predictions for the future. The reports, customised to the preferences of the user, can also include fuel and emission calculations based on the measured operation data and installation-specific conditions.

The on-line service is a valuable development of Wartsila’s range of CBM services to the marine industry. Wartsila has existing CBM contracts on more than 130 ships and power plants including almost 500 engines with an output of more than 4500 MW globally. The major marine segments for CBM services have so far been cruise, offshore and general cargo vessels. Wartsila is the first engine manufacturer to sign CBM contracts within the cruise and offshore drilling industry.

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