Condition monitoring for ships


ZF Group has launched a condition monitoring system (CMS) for transmitters and thrusters to optimise the operation of ships by monitoring current data from the driveline and the status of core components.

The system includes multiple sensors, as well as an intelligent electronic evaluation unit. It enables operators to recognise in advance the components that need to be replaced or require maintenance, making it possible to avoid failures and plan maintenance work effectively. This shortens downtime, lowers operating costs and increases safety on board and at ports, with critical information in emergency situations.

Andre Korner, Head of Product Line Commercial and Fast Craft at ZF, said: “With this condition monitoring system we can maximise the operation time of the vessel and give our customers and operators a clear picture of the condition of the equipment on board. We can prevent early damage and inspect damage.

“We can give recommendations to the owner and operator as to what is the best thing to do and avoid downtime.”

There are three versions of the propulsion system. In the standard version, the CMS determines typical parameters such as oil level and pressure, as well as input shaft speed, clutch condition and oil temperature, both before and after the cooler.

The expanded monitoring of the second level measures oscillation in the system and the state of the oil in terms of particle and water content.

At the third level, the CMS measures the actual transferred torque in the drive system using dynamic load monitoring (DLM), which makes it possible to detect changes in the performance of the components early on.

In the event of a failure, a display notifies the crew early on about the required measures. The crew also receives specific instructions to ensure operational safety.

The OPENMATICS platform developed by ZF safely transfers the collected data and information to the ZF Cloud, where customers can access them.